Milling & Baking News - May 8, 2018 - 31

Peter F. Levangie, Bay State Milling Co.

exclusive North American commercial
partner for all classes of wheat. Arista is
the licensor and holds global patents on
the process used to select for the trait. The
relationship left Bay State with considerable work before HealthSense would be
ready for commercial introduction.
"The best way to think about the challenge is essentially this business started with
two bags of wheat, some hard red spring out
of France, and hard white spring out of Australia, and a playbook," Mr. Levangie said.
The "playbook" is the patented guide
to breeding high-amylose wheat, he said.
Like any wheat, HealthSense must be
bred for numerous qualities necessary to
meet the needs of different constituencies.
"It's complicated," Mr. Levangie said.
"What we're really trying to do is create a
flour that is both still functional but also
deliver now this really important macro-nutrient and still be productive and


that allows Bay State to produce flour
with 25% dietary fiber. The higher amylose content leads to a higher resistant
starch content. Resistant starch functions
like soluble fiber. Bay State has contracted
with farmers across a numbers of states
to grow several thousand acres of the
wheat. The resulting flour is being marketed as HealthSense high-fiber wheat
flour, with commercial quantities being
available after the 2018 harvest.
The history of Arista starts with CSIRO,
a governmental science agency in Australia. CSIRO increasingly had become
concerned about unhealthy eating habits
there, Mr. Levangie said. Meanwhile, another group in Australia, G.R.D.C., which
Mr. Levangie described as akin to a checkoff group, was concerned about competing in the global wheat market and the
worsening public perception of grains.
"CSIRO was starting to wrestle with
the growing incidents of obesity and
what they can do about it," he said." And
G.R.D.C. was asking, 'How do we make
wheat more marketable and differentiated in a globalizing economy?' And what
these guys came up with is focusing on
something that exists within every kernel
of wheat and also other cereal grains."
Mr. Levangie said CSIRO spent a couple decades researching the opportunity
and used conventional breeding techniques to select for the amylose trait to
create wheat kernels in which the endosperm contains high levels of fiber.
"So the real benefit here is when you mill
this high-amylose wheat, both as refined
flour and then certainly of course in whole
wheat, you now have a significant amount
of the flour is resistant starch and therefore
fiber," Mr. Levangie said. Bay State has
been working on this initiative since 2014
and reached an official agreement in 2016.
Under its terms, Bay State is Arista's


Signature Interview

At the Rothwell GrainEssentials Center at Bay State Milling Co. headquarters in Quincy, Mass.,
from left, Thunyaporn (Naggie) Jeradechachai, Sean Finnie, Valerie Hawkes, Peter Levangie,
Peter Banat and Vanessa Brovelli. /

profitable for the whole supply chain.
Whenever you start this kind of effort, the
supply chains are small. All of this is contract grown. But we're commercializing
and coming to market this fall.""
Going back to his description of milling
as expressing the intrinsic value of seeds,
Mr. Levangie said Bay State has identified
a way to elevate this value.
"We are making them functional, usable, tasty and now healthy for our food
companies who are our customers," he
said. "This HealthSense is totally changing our company."
Currently, HealthSense wheat is being
planted in many parts of the country in
hard wheat varieties - hard red winter
and hard white spring.
"But we are looking to develop the trait
in all classes of wheat, so soft, durum, but
that will take more time," he said. "We are
coming to market with those two classes,
which makes sense for Bay State Milling.
We are more of a hard wheat than a soft
wheat miller."
Wheat used to produce HealthSense
does not yet yield as well as popular
wheat varieties, Mr. Levangie said.
"It is very expensive to produce right
now, because it's new," he said. "There
are important agronomic challenges, including less disease resistance. Still, the
value of the additional fiber relative to incorporating fiber additives will make the
HealthSense products competitive."
Baking qualities, though, are not holding back HealthSense, Mr. Levangie said.
"It's very functional, as functional as
you would typically experience with
flour," he said. "For example, HealthSense has high water absorption. It has
some other interesting attributes as well."
Initial applications customers are
Milling & Baking News

May 8, 2018 / 31

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