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Australia is a world leader in the production of high quality milling oats for the international market.
Oats are widely recognised for their nutritional and health benefits. Australian milling oats are recognised for their high quality, including excellent taste and aroma, and are preferred for their ease of processing, high milling yield and groat percentage.
Milling oats are dehulled, steamed and flaked or milled before processing. Oats, oat bran and oatmeal contain a specific type of soluble fibre known as beta-glucan. Studies have shown that consuming just 3 grams of beta-glucan a day (the amount in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total blood cholesterol levels, reducing this risk factor for heart disease.
Uses for Australian oats include:
- Oatmeal (porridge)
- Muesli and other breakfast cereals
- Health bars
- Bakery goods
- Baby foods
Interest by consumers in oat noodles, oat milk, oat rice and oat health care products is also growing, especially in China.
Milling oats are produced in the grain cropping regions of south-west Western Australia, the Eyre and York Peninsulas of South Australia, western and northeastern Victoria, and the Riverina and central New South Wales.
The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) enhances the international competitiveness and value of Australian oats through the understanding of market requirements and grain quality research.
AEGIC builds technical capacity in Australia in oat chemistry and end-product functionality.
AEGIC also has a strong focus on investigating oat functionality requirements in China, which has become one of the largest markets for Australian oats.
A large proportion of the Australian oat crop is processed domestically. About 20 per cent of the total crop is exported to international markets with the majority of exported grain used for human consumption.
In recent years, China has become one of the largest markets for Australian oats.