There are many species of wheat grown all over the world and it is the most consumed grain in a number of countries. America, Europe, and Australia are some of the largest exporters of wheat, all growing different varieties. All wheat contains gluten, which is the common name for two water-insoluble proteins, glutenin and gliadin.
America is one of the largest exporters of wheat, producing five different varieties: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, white, and durum. America mainly exports its wheat to countries throughout Asia, South America and North Africa.
The two hard varieties contain a high amount of gluten, around 12-15 per cent. Grown in winter and spring respectively, they make up roughly 60 per cent of America’s total wheat production.
Soft red winter has a low amount of gluten, around 10 percent. Soft red winter makes up 23 per cent of America’s wheat production.
White wheat is a broad category that contains both hard and soft varieties, as well as winter and spring varieties. The harder varieties contain a high level of gluten, whereas the softer varieties will contain a low level. White makes up roughly 15 per cent of the wheat production in America.
American durum wheat has a high level of gluten, about 13 per cent. Durum only accounts for around two per cent of American wheat production.
Many European countries grow different species of wheat, predominantly soft varieties containing around 10 per cent gluten. European wheat generally contains less gluten and proteins not only because of the difference in species, but because of the soil and growing conditions. Europe generally exports wheat to the Middle East and North African countries.
France is Europe’s top wheat grower and exporter, mostly growing durum and common white species. Common wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a term used to refer to bread wheat.
European durum wheat contains around 13-14 per cent gluten and common wheat contains between 7-10 per cent, the softer varieties generally having less.
Australia grows a variety of different species of wheat including prime hard, hard, premium white, standard white, noodle, soft, and durum. Most of Australia’s wheat is exported to Asia and the Middle East. Australia only records protein levels in wheat, not gluten specifically, with gluten making up roughly 80 per cent of the total protein in wheat (Malik – 2009).
Australian prime hard wheat contains protein levels of 13-14 per cent and is made up from specific hard white varieties.
Australian hard wheat has a protein level of 11-12 per cent and is made up of specific hard-grained white wheat varieties.
Australian premium white wheat consists of several species of hard white varieties and contains 10-11 per cent protein.
Australian standard white wheat contains a medium to low level of protein.
Noodle wheats are blended and contain gluten.
Australian soft wheat consists of several different soft white varieties and contains around 8-10 per cent protein.
Australian durum wheat is a combination of several different varieties and has a protein level of around 13-14 per cent.