1 Senior Advisor, Technology, Canadian International Grains Institute, 1000-303 Main St, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3C 3G7. E-mail: email@example.com
Asia represents one of the largest and most diversified markets for wheat products. These products require flour that meets certain specifications in terms of both processing and end-product quality. The long-standing prevalence of end products such as noodles, steamed buns, and dumplings relates to their deep roots as traditional foods of choice in most parts of Asia. In recent years, products that have long been popular in Western countries have made inroads in Asia, gaining in popularity along with rapid growth in the hospitality industry, expanding fast-food franchises, and changing lifestyles. Products such as sandwich bread, rolls, baguettes, croissants, and sweet goods are also becoming popular wheat-based products. Asian products that were historically enjoyed in limited geographic regions have seen their popularity grow beyond regional borders over the years, through travel, migration, and globalization; for example, instant noodles are now enjoyed by consumers worldwide due to their ease of preparation, flavor, and long shelf life. From the perspective of milling suitable flours for this diverse range of products, there are a variety of flour types that are produced to cater to the individual needs of specific end users. This is reflected in the large number of different types of flours produced by individual flour mills, which can easily exceed 100 types, depending on the range of end products.