AEGIC CEO Richard Simonaitis says “While refined grain foods such as noodles, white rice and white baked goods are still the norm in most Asian countries, consumer attitudes are evolving and we will likely see increasing interest in the nutritional benefits of whole grain foods in the coming years.
“Consumers of whole grain products tend to be affluent and health conscious and this is a demographic that is growing in many Asian countries.”
According to the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC), health issues are increasing in Asia. 60% of global diabetes occurs in the region, with risk factors including diets low in whole grains.
Three serves of whole grain per day reduces the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke.
Mr Simonaitis said healthy Australian grains could find themselves with new markets as diets change, including wheat, oats, barley and pulses.
A good example of a market with evolving tastes is China, where Australian oats already have strong brand recognition.
An AEGIC project is currently investigating the potential for increasing the value of Australian oats in nutritional products such as oat “rice” and oat noodles.
This story was first published in Leading Agriculture magazine