April 25, 2016

25/04/2016: USDA: Taking the grey out of wheat products

Image: Yoshihide Nomura
Even if you don’t know what “polyphenol oxidase” is, you’ve seen what it can do, says the USDA's AgResearch Magazine.

Polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme found in all plants, causes undesirable reactions such as browning in sliced apples, black spots in cut avocados, and dark marks on banana peels. It’s also responsible for grey discoloration in wheat products such as fresh noodles, fresh and frozen breads, and refrigerated biscuits—all made from hard white wheat.

Hard white wheat products such as white whole-grain breads are becoming more popular in the U.S. marketplace. Hard white wheat is the wheat of choice in select export markets, especially in Asia, where it is used to make a variety of fresh noodle products.

High levels of polyphenol oxidase in the grain make US hard white wheats undesirable and place them at a disadvantage relative to wheats from Australia in the Asian markets, says Bob Graybosch, plant geneticist and research leader of the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Grain, Forage, and Bioenergy Research Unit in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Polyphenol oxidase is a big deal for Asian markets, because they don’t want to see grey noodles when they hang them up to dry and then sell.”

For 15 years, Graybosch has been studying the polyphenol oxidase trait in wheat, investigating numerous samples of white wheat obtained from the ARS National Small Grains Collection (NSGC), in Aberdeen, Idaho.

Read the full article HERE.

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