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Milling variety’s versatility impresses in tests Baking trials conducted by the UK’s leading flour millers indicate new Group 1 milling wheat KWS Zyatt produces a quality flour suited to a range of applications. KWS Zyatt has impressed with its versatility across a range of products.

performing nabim Group 1 wheat types”. Although lower in protein, loaf oven spring was above that produced by both the baking control and the best-performing Group 1 varieties suggesting flour milled from KWS Zyatt has the potential to perform at lower natural protein levels. This will expand its appeal to applications beyond that of the traditional farmhouse loaf, he explained.

Variety assessment Speaking at an industry seminar just a week after the variety received full Group 1 recommendation from the National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim), Rank Hovis Milling technical director, Shaun Taylor (right), explained that KWS Zyatt impressed with its baking performance and versatility across a range of applications. “KWS Zyatt is a solid Group 1 variety. It has some unique qualities which extend its appeal to those categories which are growing such as sandwich thins, brioche and bagels. We need varieties that perform across all applications rather than just the white loaf that we are used to.” Rank Hovis tested flour made from KWS Zyatt in a range of applications including white and wholemeal bread, morning rolls, pizza bases and bagels. It was also tested in a mix of flour to assess its suitability in blended grists. “We were impressed with its versatility across a range of products where it either matched or outperformed the commercial flour controls. In the bagels and morning rolls it tended to deliver a finer texture than the control, but with the desired soft crumb and good flavour.” The white and wholemeal bread bakes investigated its performance in two processes: the Artisian Bake and the Hi-speed Chlorleywood baking process. In both tests, bread colour and texture was in line with industry standards producing “finished product quality comparable with the top

Changes in the bakery market are leading bakers and millers to take a more detailed approach to variety assessment that considers performance across a range of products. Whereas the nabim assessment focuses on producing a sliced white loaf, commercial bakers want to know if a variety is suited to specialist products or processes. Characteristics such as stickiness and elasticity of the dough or product texture and volume have different levels of importance depending on the process followed or products being produced. It’s why bakers are increasingly talking about varieties rather than nabim groups, said Mr Taylor. “Bagel production is one of the most complex manufacturing processes in baking so specific performance consideration for this application is particularly important. “KWS Zyatt is the only UK variety I have seen that shows the level of tolerance needed to pass through the (bagel) production process and deliver the quality of finished product that our customers are looking for. That is unique and in this way unique can be good,” he said. Bakers, he explained, prize consistency of performance and he was confident the Group 1 had the characteristics to deliver across seasons. “The work we have done on KWS Zyatt gives me the confidence that it will produce a level of quality that is consistent across seasons. The samples we have seen so far have come from favourable seasons where

Although lower in protein, KWS Zyatt's (right) loaf oven spring was above that produced by both the baking control and the bestperforming Group 1 varieties.

protein levels have been high, but baking tests suggest a level of protein functionality beyond that of other Group 1 varieties which gives me confidence it will be consistent across different seasons. “If I had a choice I would not buy grain based on its stated protein content, but on a measure of its protein characteristics as these are more important to our business. The problem is that I can’t test its characteristics in 15 minutes so I am relying on a variety’s genetic profile to deliver those attributes, hence the stated interest in named varieties.”

Opportunities Growers need to develop a greater appreciation for their local markets if they are to find value opportunities, suggests Glencore milling wheat trader, Tom Eaton (right). Speaking at the event, Mr Eaton urged growers to “know their local market” and develop a “fall-back if they fail to meet quality”. Highlighting the plentiful state that world grain stocks is putting on forward values, and given reasonable weather in build up to this summer’s harvest, he warned growers that milling premiums for 2017-18 are likely to be similar to those this season. “If you can’t afford to produce milling wheat at the premiums being offered then the market is telling you not too,” he said. Instead, he suggested growers give consideration to soft wheats for which there is good demand on the continent and in the UK. “KWS Barrel and KWS Basset are serious propositions and worthy of closer attention than they currently receive. They are no more difficult to grow than feed wheats, but their genetic profile means they benefit from a level of customer demand that isn’t matched by UK feed wheat.” Because of tight supply and firm export demand, premiums for biscuit wheats are currently £7–£9/t over feed wheat whereas milling premiums for breadmaking wheats are at best £5/t,

largely as a result of the increased availability arising from growers switching to the high yielding varieties of Groups 1 and 2. This is something many may not realise, he said. “There is sound domestic demand for milling wheats, but growers might be surprised to learn that for some, the best return may be to produce them to an export specification. If a local mill wants a Group 1 with 13 per cent protein then aim for it, but to me a Group 2 such as KWS Siskin with a protein of 11–11.5 per cent holds more value than the same variety grown to Group 1 specification of 13 per cent protein, because one can be easily exported from the east of England to ukp markets while the other can’t,” he said.

Strong exporter This marketing year the UK has been a strong exporter partly due to a weaker currency, but also because poor French quality delivered opportunities that would not normally come the way of the UK. Working against the UK position, however, was a big carryover from 2015 which weighed on domestic prices in the early part of the season and meant merchants had to accept tenders from as far as Vietnam to move stock. Yet, despite the favourable growing conditions across continental Europe, Mr Eaton believes there are still export opportunities worth chasing for the future. “The UK should continue to focus on Algeria, it holds export opportunities for our growers. Algeria won’t buy from Russia or Ukraine like Egypt because of quality issues, but it wants our Group 1 and 2 wheats which holds opportunities for UK farmers, but only if it meets specification. This is often easier than many realise.” Aside from spending more time talking to their grain merchant to better understand where the opportunities are for value, what other advice did he offer? “Take advantage of the high yielding quality types available. The more end uses your wheat can serve, the more opportunities you will have.” ■

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