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UK breadmaking sector could benefit from new ‘superwheat’

UK breadmaking sector could benefit from new ‘superwheat’

A new 'superwheat' has been highlighted as a quality suitable for the UK's breadmaking industry.

The National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) noted that the ingredient has been developed for growing around the country and yields 30 per cent more than traditional wheats. The non-GM superwheat has been created through a combination of an ancient ancestor of the crop with a modern variety in order to create a much more resourceful strain. Officials at the NIAB believe that it could help to significantly boost productivity within the UK's agricultural industry for years to come.

It has already undergone a series of trials and tests, with the resulting crop seeming bigger and stronger than what is currently available. The NIAB explained that it will take at least five years of assessments before the wheat is ready to be harvested by farmers. However, there have been calls from the agricultural sector for the government, food industry and scientists to push for new initiatives.

Speaking to FoodManufacture.co.uk, Bill Clark, NIAB commercial technical director in Cambridge, said: "Wheat yields across Europe have reached a plateau. In trials, yields are going up slightly but not fast enough to meet the global food security challenges - not just climate change but population growth. We need to increase food production much more rapidly than we’ve been able to."

Farmers have been looking for a much needed boost following an unseasonably cold spring in 2013 that followed one of the wettest years on record. Heavy snowfall during the opening part of 2013 had caused downturn for a large number within the agricultural sector, which meant some were unable to capatilise on the horsemeat scandal that engulfed a number of major retailers.

Wheat accounts for one in five of all the calories consumed across the globe. By introducing a new crop that has the potential to yield 30 per cent more than the currently available plants is due to provide a substantial boost to the farming community.

 

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