U.S. hard white (HW) wheat receives enthusiastic reviews when used for Asian noodles, whole wheat or high extraction applications, pan breads or flat breads. It has a hard endosperm, white bran and a medium to high protein content of 10.0% to 14.0% (12% mb). HW includes winter and spring varieties increasing the protein range and functionality within the class.
For the miller, HW delivers whiter flour at higher extraction levels due to its lighter bran color. HW is a true hard wheat creating excellent granulation, maximizing coarse semolina production and low ash flour.
For the baker, the greatest advantage of HW wheat flour is the whiter end product color. Higher extraction rates generally improve water absorption. Using ultra fine, white whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread can be produced with the color and texture of traditional bread. HW wheat flour is also lower in polyphenol oxidase (PPO), an enzyme that can cause dough browning. Lower PPO content improves the color of wet noodles and Asian steamed bread products.
Where is U.S. Hard White grown?
The newest and the smallest class of wheat in the United States, HW is grown in the Central Plains, Montana, Idaho and California, and, when available for export, shipped via Pacific and Gulf ports.
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2022 U.S. Hard White Production
According to USDA’s Small Grains Annual Summary released September 30, 2022, production of the 2022 U.S. HW crop is estimated to be 0.5 million metric tons (MMT), a 33% decrease from last year’s 0.7 MMT and below the 5-year average of 0.7 MMT.
- Production of HW in 2022
- Total HW production in states sampled*
- PNW-exportable subtotal
- Southern Plains-exportable subtotal
- Total U.S. HW Production
- 2022 (MMT)
- 2021 (MMT)
- 5-Year Average (MMT)
*States sampled: California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska. Numbers may not match exactly due to rounding.
U.S. Hard White Sample Collection and Analysis
Official grade factors were determined on each sample. Non-grade factors and functionality tests were conducted on 6 composite samples categorized by growing region and protein ranges of <11.5%, 11.5 to 12.5%, 12.6 to 13.5% and >13.5%. Production weighted results are presented as Pacific Northwest (PNW), California and Southern Plains.
- Collection of wheat samples at harvest was facilitated by Plains Grains Inc., Wheat Marketing Center and California Wheat Commission Laboratory.
- Official grades were determined by the USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS).
- Milling and wheat and flour quality testing and analysis were conducted by the Wheat Marketing Center.