Triticale (Triticosecale × Wittmack) is a high yielding cereal crop with the potential to increase grain production for human food in the coming decades. The quality of triticale flour is usually intermediate between its progenitor species; however, there are considerable differences in quality and response to agronomic conditions among cultivars. The aim of this research was to quantify existing genetic variation to provide preliminary data for classification of triticale cultivars for a milling market. Eleven triticale cultivars from three growing environments were compared with five wheat cultivars bred for various end users. Average protein content, milling yield, thousand-kernel weight, test weight, hardness, colour and ash content supported previous reports. One cultivar was identified with grain hardness and milling yield equivalent to durum wheat, suggesting a null allele at the rye softness protein locus. Ash content was higher than wheat, particularly in the flour despite lower extraction rates, suggesting triticale naturally stores more minerals in its endosperm and the benchmark for milling-grade triticale should be higher than the standard for wheat. Cookie dough weight of triticale was significantly lower per unit volume, indicating current baking processes must be altered to deal with the generally poor water retention of triticale. Significant differences were observed among cultivars for cookie quality and some produced cookies equivalent to soft wheat. There is a clear need to classify cultivars into suitability for various end users to facilitate production and marketing of quality triticale.
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Vol. 64 • No. 9