Tokyo and Seoul the focus of AEGIC technical wheat seminars

Friday 28 April, 2017

Supporting the technical requirements of customers of Australian wheat was the theme of AEGIC technical wheat seminars conducted in Tokyo and Seoul in April.

Presented in conjunction with Austrade, the Australian Embassies of Seoul and Tokyo, the Western Australian Trade and Investment Office and Australian plant breeding company Australian Grain Technologies (AGT), the seminars were an opportunity to communicate the quality advantages of Australian wheat directly to major Japanese and Korean flour millers.

At each seminar, AEGIC CEO Richard Simonaitis highlighted the importance of supporting the technical requirements of customers of Australian wheat. AEGIC Wheat Quality Technical Markets Manager Dr Larisa Cato outlined Australian wheat quality and functionality for the respective Japanese and Korean markets.

Australian Grain Technologies Head of Science and Business Development Dr Tristan Coram provided an update on the Australian grain industry’s work in breeding high quality wheat varieties for the respective Japanese and Korean markets.

AEGIC CEO Richard Simonaitis said regular in-market engagement with wheat buyers and processors increased value for Australian growers by improving the understanding and use of Australian wheat.

“Both Japan and Korea have long been important and stable markets for Australian wheat, and AEGIC is committed to maintaining and improving the quality and value of exports to these countries,” he said.

“Understanding market requirements as a whole, including future trends, is critical to understanding what opportunities exist for Australian wheat suppliers to increase market share beyond wheat for noodles.”

Tokyo (19 April 2017)

The Tokyo seminar was attended by about 70 representatives of Japan’s major flour milling companies. It was hosted by the Japanese Flour Millers Association (JFMA) and supported by the Japanese Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

MAFF Senior Deputy Director of Regional Affairs Hiroyuki Yamaguchi and JFMA Executive Director Masaaki Kadota opened the proceedings, acknowledging AEGIC’s continued support to Japan’s flour milling industry.

Austrade Consul/Assistant Trade Commissioner Raymond Roche outlined the importance of deepening the ties between the Australian grain industry and Japan.

Seoul (25 April 2017)

The Seoul seminar was hosted by the Korean Flour Milling Industry Association (KOFMIA) and was attended by about 20 representatives of Korean flour milling companies. Austrade Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Amanda Hodges opened the proceedings, acknowledging AEGIC’s role in the supporting use of Australian wheat in the Korean market.

AEGIC regularly conducts seminars and workshops in Asian markets to connect directly with buyers and processors of Australian wheat.

Earlier this month, AEGIC led a wheat industry mission to Taiwan. In February and March AEGIC conducted a series of technical baking and noodle workshops with millers in the Philippines and Indonesia.

BACKGROUND

Japan and Korea both value Australian wheat highly, mainly for the production of premium quality noodles.

Australia, in particular Western Australia, has a long history of breeding and supplying high quality noodle wheat to Japan and Korea. Consistent quality and stable supply of Australian noodle wheat is of high importance to these markets.

AEGIC is committed to securing the future of this industry and will continue to work towards strengthening this relationship.

AEGIC is also committed to understanding what opportunities may exist for the Australian industry to increase market share in Japan and Korea beyond noodles.

FACTS: Australia’s noodle wheat industry

  • ANW varieties have been specifically developed for udon noodle production in Japan and Korea. Collectively these countries annually purchase about 1.6mmt of noodle wheat blend (ANW and APW).
  • Australian noodle wheat is preferred for the production of premium udon noodles due to its excellent starch quality (high swelling properties), bright flour colour and excellent colour stability, medium dough strength, and medium protein levels.
  • In addition to wheat and flour quality testing, sensory testing is also an important means of evaluating wheat varieties for classification into ANW.
  • Ideal udon noodle should have a unique balance of softness and firmness, often described as ‘soft noodle with slight surface firmness’ combined with good elasticity and stickiness.
  • Colour is also important. Favourable traits include good colour and colour stability, with superior udon noodles being described as having a ‘bright, creamy, slightly yellow colour’.