Home Welcome to the home page of the Western Wheat Quality Laboratory of the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service.

About Us Our mission is threefold:

1) To conduct cooperative investigations with breeders, geneticists and pathologists in the seven western states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington) to evaluate the milling and baking quality characteristics of wheat selections produced each crop year. These investigations include several market classes and subclasses of wheat which are grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest and the Western Region. The investigations relate to wheat cultivar quality for commercial production and consumer acceptance with the goal of increasing economic benefit to the wheat industry.

2) To conduct basic research into the biochemical and genetic basis of wheat quality in order to better understand the fundamental nature of end-use functionality. The results of this basic research are incorporated into the cultivar development program to provide enhanced feedback into the selection process.

3) To develop new and better means to assess the quality of potential wheat cultivars through identification of critical quality parameters. This is coupled with the creation of new methods to assay the identified quality attributes.
USDA/ARS - Western Wheat Quality Laboratory
E-202 Food Science & Human Nutrition Facility East
P.O. Box 646394, Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6394
Voice: 509.335.4062
Facsimile: 509.335.8573

Tour We are locatated at E202 Food Science Human Nutrition Building on the campus of Washington State University at Pullman Washington.
P.O. Box 646394
Pullman, WA 99164-6394
Voice: 509.335.4062
Facsimile: 509.335.8573

Staff Meet the Staff

WAS Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivar development programs benefit from the efficient assessment of end-use quality of experimental lines. Efficiency of assessment is enhanced when quality-testing data are accurately collected, recorded, interpreted, and reported. The Wheat Analysis System (WAS) software specifically addresses this management need by providing a user-friendly, menu driven system that generates data collection forms and reports, structures data entry, and maintains a cumulative database which is amenable to statistical analysis and interpretation. Data are managed in two master files according to a nursery-sample system of organization. Quality tests and analyses are grouped into processes that accommodate all of the common methodologies used for soft and hard wheat evaluation, including grain and flour analysis, milling, and baking. A supplemental process, in addition to user-defined variables, provides flexibility and broad applicability.



INTERPRETATION OF DATA A mixogram is conducted with 10g of flour and the appropriate amount of water to give optimum absorption. The mixograph is a recording mixer reflecting the resistance of the dough during mixing. Most mixograms are run 5 to 8 minutes, which is sufficient time for most flours to exhibit their mixing time to peak and dough breakdown. Dough breakdown behavior is reflected in the tail of the curve when mixing continues beyond the mixing peak and is commonly referred to as mixing tolerance. The mixogram is used to characterize new selections as to market class and to predict baking properties.


REGIONAL QUALITY REPORTS - Western Regional Nurseries - End-Use Quality Assessments

The USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Western Wheat Quality Laboratory (WWQL) located on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Washington, provides a detailed and thorough assessment of the end-use quality of experimental lines from wheat breeding programs in the Western States.


WELCOME - The USDA-ARS Western Wheat Quality Laboratory has established this puroindoline genotype database as a service to wheat researchers, breeders and the public. The puroindoline genes, puroindoline a and puroindoline b, represent the Hardness gene on 5DS. In hexaploid wheat, soft kernel texture (Hardness) is the wild type, whereas hard texture (hardness) results from any one of several mutations in the puroindolines. These mutations have been assigned allelic designations as per the revised “Guidelines for Nomenclature of Biochemical/Molecular Loci in Wheat and Related Species” (McIntosh et al. 1995)(8).