This Australian company is the only active breeder of wheat varieties for Udon noodles outside of Japan
According to The Australian Unlimited website, ‘In the 1980s, the Japanese began to purchase wheat from Western Australia specifically for noodles. At the time, Dr Graham Crosbie, a research scientist who specialised in cereal chemistry, was working at the Department of Agriculture. The Japanese kept asking for a particular wheat variety called ‘Gamenya’ and Dr Crosbie wondered why. So he travelled to Japan and found that this variety was being used specifically for the iconic Udon noodle.
‘Dr Crosbie then set up a collaboration between plant breeders here in Australia and the noodle industry in Japan to develop the perfect wheat varieties for various types of noodles – and particularly, for Udon noodles.’
Tress Walmsley, CEO of the crop breeding company, InterGrain, says that working closely with the industry in Japan has been the key to success for InterGrain. ‘They had to teach us what was important for them, and our cereal chemists have had to master the finer points of Udon noodle making.
Ten years later, InterGrain is widely recognised as producing some of the best noodle wheat varieties in the world and is the only active breeder of wheat varieties for Udon noodles outside of Japan.
‘WA now has a trained sensory testing panel that is skilled enough to pick up micro sensory differences across lines,’ Tress explains.
‘When we release a new noodle variety, the process involves two sensory panels, including a Japanese expert who blind tastes to make sure we meet the market’s requirements.’
If you want to read this article in Japanese, please see the following link:
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