Chapter 11. Wheat quality
Wheat quality is a complex concept whose importance lies in determining the ability of each segment of the post-harvest processing and marketing industries to minimize cost while maximizing profit. Wheat quality is also a highly subjective concept that could be defined differently by the various stakeholders in the wheat value chain. It is usually subdivided into milling, processing, end-use and nutritional quality. Of these subcomponents, end-use quality, the ability of a wheat variety to produce a specific food according to the consumers preferences is probably the most important. Wheat is used to make hundreds of different products worldwide, each one with specific grain quality requirements. In this chapter are explained the main traits that define end-use quality (grain hardness, gluten, color and starch) and that need to be modulated to obtain the desired product properties. The genetic control as well as the environmental effects on those traits are also presented. Finally, breeding and selection strategies to genetically improve end-use quality for the most important wheat products globally (bread, noodles, cookies, and pasta) are presented in brief.