NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, U.S. — When cereal manufacturers challenged Didion Milling, Cambria, Wisconsin, U.S., to give them a true whole grain flour made from corn, the company looked beyond standard methods to achieve the results desired.
“Didion had to change the way we handled the dry milling of corn in our plant,” explained Katie Dogs, the company’s public relations manager.
Success enabled the company to introduce HarvestGold whole grain corn flour at the 2014 Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition held in New Orleans, June 21-24. Attendees sampled whole grain Cajun beignets made with the new flour.
To qualify as a whole grain, all parts of the kernel — starch, protein, bran and germ — must be present. Conventional dry corn milling methods remove both bran and germ. When developing its customized process, Didion reviewed the enzyme activity of corn flour because the increased fat content of the germ may lead to rancidity. The company developed a proprietary process to deactivate these enzymes and, thus, achieve the shelf life its customers sought.
“HarvestGold whole grain corn flour fits a lot of trends,” Dogs said, with the most important being the changes now required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of foods for K-12 school meal. Grain-based foods served must meet minimum whole grain requirements. Cereals currently served in the program must carry at least 10 grams of whole grains per serving, with an ultimate goal of 16 grams per serving.
And it’s not only the school market that will benefit.
“Consumers now understand that starting their day with high-protein whole grains helps stave off hunger, improves the chance of making better food selections throughout the day and can ultimately lead to weight loss,” Dogs said. “Yet most Americans barely eat one serving of whole grains a day.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the world’s wheat supply has been thrown into question, with poorer nations facing scarcity and a potential food crisis, according to the United Nations.
Following are countries among the world’s least developed that are the most dependent on Russia and Ukraine for their annual wheat supply (2020), according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development. Nations in Africa import 44% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, according to the UN.
In marketing year 2022-23, the world is projected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to produce 779.03 million tonnes of wheat and provide 204.89 million tonnes for export.
These are the eight major wheat importing nations/regions as listed in the monthly USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report and their annual tonnes with production.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and the persistent La Niña climate phenomenon have combined to create some of the most volatile market conditions in recent memory, sending prices skyrocketing as nations that depend on wheat to feed their populations scramble to secure supplies.
Each month, the WASDE releases new projections to reflect the most recent global market and production conditions, and this slideshow will be updated with those changes.