Durum wheat has long been used for making pasta because of its yellow color and high protein content for a firm ‘bite.’ It is also used to make couscous and a few Mediterranean breads. But research, conducted by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, now offers a new soft durum wheat called “Soft Svevo.”
Soft Svevo was created with classical breeding methods by introducing two genes from soft bread wheat into Italian durum Svevo wheat. This new variety has flour quality similar to soft bread wheat. It is appealing for making pizza crust, baguettes, pan breads, and other breads.
Traditional durum wheat is very hard and difficult to mill into flour. This new variety can save 75 percent energy and 15 percent water during milling.
Looking for a way to teach kids about wheat and foods made with wheat?
The Wheat Foods Council has a fun and informative resource that shows how wheat is grown, harvested and made into flour and foods. They also have a presentation, recipes and games to help kids learn even more.
If you’ve ever made homemade noodles, you’ve probably seen the noodles turn a gray color after drying. This is due to polyphenol oxidase enzymes in hard white wheat flour.
Polyphenol oxidase is found in all plants and causes browning in cut apples, black spots in cut avocadoes, and dark marks on banana peels.
USDA Agricultural Research Service researchers have now developed a new wheat variety with practically no polyphenol oxidase. They crossed two Australian wheat varieties from a germplasm collection in the 1930s. This variety will benefit the milling industry and exporters to Asian markets.