New durum wheat varieties could add more protein to breads and pasta

March 27, 2019

Developing new types of durum wheat makes a lot of sense because of its nutritional significance and more consumer interest in functional foods. 65% of consumers are looking for functional benefits from their food and drink, so enriched breads, pastas and other wheat-based products could become popular.

New purple and soft durum wheat varieties are projected to help jumpstart consumer demand for wheat-based products. The former adds functional benefits — such as protein — to pasta and bread, while the latter has potential applications in biscuits and noodles.

Studies show that anthocyanins, which are pigments providing colour to red, purple and blue plants, have health-promoting effects on cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancers, diabetes, allergies and osteoporosis. Consuming bread enriched with purple durum wheat adds to anthocyanin levels and has a pleasant aroma and good taste, the trade website noted.

Durum comprises just 5% to 8% of global wheat production, but it is the second most commonly cultivated species. It conveys nutritional assets, including protein, minerals and vitamins, to food products, and is growing in production and popularity as consumers seek out whole-grain flour.

The market for these kinds of ingredient innovations is expanding as well. According to Zion Market Research, the global functional ingredients market was worth $64.9 million in 2018 and was projected to reach nearly $100 million by 2025, for a compound annual growth rate of 6.74%. 

Regular durum wheat is a relatively small part of total global production, and it has a higher level of protein and gluten than other types of wheat. It is also the hardest of all wheat types and is typically used for pasta products.

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