Milling quality and white salt noodle color of Chinese winter wheat cultivars
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Improvement of milling quality is an important aspect in wheat breeding programs. However, the milling quality of Chinese wheats remains largely unexplored. Fifty-seven Chinese winter wheat cultivars from four regions were used to investigate the variation of milling quality parameters and to determine the associations between milling quality traits and color of noodle sheet. Substantial variation was presented for all measured parameters in this germplasm pool. Complete soft, hard, and medium-hard types were observed. Soft wheat and hard wheat show significant differences in flour ash content, flour bran area, and flour color grade. No simple trait can be used to select for flour milling quality. High flour ash content and bran speck area contributed negatively to brightness of dry flour. Correlation coefficients (r) between L* value of dry flour and flour ash content and bran speck area were -0.47 and -0.65 for hard cultivars, and -0.51 and -0.72 for soft cultivars, respectively. Flour color grade (FCG) was significantly and positively associated with bran speck area; r = 0.56 and 0.73 for hard and soft wheats, respectively. There was a high correlation between FCG and L* value of flour water slurry (r = -0.95). Strong associations were also established between milling quality index (MQI) and FCG, L* value of dry flour, flour-water slurry, and white salted noodle sheet for both hard and soft wheats. In conclusion, substantial progress could be achieved in improvement of milling quality in Chinese winter wheats through genetic selection, and FCG and MQI could be two important parameters for evaluation of milling quality in breeding programs.
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