CHINESE flour millers and noodle makers are being persuaded to use more premium Australian wheat for noodles, potentially creating new value for growers.
Currently Australian wheat imports to China are dominated by Australian Standard White (ASW) for noodles.
The Australian Export Grains Innovations Centre (AEGIC) is working closely with grain buyers in China to help them appreciate the benefits of incorporating higher quality - and higher priced - Australian wheat classes for premium noodles.
A recent AEGIC webinar targeting Chinese millers and noodle manufacturers exceeded expectations, with more than 120 people tuning in with interest.
Project leader Siem Siah said the participants were very interested in the benefits of using premium Australian wheat to enhance noodle quality.
"It was fantastic to see such strong interest from our friends in China," Dr Siah said.
"Clearly there is strong potential to increase exports of premium Australian wheat to China.
"This kind of ongoing technical support helps end users maximise the performance of Australian wheat so they will be more likely to purchase from Australia."
The webinar included presentations by AEGIC wheat experts Ken Quail and Dr Siah, who spoke about the Australian wheat industry and the specific quality benefits of Australian wheat.
InterGrain senior wheat breeder Dan Mullan provided details on the potential of Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW), addressing the opportunity to expand market demand for this unique wheat type beyond Japan and Korea.
Australian Grain Technologies Senior Wheat Breeder Dr Meiqin Lu explained targeted breeding for noodles using APH as an example.
The webinar included presentations from Chinese stakeholders who spoke in support of using Australian wheat in Chinese products - including Rui Liu, from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Yen Chen, from food processing company COFCO and Xiaoling Zhou, from the Kemen Noodle Manufacturing Company.
Dr Siah said the project was designed to increase the use of Australian wheat for top-quality Chinese noodles, especially premium classes such as Australian Prime Hard (APH), Australian Hard (AH), Australian Premium White Noodle (APWN) and (ANW).
"The project also involves collecting timely intelligence on wheat quality requirements, as well as market developments, trends and insights," she said.
"This intelligence helps the Australian wheat industry breed, classify, grow and supply wheat that the Chinese market prefers."