- The Asian noodle market is responsible for the increased volume of wheat
imported to that region in recent years. Soft white wheat produced in the Pacific
Northwest is mainly used for baked products, whereas an Australian wheat,
Australian Standard White, is preferred for noodles. To enter this market soft
white-wheat cultivars with properties similar to or better than Australian Standard
Whitemust be developed. This process is difficult as little is known of the factors
that influence noodle quality.
The use of grain-protein percentage, kernel hardness, and six viscosity
parameters measured by the Rapid Visco Analyzer for predicting Japanese udonnoodle
quality was evaluated. The Rapid Visco Analyzer was developed to
indicate quickly and reliably the starch properties of a small wheat sample.
Experimental material included advanced winter-wheat selections from the Oregon
State University wheat-breeding program and Stephens, a widely grown winter-wheat cultivar. Two commercial spring cultivars, Owens and Klasic, thought to
have good noodle quality were used as checks as was straight grade flour milled
from Australian Standard White wheat. The material was grown at two locations
(Rugg and Chambers) which represent diverse environments and management
systems. Protein content, kernel hardness, and six viscosity parameters (Peakl,
Low, Peak2, Peakl-Low, Peak2-Low, Peakl-Peak2) were measured. A sensoryevaluation
panel evaluated the end product for surface appeal, texture, and taste.
Within each location differences were found for all traits except protein
content at the Rugg site and surface appeal at the Chamber location. Between the
two experimental sites the only traits for which no differences were detected were
kernel hardness and surface appeal. Significant entry by location interactions were
observed for kernel hardness, Peakl- Peak2, and the three sensory-evaluation traits.
Kernel hardness and grain-protein percentage were not associated, however
both were negatively associated with the viscosity parameters. Associations of
grain-protein, kernel hardness, and the viscosity parameters with the sensory
evaluation traits were not statistically determined. A softer kernel texture appeared
most useful for predicting Japanese udon-noodle quality as determined by sensory
evaluation. Grain-protein percentage was not a good indicator by itself, but each
cultivar may have a protein-content range within which noodle quality is optimized.
This range may be influenced by the kernel texture. The viscosity parameters did
not appear useful for predicting noodle quality as determined by the sensory
evaluation panel. A more sensitive sensory evaluation method may be required to
detect small however important differences and different viscosity parameters should be investigated.
Based on the sensory-evaluation data several experimental entries appeared
promising in having the desired quality profile for Japanese udon-noodles.