U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) in 2021 expanded its long-term effort to meet the needs of overseas customers and improve their satisfaction with imported U.S. wheat. An important and successful activity is the Wheat Analysis Program that generates information from customers that is shared with U.S. wheat public and private wheat breeders.
With funding from the Market Access Program (MAP), USW and the UFM Baking School in Bankok brought together six key Thailand flour mills for a Wheat Analysis activity in November 2021. USW baking experts and the flour mill representatives used specific flour analysis, baking tests, volume/spread, weight, computerized texture analysis, crumb score, and visual analysis to compare quality and finalize value of the different flour samples.
This group conducted an unusually broad range of 288 individual tests for bread, cookies, sponge and chiffon cakes using control flours made from U.S. and competitor origins including Canada, Australia, the Black Sea and Argentina.
The participants worked collaboratively at the end of this Wheat Analysis activity to compile an evaluation report that USW shared with the six mills and U.S. soft white (SW), hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) breeders.
The Wheat Analysis Program gives overseas wheat buyers the chance to directly influence U.S. wheat quality. And the program has shown positive results. These customers have observed and recorded improvement in U.S. wheat quality and performance over several years as wheat breeders adjusted their varietal goals.
Maintaining satisfaction with U.S. wheat among millers in Thailand, and other growing South Asian markets, was particularly important in 2021/22, a year with a a 32% reduction in the supply of HRS and SW and a 50% increase in FOB prices. Thai importers purchased 482,500 metric tons of HRS, SW and HRW valued at more than $200 million.