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As USW President Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day, there is someone, somewhere, talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share just some of the ways USW was working in June and July to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Thailand. USW Baking Consultant Roy Chung, from the USW Singapore Office, conducted the annual 3-week Cookie and Cracker short course for 24 participants from across the South Asia region. As usual, there were more applicants than available spots. Participants noted that the course helps in applying new technology in their operations, developing new snack foods and other products and improving production processes, formulations and end product quality by using U.S. SW and SRW wheat classes instead competing origin wheat.

Morocco. The USW Casablanca Office continues to use the Quality Sample Program (QSP) for the Moroccan Milling Training Center (IFIM) in Casablanca. The milling school tests all classes of U.S. wheat and conducts blending activities. Through the USP program, USW arranged for procurement and shipping of three containers of HRS and SRW wheat for the milling school. Over the next few months, USW will lead many promotional and training seminars to showcase U.S. wheat quality and functionality to millers and end-product manufacturers from Morocco and neighboring countries.

Philippines. USW Baking Consultant Gerry Mendoza, from the USW Manila Office, conducted a short course on Bakery Operations Management at the Filipino Chinese Bakery Association Training Center in cooperation with the Philippine Society of Baking. Mendoza focused on increasing knowledge of four key elements that every bakery owner or manager must fully understand to help increase operational efficiency and profitability: ingredients, equipment, recipes and process.

Mexico. USW Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre, from the USW Mexico City Office, worked with USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada to conduct a series of baking seminars in Mexico City and Toluca. USW designed the seminars to help bakeries adapt to growing demand and requirements for tastier and healthier bread products, which supports consumption growth. Management for both bakeries confirmed their interest in launching some variations of these products in selected stores, as they realize there is a market for the quality end-products demonstrated in the seminars.

Jamaica. Technical Specialist Mitre worked with USW Baking Consultant Bernard Bruinsma to conduct two baking seminars in Kingston. The seminars focused on the entire baking process and allowed participants to test how their practices affect the quality of the end-product.

Ecuador. The USW Santiago Office and USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada worked with bakery personnel in Quito, Ecuador. Rosada demonstrated using U.S. wheat flour blends to make par-baked bread that can be frozen and distributed. He also helped formulate new baked goods that will appeal to consumers and identify appropriate U.S. wheat flour blends for existing and newly formulated products.

Indonesia. USW Regional Vice President Matt Weimar, and Assistant Regional Vice President Joe Sowers, both from the South Asia region, traveled to Jakarta to meet with key members of the wheat foods industry, including procurement managers and decision makers at key flour mills. Discussions focused on world and U.S. market analysis and quality information and learning more about the Indonesian market and its wheat quality needs.

China. USW and the Wuxi Buhler Company conducted a week-long milling seminar at the Wuxi Buhler Milling Training Center for millers. Together, USW Technical Director Peter Lloyd, from the USW Casablanca Office, and Buhler Milling Technician Vincent Shao focused on flour milling technology, wheat cleaning and tempering equipment, mill maintenance and management, laboratory testing and the solvent retention capacity (SRC) method of flour performance testing. The participants have the opportunity to further practice milling HRW wheat at Buhler’s test flour mill.

Taiwan. USW cooperated with the De Lin Institute of Technology to host a noodle cooking seminar for nutritionists and cooks from school lunch centers and catering companies in New Taipei City. The seminar participants designed 12 noodle meal packages, two kinds of steamed breads and one Chinese pastry for school lunch programs. This experience demonstrated different flour performance for making healthy Chinese foods.

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Bakers around the world consider flour produced from U.S. wheat to be consistently high quality and versatile. That reputation is earned largely because wheat farmers grow excellent crops (supported by quality data from USW) the crops are delivered through the most efficient grain handling system in the world, and because USW invests trade service, technical support and more to serve the world’s wheat buyers and wheat food processors.

One of those technical experts is Bakery Consultant Roy Chung who, from a base in Singapore, has represented U.S. wheat for almost 40 years. He has consistently added value to U.S. wheat imports by introducing quality bread processing to the milling and baking industry across South Asia in conjunction with his USW colleagues and training program collaborators.

The association of such expertise and service with U.S. wheat’s reputation overseas is so well regarded that leading French yeast and fermentation products company Lesaffre asked Chung and USW to collaborate on an innovative publication called “Sandwich Bread in Words. A Glossary of Sensory Terms.” Lasaffre describes the booklet, published in January 2017, as a tool “to formalize a common vocabulary about sandwich bread, drawing on different cultures and incorporating a repeatable assessment method … to create a bridge to connect experts with consumers.”

Lasaffre’s baking ingredients and flour produced from HRS and HRW wheat classes are ideally suited for the high quality “sponge and dough” system bread products that Chung describes in the book: “The internal characteristics, like flavor, grain, texture, taste, mouthfeel … will determine if the customer returns for another loaf. The vested interest of the baker is to make the best possible looking and tasting product with the best ingredients available.”

Didier Rosada confirms that consumers around the world are looking for better tasting, more natural bread. He is a globally respected master baker and vice president of operations at Uptown Bakers, where he produces quality baked goods for food service and retail stores in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He is a frequent consultant with USW, particularly in Latin America.

“Baking is changing in a good way,” Rosada said. “At my bakery, my process is as natural as possible, with long fermentation time, like it used to be done, to bring back the flavor profile of a good bread, the keeping qualities and texture, etc. And the classes of wheat that we have in the U.S. are perfect for that. I am using a flour that is almost 100 percent hard red winter or sometimes combined with hard red spring wheat.”

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The wide range of classes and functional characteristics of U.S. wheat allows customers to produce flour for almost every end-product. Part of USW’s value-added mission is to help strengthen milling, storage and handling and wheat food industries through technical courses and service activities that demonstrate the quality, value and reliability of U.S. wheat.

To fulfill that mission, USW currently works closely with several experienced and respected risk management, milling and food processing consultants from around the world.

“Every wheat market that USW works in has a unique line up of end-products and changing consumer preferences, so engaging consultants who are experts in their field has become an essential part of promoting U.S. wheat,” said Erica Oakley, USW Program Manager. “We are proud of the work our current group of consultants have done and will continue to do. We also see the interest in our services growing, so we welcome the chance to hear from additional consultants who may be interested in helping provide the assistance and training that will benefit our customers.”

USW is currently seeking recommendations for consultants with expertise in the following areas:

  • Cookies and crackers
  • Pastries
  • Pasta (durum and non-durum)
  • Milling
  • Asian noodles
  • Wheat procurement and risk management

For more information or inquiries, please contact Erica Oakley at eoakley@uswheat.org.

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The West African nation of Angola is making good progress in its desire to improve food security for a rapidly growing population, currently estimated at 24.5 million people. The Angolan government believes that building its own food processing capacity is a crucial part of that effort to help reduce the cost of importing processed wheat flour, maize meal and cooking oils, while creating jobs for the Angolan people, lowering consumer food expenses and preserving foreign exchange.

Angola currently imports an estimated 800,000 MT of processed wheat flour from various origins to produce popular baguettes and Portuguese style bread, but the country was not always dependent on flour imports.

“U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) introduced HRW wheat to Angolan milling companies in 1993 through the USDA PL 480 Title 1 monetization program,” said Ed Wiese, USW Regional Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa. “The industry processed many thousands of MT of HRW every year until 2001 when the Title 1 program ended. And Angolan bakers told me they very much liked the quality of the HRW flour to make baguettes and Portuguese-style bread.”

When monetized U.S. HRW was no longer available, the Angolan government turned to subsidizing imported flour. Recently improved economic prospects and the government’s new focus created an opportunity to begin increasing flour milling capacity. To build on its legacy of success, USW hired a part-time consultant to provide timely and accurate information about U.S. HRW to Angolan flour millers, bakers, grain traders and government officials. Funding for this trade service comes from USW’s partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service export market development programs.

In 2016, Wiese met with representatives of an Angolan flour mill that plans to expand its capacity beginning in 2017. Wiese proposed a way to demonstrate the value and utility of U.S. HRW to that mill’s staff and customers. Under the USDA/FAS Quality Samples Program (QSP), USW arranged for 100 MT of HRW from the state of Kansas to be shipped to the Perdue export terminal in Norfolk, VA, loaded into five shipping containers and ultimately delivered to the mill in late January 2017.

A separate QSP shipment of U.S. HRW flour recently arrived at an Angola food processing company, intended to demonstrate the usefulness of HRW in pasta production. The current U.S. Ambassador to Angola, Helena M. La Lime, and representatives from USW and the North American Millers’ Association celebrated the arrival of this shipment in a ceremony at the processing company on Feb. 28. Africa Today reported that Amb. La Lime highlighted the great potential U.S. wheat has in supporting Angola’s milling and food industries and said the United States “supports Angola’s efforts to diversify the economy through industrialization and increased local production of consumer goods.”

“I believe U.S. wheat farmers would be proud to know that their wheat has the potential to help improve economic conditions in Angola,” said Wiese. “Through trade service, technical support and training, our organization tries to build lasting relationships with our valued customers around the world. And, assuming prices remain competitive in the changing world wheat trade, we hope that our support will lead to increased demand for HRW to produce great bread, pasta and other wheat food products for the Angolan people.”

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As USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day, there is someone, somewhere, talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share just some of the ways USW was working in January and February to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Egypt. USW Regional Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Ian Flagg attended a meeting with officials from the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) in Cairo, Egypt, to introduce USW and discuss the advantages of U.S. wheat in the government’s food procurement activities.

Haiti. USW Consultant Dr. Rebecca Regan and USW Mexico City Office Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre traveled to Haiti to conduct laboratory equipment training for staff at a local flour mill. The training included helping the mill staff consider how to match rheological and baking tests to specifications for their flour and semolina production.

Taiwan. USW cooperated with the Department of Health of Taipei City Government and Taipei Bakery Association (TBA) to conduct a promotional activity providing healthy bakery products prepared by 20 bakeries to more than 5,000 school children from 46 primary schools. The holiday bakery products focus on healthy ingredients to introduce school children to better dietary choices and to promote healthy bakery products using U.S. wheat.

Mexico. In February, USW Mexico City regional office staff had a series of meetings with the Mexican National Bakers’ Association (CANAINPA) to discuss how USW can collaborate with the Mexican baking industry in the future. CANAINPA recently modernized its baking school, with equipment provided by the Mexican baking industry.

Israel. Regional Vice President Ian Flagg and Regional Marketing Director Rutger Koekoek traveled to Israel to conduct a Crop Quality Seminar for the Israeli milling industry, grain trade and officials. They provided information about HRW crop quality and the most recent supply and demand estimates and other market insights. The event was organized together with the Manufacturers Association of Israel, which hosted the event including the meeting room and coffee break. The twenty participants included employees of five different milling companies representing eighty percent of the total annual Israeli milling volume.