Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

The industrial use of EC wheats

Considering the key importance of the industrial use of wheat produced in the European Union, the project was aimed at filling the growing gap between process development and its understanding in terms of processing requirements, and thus wheat quality requirements. A further objective was the stimulation of breeding in order to tailor new types of wheats, capable of satisfying the future demands of the European industries and the export market.

In the area of industrial processes, better knowledge of the various applications of wheat (milling, white and wholemeal bread-making, starch/gluten industry, flour blends, fermented products, and biscuit manufacture) was obtained, each main parameter of wheat quality being expressed in terms of functional properties and related to specific constituents and their interactions, resulting in improved wheat uses. For instance, in milling quality, a comprehensive model was proposed, describing the relative influence of both chemical (potassium content) and morphological (bran friability and kernel width) parameters on milling quality. The main findings in baking studies were the strong relation demonstrated between molecular structure (glutenin depolymerisation, gel protein elastic modulus) and dough behaviour or baking performance. Interactions between selected microorganisms and wheat flour components were investigated, and applied to improved breadmaking processes using sour dough from frozen and dehydrated bacterial starters.

In the area of functional components and interactions, relevant results include purification and characterisation of glutenin subunits and of native gluten subfractions, reconstitution studies with purified components and subsequent rheological studies, NMR characterisation of subunits, homologies between starch granule proteins and lipid binding proteins, a better understanding of the dynamics of dough development based on monoclonal antibodies directed to arabinoxylans and on immunolocalisation in microscopic studies.

In the area of biochemical genetics and physiology, laboratories and breeding companies involved in biochemical genetics and physiology (North-Western and Southern Europe Networks) have carried out technological analyses leading to significant results in terms of:
potential yield of the top cultivars in several European locations;
quality characteristics;
correlation between quality traits and agronomic factors;
effect of nitrogen fertilisation;
characterisation of growth environments.

Investigations on gliadins and LMW glutenin subunits provided breeders with a genetic approach to describing allelic composition at the Gli and Glu-3, as well as mono-dimensional and two-dimensional techniques to identify the gliadin or glutenin components encoded by the different alleles at those loci.


Jean-Claude AUTRAN
Tel.: +33-1-53791084
Fax: +33-1-45708389