Research Scientist Plant & Food Research
Arran has been involved in wheat research for over 35 years, beginning his career with the Wheat Research Institute in 1982. He has been involved with BIRT for about 25 years. His focus has always been on cereal science, specifically relating small scale testing to industry performance.
Arran presented on his research into holes in bread, a problem that has increased in recent years and affected both New Zealand and Australia. The problem is with white and grain but not meal products and Arran says it is not a simple one with a simple solution but a complex and detailed issue. Arran’s research has led him to the conclusion that there is an issue with the flour which may take some years to resolve. In the meantime he recommends bakers reduce the problem by paying attention to the details of their production process. Arran used a series of photos and video clips to show various elements of the production process which may cause damage to the dough and lead to holes in the finished bread product.
“There is recognition within arable, milling and baking industry that flour properties need to change. Breeding objectives are under review. New tests are actively being investigated. This includes small scale breeding tests and new cultivar pre-release pilot scale tests that better mimic industrial production.” For now, he says the main focus must be on being gentle with the dough.