World Grain - March 2021 - 22

Wheat milling in

South Africa
Standardization of flour is a top priority
by Liezel Huysamen and Jannes C. Peemöller

22

domestic wheat. Even though the government has been
trying for many years to massively expand local wheat
cultivation, domestic agriculture only covers between
40% to 50% of the total wheat demand.
The quality varies considerably, as there are major
GL൵HUHQFHVEHWZHHQWKHLQGLYLGXDOJURZLQJUHJLRQVLQ
terms of climate, rainfall, environmental interaction
and cultivation practices.
Three crop regions
There are three wheat-breeding programs in South
Africa: winter rainfall, summer rainfall and irrigation
areas. The major producer is the Western Cape province, which has a Mediterranean climate characterized
by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. More than
80% of the rainfall is received in winter between April
and September, making the Western Cape a predominantly winter rainfall area.
The summer rainfall area is mainly in the Free State
province, the major area for dryland wheat production.
Examples of irrigation areas are to be found in the
Northern Cape along the Orange River, in Limpopo,
Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
The 2019-20 season's commercial wheat crop toA high percentage of the flour is used for sandwich
bread production.
March 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com

Photos courtesy of Mühlenchemie.

L

et there be work, bread, water and salt for all. "
With these words, Nelson Mandela emphasized
the importance of a comprehensive basic supply
of bread for the South African population when he was
inaugurated as the country's president in 1994. This attitude has hardly changed in the meantime. Alongside the
traditional maize meal, wheat bread is still a main component of the diet of around 60 million South Africans.
The average bread consumption per capita is currently three slices (100
South African mills are struggling
grams) per day, with
with inhomogeneous wheat qualiconsumers
preferties. The baking properties of the
ring to buy packaged,
wheat from domestic production
sliced, sandwich bread.
depend, among other things, on
A large part of the
the growing region, but also on the
market is covered by
use of fertilizers and irrigation systhe big players Pioneer
tems. The situation is similar with
Foods, Tiger Brands,
imported wheat: these batches
Premier and RCL
also come from different countries
Food. These food comof origin and exhibit highly variable
panies run both indusrheological properties and protein
trial bakeries and mills
levels. Enzymatic flour treatment
of their own.
enables millers to produce highWhen it comes to
performance flours with consistent
grinding, the mills
product parameters - despite the
generally use imported
difficult raw material supply.
wheat in addition to


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World Grain - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - March 2021

World Grain - March 2021 - 1
World Grain - March 2021 - 1
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