In the grain

South Australia is renowned for its quality grains. The state’s prime farming lands, in particular across the Yorke Peninsula, have earned an international reputation for reliable cereal, lupin and oilseed crops.

As food processor and consumer interest grows, so do the markets for other types of grains and the products they’re used for. This masterclass gives a taste of our crop.



  • South Australia is the second largest malt barley producing state in Australia.
  • Malted barley is produced when raw barley is steeped, germinated and kilned to change the raw barley seed into a friable biscuit-like texture.
  • Further processing converts malt into fermentable sugars, and returns shape and look of original grain.
  • Malt colour varies according to level of roasting.


  • High in B vitamins, lots of minerals and some fibre and protein, although less protein than whole barley.


  • Majority used in brewing industry for beer production. Black malts used in dark beers (stout, dark ales) and light malts used in lagers and pilsner-style beers.
  • Malt extract used as a sweetener and sticking agent in breakfast cereals and other foods.


  • South Australia grows predominantly faba beans.
  • Small amount of broad beans grown in the Limestone Coast and on Kangaroo Island.


  • Faba and broad beans are a good source of carbohydrate and protein and low in fat.


  • Faba beans have a chewy texture after cooking. Soak before cooking.
  • Shell large broad bean seeds before eating.
  • Purée, boil, mash, add to casseroles, use to thicken sauces, and in soups, dips and salads.
  • Healthy alternative to thicken puréed soups.


  • Seed coat ranges from light grey through brown to black.
  • Distinctive orange/red kernel seen when seed is dehulled or split.
  • Seed varieties range in diameter 2-6mm.
  • Size and shape can affect ease and yield of splitting.


  • Lower in fat than chickpeas and good source of iron.


  • In curries, Indian dhal and lentil soup.
  • Lentil flour is used to make pappadams or added to cereal flour to make breads, cakes and baby foods.
  • Immature pods and sprouted seeds eaten as a vegetable.
  • Lentils have a shorter cooking time than other pulses.


  • Field peas are the largest pulse crop in South Australia.
  • Field peas vary by kernel, seed coat colour and shape.
  • The major field pea varieties grown in South Australia can be divided into three groups:
    • Blue Round: translucent seed coat and green kernels. Often used in canning.
    • Dun Dimples: greenish-brown (dun) coloured variety with yellow kernel. Most common type grown in South Australia, used for split peas and flour products.
    • White Round: cream coloured varieties with yellow kernel. Often used to split and in flour.


  • Field peas are an excellent source of protein and energy.


  • Usually split (dhal) and packaged for use in soups and stews.


  • Small crop in South Australia.
  • Grown mostly in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong, where the crop is grown to protect sandhills from wind erosion.
  • Triticale grain is rye hybridised with wheat, sometimes added to wholegrain mixes for breads.


  • Has a lower gluten content than wheat flour.
  • Contains higher proportion of soluble fibre.


  • Grain used for flour, bread, beer, whiskey and vodka.
  • Eat whole as boiled, either as rye berries (kernels) or rolled.
  • To make crisp bread.


  • The major crop in Sourh Australia is the narrow leafed or Australian Sweet Lupin.
  • Small amount of white lupin also grown.
  • Nutrition

    • High in protein and dietary fibre.


    • An alternative to dry and soya beans.
    • Ground for flour, fermented to produce high quality tempeh or as a snack food.
    • To make protein concentrates or fermented sauces.
    • White lupin is often preferred variety for food.
    • Lupins have low moisture content and hard seed coat, which makes them long lasting.


    There are a variety of wheats grown in South Australia.

    Australian Hard (Bread wheat)

    • Relatively high in protein.
    • Well suited for pan and flat breads, steamed food products. Australian Premium White (Bread wheat)
    • Lower in protein than Australian Hard.
    • Often used in Middle Eastern and Indian flat breads.
    • Also well suited to Asian baked products and noodles.

    Australian Standard White (Bread wheat)

    • Mainly produced in southern cropping areas.
    • Medium to low protein.
    • Ideal for Iranian, Middle Eastern and Indian breads.

    Australian Soft (Biscuit wheat)

    • Grown in high rainfall areas including Kangaroo Island.
    • Low in protein.
    • Used in a wide range of baked and processed products including sweet biscuits, cookies, pastries and steamed buns.

    Australian Durum Wheat (Pasta wheat)

    • High in protein.
    • Suitable in wide range of pasta products, couscous and semolina.

    Comments are closed.