The effect of the environment on the grain colour and quality of commercially grown Canada hard white spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L. 'Snowbird'.

Lukow, O.M., Adams, K., Suchy, J., DePauw, R.M., and Humphreys, D.G. (2013). "The effect of the environment on the grain colour and quality of commercially grown Canada hard white spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L. 'Snowbird'.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 93(1), pp. 1-11. doi : 10.4141/cjps2012-102  Access to full text

Abstract

One of the main advantages of hard white wheat is its lighter grain colour, which can produce visually appealing lighter-coloured end-products. However, grain colour variation can be a concern due to a lack of consistency. This study was carried out to determine the effect of the environment on commercially grown hard white wheat grain colour and wheat grading. More than 1100 samples of the cultivar Snowbird were collected from elevators across western Canada during the 2003 to 2007 crop years. Grain and wholemeal colours were recorded using the CIE L* a* b* scale. Samples were analyzed for grain properties including dimensions, hardness and protein content. Variation in grain colour was mostly attributed to annual fluctuations in climatic conditions (71-79%) and agro-climates (13-18%). Grain ranged in colour from white and bright to dark grey-red. Grain brightness was very highly correlated with grain yellowness. Grain a* and b* were inversely related to grade indicating that higher quality grain was redder and more yellow than lower grades. Warmer and drier environments showed reduced grain yields but produced on average better quality grain with higher protein content.

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