Grain markets look to Australia to fill European shortfall

All eyes are on Australia’s developing winter crop as global grains markets look to Australia to offset a poor European harvest hit by drought, an international grains strategist has told local growers.

Rabobank London-based global grains and oilseeds strategist Stefan Vogel, speaking on the bank’s Australian Grain Mid-season Webinar, said when it comes to wheat and canola in particular, “we are all looking for good crops in Australia to make up the shortfall caused by the poor season in Europe”.

Vogel said after an excellent 2019/20 European harvest where the European Union exported 38 million metric tonnes (mmt) of wheat, this year’s EU export volumes are set to fall at least 10 mmt with most European grain-growing nations – including France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria – beset by dry conditions and poor yields. While Ukraine, another  global wheat exporter, is expecting an almost 10 per cent smaller crop than last year.

And this shortfall would remain, he said, even with Russia, “the big guy in the room”, still expected to produce a bigger wheat crop than last year, bring some harvest pressure to recent market tightening.

“So who can offset that shortfall in European production that would be going into export markets? Everyone is banking on Australia to make that happen on the world market because no one else has a whole lot of buffer to make that up. So if we want to keep stable or even growing global export volumes, Australia is actually required to give us a decent amount of wheat on to the world export market,” he said.

For canola too, Vogel said, a poor harvest in Europe will likely see the EU producing its lowest crop since 2006 in the 2020/21 season. And this spells good news for Australia, pushing EU import demand to likely exceed last season’s record high.

This will potentially see Europe double its volume of canola imports from Australia, he said, “Once again in Europe, we have an extremely poor rapeseed/canola crop this year, after suffering the adverse effects of very warm and dry conditions during last year’s autumn plantings and during yield development this April and May. Last year, the European rapeseed crop was bad, but this year the already-harvested crop is even worse.”

Added to this, Vogel said, Ukraine – a country from which Europe usually imports as much canola as is available – will also deliver a diminished crop this year. And Canadian canola – which usually makes up the residual in the EU import mix – is less favoured by EU oilseed processors and canola meal feeders due to its typical GM content.

“So Europe is actually going to need a lot of Australian canola – depending on how much you can ship to us, maybe close to doubling the amount we took last year and getting back to volumes seen in 2017 and 2015 of around 1.9 million tonnes,” he said.

This European supply shortage had been helping to support canola prices, Mr Vogel said, despite temporarily-reduced demand for biodiesel – a key end use for canola oil in the EU market – due to the decline in travel during COVID-19 lockdowns.

“The European price for biodiesel was down during April and May on the back of low demand, but has since largely recovered as we have now chewed through stocks and driving has almost normalised again,” he said. “COVID-19 has clearly hit the prices of canola in Europe, although they are in the meantime still holding above the last few years given improved demand and the extremely poor European crop.”

COVID impacts
Overall for the global grains and oilseeds market, Vogel told the webinar, the immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic had primarily been felt in the biofuel sector, as well in malt and cotton.

“Clearly we’ve seen with the lockdowns, people were not driving as much to go out or go to work, so the demand for biofuels as a whole suffered. And the same is true for malt where food service and hospitality was closed for the most part and sporting events were shut, so people weren’t consuming the same volumes of beer,” he said.

“And for cotton, people have not been buying as many clothes because they have not been going out or to the office as much, but instead stayed home.”

Vogel said the bank predicts recovery in all these sectors in the next 12 months – albeit potentially not fully, but to “between 85 to 95 per cent of normal levels”.

For the feed grain sector – which, along with food grain, had been relatively unscathed by the effects of the pandemic so far – the impacts of COVID-19 may become more pronounced in the coming 12 months, he said, as the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus resulted in reduced meat consumption in developing countries.

“We are actually thinking this could get worse in some countries where reduced incomes may see consumers not being able to afford as much meat as they normally consume. We have to consider if there will be a reduction in meat demand and therefore a reduction in livestock feed demand,” he said.

Australian outlook
Rabobank Australian senior grains and oilseeds analyst, Cheryl Kalisch Gordon, told the webinar the bank maintained a positive outlook on the year ahead for Australian grain growers.

While Rabobank had slightly revised down its forecast 2020/21 wheat production to 25 million tonnes due to dryness in some production areas, Dr Kalisch Gordon said Australia would be back as a significant player on the global grain export markets this year.

“With production prospects higher for grain growers in most areas, it will be a year that will start to make up (although not entirely) for the troubling years we’ve had recently,” she said.

In terms of pricing, Kalisch Gordon said, “basis was always going to be moving down from the highs of recent years, which had been fuelled by drought-driven supply shortages”, however prices were expected to find a level of support from the rebuilding of grain stocks needed in Australia.

For wheat, while prices were expected to come in below the current five-year-average – which has been elevated by some ports recording AUD450/tonne wheat for extended periods during the drought – prices should be above the 10-year average.

In addition, she said, growers, particularly those in the eastern states, had a greater – and increasing – capacity for grain storage than in the past, and therefore more capability to avoid harvest sales.

“Added to this, our house view is the Australian dollar will be closer to 64 to 65 US cents by the end of the year and harvest period, and therefore a correction from the higher level it is now at,” she said. “Plus we’ve also had fairly favourable input pricing, especially the cost of urea, which is helpful in boosting yields and protein levels.”

Barley – which typically accounts for between around 20 per cent of Australian farmers’ cropping programs – was going to be “less easy to deal with”, she conceded, with the challenge of finding new export markets to replace being shut out of the main Chinese market due to recently-imposed trade tariffs, and with global stocks high.

“Moving our barley is going to be tricky. The capacity for the barley price to find strength is really going to depend on how farmers hold barley for that feed grain complex in Australia,” she said.

“But globally there is still an animal proteins deficit, so feeding stock isn’t going to be a bad outcome, especially if you are a mixed farmer.”

Smart systems for gluten-free grains win national awards

Agricultural innovations that enable coeliac sufferers to safely eat cereals and artificial intelligence systems for precision crop management were tonight recognised with national honours at the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s (ATSE) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

The prestigious ICM Agrifood Award distinguishes two applied scientists who have made significant contributions to the agriculture sector.

They are:

  • Professor Michelle Colgrave of Edith Cowan University (School of Science) and CSIRO (Agriculture and Food), for her major breakthroughs in the analysis of gluten, the protein which causes coeliac disease, and
  •  Dr Greg Falzon, of Flinders University (College of Science and Engineering), for developing and applying artificial intelligence to create a multi-billion dollar growth industry in precision agriculture systems.

Professor Colgrave’s research has had a profound impact in the development of an ultra-low gluten barley, now known as Kebari.

Kebari is used in the production of gluten-free cereals, beers and food products that contain the nutritional benefits of whole grains, while being safe for coeliac sufferers.

Professor Colgrave said she was deeply honoured to receive the 2020 ICM Agrifood Award.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with many brilliant scientists and conduct research to deliver safe food and new sustainable agricultural products,” Professor Colgrave said.

“The most rewarding aspect of my work is seeing our team’s research delivered from the lab to the market.”

Falzon has developed a surveillance alert camera system to detect feral animals, created sensor networks to manage soil moisture, and written algorithms and software to facilitate drone-based monitoring of livestock.

Falzon said that this award was incredibly significant.

“Being recognised for my contributions to the AgriFood industry is very meaningful to me,” Dr Falzon said.

“My research passion, drive and motivation are all focused on meeting our many challenges to food security and sustainability.”

ATSE President Hugh Bradlow congratulated the winners, saying ICM Agrifood Awards recognised the vital role of the R&D to advancing Australia’s strength as an agricultural powerhouse.

“The ICM Agrifood Awards acknowledge the outstanding work of two individuals who are achieving substantial peer or industry recognition of their work in improving the overall Australian food sector,” Professor Bradlow said.

“I congratulate Professor Colgrave on her work, which will bring significant improvements to the quality of life for people with coeliac disease.

“And to Dr Falzon my congratulations. With the challenge we face ahead of us having intelligent systems to monitor our agricultural systems will improve the quality and effectiveness of our crop and livestock management.”

Grains: A global food resource

The 69th Australasian Grain Science Conference, with the theme of ‘Grains: A Global Food Resource’, will bring together a diverse range of delegates from academia, government research agencies and industry who undertake research and innovation activities across the grains industry value-chain.

The conference represents all cereal, pulse and oilseed commodities, allied processing industries, research medical groups and marketers, and promotes research and innovation activities including health and nutrition, plant breeding and crop quality improvement.

The conference will be held August 27-29, 2019, at the Rydges on Swanston, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia. The program includes scientific oral and poster sessions and social events together with a grains industry forum which will address topics such as current and future markets- threats and opportunities, climate change and food security.

Research partnership established for WA grains industry

Western Australia’s grains industry is set to benefit from a $48 million scientific research partnership between the Western Australian government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

A major new research program will attempt to unlock the potential of WA’s grainbelt soils and exploratory projects to boost oat, canola, lupin and pulse production and value for WA growers.

The WA government has committed $25 million over five years for the WA-based projects led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s research arm.

The funding commitment includes $22 million to overcome soil constraints and develop transformational soil technologies.

A further $3 million will help examine new opportunities for the WA grains industry, including a fresh approach to matching genetics for early sowing opportunities for oats, canola and lupins in key environments.

“Scientific research is key to helping our growers change and adapt to produce better crops, increase productivity and export competitiveness, and in turn support our regional economies and communities,” said Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

“This industry is hungry for technology to address Western Australia’s unique conditions and market challenges while striving for record growth like this season’s impressive 17.9 million tonne harvest – our second biggest crop ever.”

The six projects include:

  • Re-engineering soils to improve water and nutrient flow to crops;
  • Increasing farming system profitability and the longevity of benefits following soil amelioration;
  • Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity or transient salinity in the eastern grainbelt;
  • Optimising yield and expanding the area of high-value pulses – lentil, faba bean and chickpea – in Western Australia;
  • Evaluating milling oat varieties and optimising profitability from early-sown oats; and
  • Expanding the sowing window for canola and lupins.

Western Australia’s grains industry is estimated to have injected $7 billion into the WA economy this season, by far the state’s biggest agricultural export and underpinning many rural and regional communities.

Food, drink and medicine breakthrough seeded

Worldwide production of food, beverages and medicinal plants could become cheaper and more reliable using information from a germination breakthrough by La Trobe University and the University of Western Australia scientists.

Growers of seeds, such as of rice for food, barley for beer and poppies for codeine, would benefit greatly from having control over when they germinate. The research, published in Genome Biology, is starting to decipher how a crop’s genome can control the time that a seed wakes up. 

“Scientists and crop breeders have been interested in seed dormancy and germination for a very long time,” said La Trobe University’s Dr Mathew Lewsey.

“They breed carefully to control it in many crops because it affects their yields enormously.”

With the knowledge gained from this research, Dr Lewsey hopes to perfect the genome-editing technology necessary to produce new plant cultivars that germinate differently, giving farmers the ability to precisely control when their crops are ready for harvest.

“We want to be able to control when seeds wake up and how quickly they do it,” he said. 

Dr Quentin Gouil, also of La Trobe University’s Centre for AgriBioscience, said the boon for food security around the world would be incredible for staple foods such as rice, corn and wheat.

“The production of beer and spirits would also benefit from this level of control, along with medicines such as morphine and codeine,” said Dr Gouil.

“Farmers and brewers can produce higher quality products if they know exactly when their seeds will wake.”

Colleague Dr Reena Narsai, from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at La Trobe University, is excited about the opportunities that could arise from this research in coming years.

“Our next move is to transfer our findings from the model research plant Arabidopsis into crop plants such as barley and rice,” she said.

“New cultivars of plants that germinate as growers want would be permanently modified so that, when those plants are propagated, their seeds and the offspring from those would all have the new behaviour.

“We will look to generate varieties that have accelerated or slowed-down germination and will study how they control the genetic switches that turn this off and on.”

The study was conducted by researchers from the La Trobe University Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences at the Centre for AgriBioscience, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and the University of Western Australia.

Adelaide to receive funding for grains research​

New grain research facilities worth more than $1.1 million will be established at the University of Adelaide Waite campus, to boost Australian grains research into improving drought and heat tolerance.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the funding was another important measure supporting the productivity and profitability of Australia’s grain industries through the development of more drought-resistant crops.

“The Coalition Government, recently identified as the largest public contributor to rural Research and Development funding in Australia, is committed to ensuring our investments provide practical benefits for our farmers and agriculture industries,” Minister Joyce said.

“The University of Adelaide’s new infrastructure will include two new controlled environment growth rooms (CERs) and LED lighting in their glasshouses and the two CERs.

“The controlled environments will facilitate simultaneous drought and heat experiments designed to improve the combined drought and heat tolerance of grain crops and improve crop yields, with an industry-wide impact.”

Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, said the funding was a significant boost for Australia’s grains research capacity.

“The University of Adelaide’s Waite campus continues to play an important part in the ongoing research that supports improvements for the Australian grains industry,” Ms Flint said.

“We are proud of what the university has already achieved and I am excited by the prospect of what this funding will deliver for Australia’s grains industry going forward.”

The project is jointly funded by the Coalition Government and growers, through levies and matching contributions.

WA Crop Research Hub to receive $3m to boost grains industry

Australian grain industries will benefit from a $3 million grant to create a new Crop Research Hub in Western Australia, charged with improving grain crop productivity and disease resistance Australia wide.

​Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said Murdoch University had received a $3 million Grains Industry Infrastructure Grant to establish the WA Crop Research Hub under a collaboration between Murdoch University, Curtin University and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

“The Coalition Government knows how critical research and development (R&D) is to productive and profitable industries and that’s why this government is investing unprecedented amounts under various programmes in to R&D,” Minister Joyce said.

“This innovative project will draw on the specialist research skills from each party to develop new research in crop pathology, plant physiology and genetic improvement.

“The outcomes of this research will be applied to improve crop productivity and resistance to disease, strengthening the national grain industry and profitability for Australian grain growers.

GRDC Chairman Mr John Woods said for the GRDC to deliver on its purpose of investing in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers it was essential for research partners to have the critical capacity they required.

“Our RD&E partners need good infrastructure and the right tools to deliver for the grains industry,” Mr Woods said.

“For the first time GRDC has gone out nationally to support our research partners in creating critical capacity and capability to deliver greater profitability for growers. This is essential to ensure a sustainable grains industry to underpin strong rural communities and a healthy economy.

Murdoch University’s $3 million grant will be coupled with a co-contribution of $2 million by the project partners.

This collaboration is part of the Grains Industry Infrastructure Grants programme, administered by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, with 15 recipients sharing in $15 million in competitive grants.

Funding boost for Grains Centre of Excellence

The Victorian Government is strengthening Wimmera Southern Mallee’s leadership in grains innovation with new funding to advance the region’s competitive advantage in agri-science.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has announced $250,000 towards developing a business case for a Networked Grains Centre of Excellence to build on its industry networks.

Ms Pulford said the grains industry in the Wimmera Southern Mallee has a proud history of government and industry partnerships in grains innovation.

The Networked Grains Centre of Excellence will be a virtual centre with a focal point located at the Grains Innovation Park (GIP) in Horsham.

GIP was established as a partnership between the Victorian Government and industry in 1960. It provides the local grains industry with access to technology and expertise to support innovation.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership identified the Networked Grains Centre of Excellence as a priority in 2016, and the Labor Government provided funding in the 2017/2018 Victorian Budget.

Enhancing the Centre’s strategic partnerships with a new business model will create an opportunity to attract innovative enterprises and investment into the grains sector, and grow the reputation of Horsham as an internationally recognised innovation centre.

The announcement today follows last week’s joint funding deal with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Labor Government for a renewed five year, $52 million research agreement.

Regional Development Victoria and Agriculture Victoria have worked closely with the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership on the terms of reference for a working group to progress the project. The working group will convene in late August.

“Last year’s Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership identified the Networked Grains Centre of Excellence as a priority – we’ve listened and now we’ve delivered,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.


Research suggests eating grains does not contribute to excess weight

New research challenges the long-standing belief that grains contribute to excess weight, and suggests they are more beneficial than Australians think – for our BMI, our waistlines and our fibre intakes.

An analysis of national ABS data of 9,3411 Australian adults found that eating core grain foods was not linked to the size of your waistline. This is despite 42 per cent of Australians reporting that they limit grain foods to assist with weight loss.

The analysis of the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey commissioned by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) will be unveiled today at an industry Grains for Health Forum in Sydney, hosted by GLNC.

The data reveals that people who eat six or more serves of core grain foods each day, including bread and pasta, have a similar waistline and Body Mass Index (BMI) as people who restrict their intake of grain foods.

Six serves of core grain foods a day, which is the recommendation for Australian adults aged 19 to 50 years, is as easy as a bowl of high fibre breakfast cereal in the morning, a wholemeal sandwich for lunch and a stir-fry with rice for dinner.

Chris Cashman, GLNC Nutrition Program Manager and Accredited Practising Dietitian, said core grain foods are increasingly being viewed as non-essential due to misconceptions that they make people overweight and have minimum nutritional value.

“Grains don’t deserve the bad rap they often get as a result of fad diet trends,” Mr Cashman said.

“In fact, a recent comprehensive audit of all grains on the shelf has confirmed that the vast majority (95 per cent) of white and wholemeal breads are low in sugar – less than 5g per 100g, which equals about one teaspoon; while 81 per cent of loaf breads are a source of plant-based protein and 88 per cent of breakfast cereals are a source of fibre.”

The 2015-2016 Product Audit4, commissioned by GLNC, involved a systematic analysis of 1,890 grain foods, including bread (253 loaves), breakfast cereals (420), as well as pasta, noodles and rice.

Why do people decide to go gluten- or wheat-free?

At different times, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and protein have all been targeted as “bad” dietary factors. Right now the focus seems to have shifted to gluten: a protein found in cereal grains, especially wheat but also rye, barley and oats.

For a small proportion of consumers such as those diagnosed with coeliac disease or wheat allergy, the avoidance of wheat and other gluten-containing foods is essential. Symptoms for sufferers can include nausea, vomiting, cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue and even very serious conditions such as liver disease.

The prevalence in the population of coeliac disease and wheat allergy, while significant, sits between 1-2%.

But consumer foods labelled as either “gluten-free” or “lactose-free” are growing. And restrictive diets such as paleo – which advocates eliminating grain and dairy products – are also growing in popularity. This suggests a lot more people are making the choice to go gluten- or wheat-free over and above those with a diagnosed allergy.

To understand more about this trend CSIRO conducted a nationwide survey of nearly 1,200 people selected at random from the Australian electoral roll. The aim of the research was not only to quantify the prevalence of wheat avoidance in Australia but also to understand why they made this decision.

Wheat avoidance in Australia

The survey revealed that as many as one in ten Australian adults, or approximately 1.8 million people, were avoiding or limiting their consumption of wheat-based products. Women were more likely to be avoiding wheat than men.

The survey also revealed that more than half (53%) of those who were avoiding wheat were also avoiding dairy-based foods.

Why is this an issue? According to current Australian Dietary Guidelines, grain- and dairy-based foods are important components of a balanced diet. They contribute significantly to the daily dietary fibre and calcium intake of both adults and children. They also deliver other important nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals, and if eating whole grain, resistant starch.


Wheat is also high in fibre, which our body needs. Brenda Wiley/Flickr, CC BY


So why are people choosing to avoid wheat?

The reasons behind this decision are complex. Some respondents reported that they were avoiding wheat due to a diagnosis of coeliac disease (1.1%), or because a family member has been diagnosed with coeliac disease. Others stated they were avoiding wheat for weight-control or taste preferences.

However, the vast majority of the survey’s wheat-avoiding respondents – which equates to 7% of non-coeliac Australians – were avoiding wheat-containing foods to manage a range of adverse symptoms they attributed to the consumption of these products. Symptoms were mostly gastrointestinal in nature (bloating, wind and abdominal cramps) but also included fatigue/tiredness.

When asked if they had any formal diagnosis, including that of an intolerance, allergy or coeliac disease, which required them to avoid wheat, most (84%) of these symptomatic individuals said no.

So what sources are people relying on when it comes to making decisions such as avoiding wheat?

There is a great deal of information that links the consumption of specific foods to adverse symptoms. According to our data, those who decide to eliminate wheat tend to do so based on advice from sources such as complementary practitioners like naturopaths, family, friends, the media and to a lesser extent their GP or a medical specialist.

Is wheat really so bad?

Until recently it was thought that gluten was only really a problem for individuals with coeliac disease. Our findings, plus the extraordinary rise in popularity of the gluten-free diet in Australia and elsewhere, suggest that, apart from coeliac disease and wheat allergy, other conditions associated with the ingestion of wheat are emerging as health care concerns.

Currently, the driver of most of the research activity in this area is the concept of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). NCGS is defined as adverse (but not allergic) reactions to the consumption of gluten, where gastrointestinal symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet.

Many aspects of NCGS remain unclear, including how prevalent it is, how it presents itself, the variation in symptoms and how to treat it. There is also considerable debate as to whether it is in fact gluten or some other component of wheat that triggers the reported symptoms.

Fructans, for example, are short-chain carbohydrates which are found in wheat-based products. For a proportion of the general population, fructans, along with other short-chain carbohydrates (collectively called FODMAPS), can trigger symptoms such as bloating, wind or cramps by holding water in the gut or through the rapid production of gas by intestinal bacteria.

For these people, finding out what is actually causing their symptoms can be difficult because they’re most likely avoiding more than one dietary component at a time.

Until we know more, there’s a risk that a significant proportion of Australians are undertaking diets that are unnecessarily restrictive and potentially creating nutritional imbalances.

That the majority of those with symptoms appear to be bypassing conventional medical advice is also of concern. This means more serious clinical conditions could be going undetected.

The Conversation

Sinead Golley, Postdoctoral research fellow, CSIRO

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Australians making the switch to gluten as gluten-free labelling increases

A nationwide survey conducted by the CSIRO has found that a greater number of people are making the choice to go gluten or wheat-free as consumer foods are increasingly labelled as either gluten or lactose free. 

In recent decades, the focus on ‘bad’ dietary factors has shifted to gluten: a protein found in cereal grains such as rye, barley and oats. For consumers diagnosed with a wheat allergy, the avoidance of wheat and other gluten-containing foods is essential. 

Food billed as “gluten-free” isn’t necessarily healthier. Gluten-free products can be high in calories, fat and carbohydrates, leading some people to gain weight when going gluten free. 
With coeliac disease, the body’s immune system reacts to consuming gluten by damaging the lining of the small intestine, which interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Gluten intolerant or sensitive people experience negative reactions to gluten, but do not actually have coeliac disease. 

To add to the confusion, you can also have a wheat allergy, which is an aversion to wheat itself, so a gluten-free product may not necessarily be OK for those with a wheat allergy. With so many different causes, conditions and symptoms, diagnosis is extremely hard, and there is a lot of misinformation about gluten.

The data collected revealed that as many as 1 in 10 Australian adults, or approximately 1.8 million people, were currently avoiding or limiting their consumption of wheat-based products –with women more likely to be avoiding wheat on average than men. 

According to current Australian Dietary Guidelines, both grain and dairy based foods are an important part of a balanced diet through contributing to the daily dietary fibre and calcium intake of both adults and children.

“Our findings, plus the extraordinary rise in popularity of the gluten-free diet in Australia and elsewhere, suggest that, apart from the coeliac disease and wheat allergy, other conditions associated with the ingestion of wheat are emerging as health care concerns. Currently, the driver of most of the research activity in this area is the concept of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS),” CSIRO said on it’s blog website.

CSIRO believes that the significant proportion of Australians undertaking restrictive diets may pose the potential danger of associated nutritional imbalances. A majority of symptomatic respondents appeared to be bypassing conventional medical advice in their decision to go wheat-free, raising the potential risk of a clinical condition going undetected. 


Laucke launches single origin flour from Kangaroo Island

For many years, Laucke Flour Mills Managing Director Mark Laucke has been crafting products derived from grains of known and traceable sources in the same way the wine industry produces wine from selected varieties and regions. 

“Unique food and wine is pivotal to Australia’s prosperity and central to its identity,” Mr Laucke said.

“Just like their wine industry counterparts — the best grain growers take pride in their high quality produce derived from clean air, water, soils and pristine seed stocks,” he said.

“In a world where food safety concerns are growing, South Australia is pioneering ‘paddock to plate’ traceability and leading food safety certification, ensuring absolute confidence and peace of mind for domestic and international consumers,” Mr Laucke said.

That opportunity has been realised this month with the launch of Laucke Flour Mills’ Single Origin Kangaroo Flours – ‘Classic’ and ‘Rising’— both milled from grain traceable to its Kangaroo Island origins.

“We are enormously proud to be partnering with the farmers of Kangaroo Island, who have grasped the opportunity and developed the sophistication to produce and supply us with grain that is identifiable, certified, tracked and documented,” Mr Laucke said.

“The iconic, pristine, and natural environment of Kangaroo Island is separated from the Australian mainland by 22 km and therefore offers a provenance unique to the world.

“The region’s soil and natural environment produces a range of unique flavoured local foods and beverages —such as wines, cheese, olives, and honey —and grains are no exception.

“Nowhere else in the world replicates the grains as grown from the purity of the water, air and soil of Kangaroo Island.” 

“We can track the provenance of the grain from the actual paddock—where that vintage of their grain was grown – all the way through to careful segregation and milling, where the unique characteristics of the wheat are retained within the flour,” Mr Laucke said.

Laucke Flour Mills Single Origin Kangaroo Flour –  ‘Classic’ and ‘Rising’ are both available in Woolworths, and selected independent grocery stores in the coming weeks.