Alternative and Industrial Uses of Wheat
Alternative and Industrial Uses of WheatThe properties that make wheat suitable in food products gluten (protein) and starch also make wheat functional in nonfood and industrial applications. Wheat gluten is unique due to its ability to be elastic, bind water and form films that can be stabilized with heat. These properties render wheat gluten useful for the preparations of adhesives, coatings, polymers and resins.
Wheat is being utilized in these other products:
Straw Particle Board (wood) One-Acre of wheat stubble produces approximately two bales of wheat straw. 64 pounds of wheat straw produce on sheet of strawboard 4" x8" 1/2 thick. Primary uses of strawboard include ready to assemble furniture, flooring a, foundation for lamination and kitchen cabinets.
Paper Wheat starch makes paper stronger. Five billion pounds of starch are sued in the manufacturing of paper per year in the U.S.
Adhesives (Many types) Starch is used as an adhesive on postage stamps and is used to hold the bottom of paper grocery sacks together.
Plastic film, eating utensils and molded items (biodegradable)
Packaging, foams and insulation (biodegradable, starch-based)
Reinforcing agents in rubber products (flour-based)
Fine paper products (carbonless copy paper)
Roofing and other building materials
Textile finishing agents
Wood substitute in composite building materials
Cosmetics and Pharmaceutical products Wheat starch could be substituted in significant volumes for current materials if probed commercially viable.
Liquid laundry detergents
Starch replacing fat in desserts Researchers have found when wheat starch replaces fat in frozen desserts, the desserts not only are lower in fat, but also are creamier and tastier than the same product without wheat starch.
Egg white substitutes
Non-dairy products including whipped toppings, creamers
Co-binder in food and non-food packaging
A carrier of the controlled release of pesticides or flavors
Due to advances in technology, using these wheat products is now as efficient as using other commodities, such as corn of soybeans.
Wheat appears to be attractive for new uses in part because it is so easily produced and because the necessary production and distribution infrastructure in already in place.
Kansas State University Grain Science researchers are trying to find other major uses for wheat starch and expand the markets for wheat. Locating these plants in Kansas would increase jobs in Kansas and increase profitability for farmers.
The production and commercialization of new products made with renewable agricultural commodities presents new opportunities for the global environment and for America, creating new markets for American produced goods, new jobs and economic growth. The potential new value for the wheat industry alone has been estimated at %500 million.
U.S. TOTAL USE
10% Livestock feed
National Association of Wheat Growers Foundation Wheat Utilization Committee (Washington DC)
Kansas Wheat Commission (785-539-0255)
Kansas State University Department of Grain Science (785-532-6161)