The bulk of a wheat kernel is the endosperm, the starch component of the wheat seed that produces white flour. This starch is made of carbohydrates in the form of glucose. That glucose typically takes on two kinds of structure in the wheat kernel, and there are different enzymes or proteins that determine the exact structure of the starch. The first structure is called Amylose, and is linear in its configuration. The second structure is Amylopectin, and is a more complex structure that branches out.
Amylose relies on one particular enzyme to form its structure, called Granule Bound Starch Synthase (GBSS). The presence of GBSS in a wheat kernel is determined by the genetics of the wheat variety. When one or more of the genes that code for GBSS are nullified, Amylopectin becomes the primary structure of the starch, and this is referred to as Partial Waxy Wheat. There is still some Amylose present in Partial Waxy Wheat, but when the wheat kernel is Amylose-free, it is called Waxy Wheat.
Partial Waxy Wheat has a very soft endosperm that is ideal for producing some Asian noodle products. Shepherd’s Grain has begun producing a specific flour made from Partial Waxy Wheat, and that flour is finding success in noodle applications. Please contact us for more information if this is a product you are interested in.