Club Wheat Come Back in Pacific Northwest

Club Wheat Come Back in Pacific Northwest

Many years ago Club Wheat was the only wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest — then rust problems essentially wiped it out of production during the 1950s and ‘60s. However thanks to the region’s wheat breeding programs now there are varieties of Club Wheat that are rust-resistant.

Four years ago,a group of farmers in Central Washington’s Almira area asked the question, how can we add value to this product for producers.

With a USDA grant, the group, Gateway Milling, investigated the feasibility of positioning club wheat as a stand alone product. Gateway Project Team Members Marvin Clinesmith shares more

Clinesmith: “We’re excited about what possibilities it has — because they are absolutely huge. When you compare the attributes and functionality of Club Wheat versus other wheats — even compared to the common white wheat. We actually in this study for the Value added producer grant, we actually did four different cookies - in a blind study — using a particular kind of cookie like lemon shortbread made with common wheat and then made with Club wheat. Predominately over the whole survey they picked the club formula. So there are definite attributes there in taste and texture that are unique and different.”

Clinesmith adds that other Club Wheat attributes include that it is naturally lower in gluten, has a reduced baking time and end-baked items are about 30 percent less in calories.

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