Inside Oklahoma Wheat Commission and OSU’s "Groundbreaking" Product Development ResearchWed, 17 Oct 2018 16:07:22 CDT
The Oklahoma Wheat Commission has been involved with many projects through the years in conjunction with the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team at Oklahoma State University. One of the more recent projects and certainly one that is quite novel to the wheat industry, is its work developing a taste profile for the many different varieties of wheat that the Wheat Improvement Team, led by Dr. Brett Carver, has churned out over the years including four new varieties just this fall. Based on these taste profiles, the OWC is parlaying its work and research into product line development as another way to enhance producers’ opportunity to market their wheat. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays sat down with the executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission Mike Schulte this week, to talk about this new research and how it will help producers in Oklahoma. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“It is no doubt an exciting time for the wheat variety program at Oklahoma State University,” Schulte said. “As we’ve been looking at what’s been happening in the laboratory as far as creating varieties that are going to have the agronomic traits for producers we’ve really kind of been looking at the larger picture overall with the wheat variety development program and because of that we are really focusing on end-quality uses that millers and bakers are looking for in the industry overall.”
Schulte says they have actually taken this idea to the next level - exploring how to take things a step further by incorporating product development for specific varieties based on their uniquely individual qualities. Through extensive testing and analysis in cooperating with the Wheat Marketing Center, Schulte says some strategies are starting to take shape. One of the new varieties, Skydance, for example has excellent bread baking qualities. However, it is also uniquely suited for tortilla making as well, making it a very versatile variety. This has led to a budding partnership with a small-scale tortilla factory out of West Texas that is working to create a product line of tortillas made exclusively with Skydance derived flour.
Another variety, Smith’s Gold, has also shown promise as a specialty variety well-suited for pasta making. This, too, has forged a collaboration with a local artisan pastificio in Oklahoma City. In Schulte’s mind, this type of research is quite revolutionary, the first that he has ever seen done specifically in this manner in particular regard to wheat.
“I think as we move forward we’re going to be trying to change the discussion on what we’re doing as far as end-use quality,” Schulte said, “not only for the consumer but what we can also create for the producer out in the field that’s going to give him better opportunities for marketing his product and at the end of the day make them more profitable.”
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