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Bread From May 2008 newsletter

Wheat - breeding to end use

A six year project has provided new insight into wheat functionality to help breeders improve its processing quality. Taking a holistic approach from breeding right through to end use, the project set out to identify links between wheat genetics (quantitative trait loci - QTL) and key baked product quality characteristics. These QTL will lead to higher success rates during wheat breeding and variety selection.

The work involved development of breeding lines, which were 'multiplied' through several generations to provide sufficient grain for end product quality testing. Grain from two harvest years was milled and evaluated in terms of wheat and flour quality as well as end use performance. The latter included four products: Chorleywood Bread Process white bread, wholemeal bread, no time dough white bread, and puff pastry. Objective methods were used to characterise product dimensions, texture and internal structure.

The project has identified new QTL for a range of key quality attributes which will now be exploited by plant breeders. The project was managed by CCFRA on behalf of a consortium of seventeen industry, academic and funding partners from along the entire wheat chain. Funding from Defra LINK and HGCA is gratefully acknowledged.

Contact: Sam Millar
+44(0)1386 842157