Wheat Commodity Fact Sheet

WBSCM Material Description and Number

WHEAT, HARD RED SPRING BAG-50 KG    100580
WHEAT, HARD RED WINTER BAG-50 KG    100581
WHEAT, NORTHERN SPRING BAG-50 KG    100585
WHEAT, SOFT RED WINTER BAG-50 KG    100582
WHEAT, SOFT WHITE BAG-50 KG    100583
WHEAT, DARK NORTHERN SPRING BULK    100925
WHEAT, HARD RED SPRING BULK    100592
WHEAT, HARD RED WINTER BULK    100593
WHEAT, NORTHERN SPRING BULK    100596
WHEAT, SOFT RED WINTER BULK    100594
WHEAT, SOFT WHITE BULK    100598

General Information

Wheat is a whole grain available bagged or in bulk for food aid. It is grown in most of the United States, planted in the winter or spring and harvested from May to October. For more information on wheat production, refer to the United States Wheat Associates (http://www.uswheat.org/buyerGuide). Winter and spring wheat are grouped into six classes determined by characteristics such as hardness, colors of the kernels and planting time. The classes include Durum, Hard Red Spring (which includes Northern Spring and Dark Northern Spring), Hard Red Winter, Hard White, Soft Red Winter, or Soft White; wheat for food aid is available in all classes except Durum. For country-specific recommendations or specifications questions, contact the United States Wheat Associates (http://www.uswheat.org/locationsStaff). Bagged wheat is packaged in 50-kilogram polypropylene woven bags whose fabric contains an inhibitor to resist ultraviolet absorption and an anti-skid coating. Properly bagged and stored wheat has a shelf life of at least one year depending on storage location and conditions. For full product specifications refer to the USDA Commodity Requirements Document for bagged grains.

Programming Guidance

Wheat can be used in emergency and development settings if fortified flour/meals are not available as illustrated by the 2011 Food Aid Quality Review (FAQR) Report decision trees:

  • Emergencies: Wheat may be used with oil and a pulse in the second phase of emergency food distribution. Either corn soy blend (CSB) or a ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) should be added as a targeted supplement to this ration, for children under two (U2). In a longer-term emergency, wheat may be provided in Food for Assets, Food for Work, Food for Training, as well as Vulnerable Group Feeding, and Food for Education programs.
  • Development: Wheat may be used as part of a general household ration, along with a pulse and oil, where this is appropriate. Wheat may also be provided in Food for Assets, Food for Work, Food for Training, as well as Vulnerable Group Feeding and Food for Education programs.

Nutrition/Preparation Information

Wheat is a preferred staple food in North Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. It is a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates and is higher in protein, most minerals, and vitamins B3 and B6 than other important staples such as rice or maize. Upon export, wheat is normally processed into flour or other products. After processing, wheat is used to make a variety of globally consumed products such as pastas, couscous, breads, tortillas, and noodles. Each class of wheat has its own characteristics related to milling, baking or other food uses, so the class of wheat should be appropriate for the particular end product and to local cultural preferences. For example, Hard Red Winter wheat is used for Asian noodles, hard rolls, and to improve blending, whereas Soft White wheat classes are ideally suited to flat breads. For recipes, see the North American Millers' Association (http://www.namamillers.org/issues/food-aid/food-aid-recipes/).

USDA Nutrient Database

From the USDA Nutrient Database (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/) search for:

  • Wheat, Durum
  • Wheat, Hard Red Spring
  • Wheat, Hard Red Winter
  • Wheat, Hard White
  • Wheat, Soft Red Winter
  • Wheat, Soft White

USDA Commodity Requirements Document

http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/kcbg11.pdf

Shelf Life/Best if Used By Date (BUBD)

  • Shelf life - not available 
  • BUBD - not available. USDA FGIS Official Certificates With Crop Year Statement may be available as a substitute.

Sources

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page. Retrieved December 6, 2013 from: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 2012. Wheat: Background. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from: http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/wheat/background.aspx

United States Department of Agriculture. Farm Services Agency.  2013. USDA Commodity Requirements Document: KCBG11 Bagged Grains for Use in International Food Assistance Programs.  Retrieved December 4, 2013 from: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/kcbg11.pdf

United States Wheat Associates. (n.d.). Buyer's Guide. Retrieved December 4, 2013 from: http://www.uswheat.org/buyerGuide

Webb, P., B. Rogers, I. Rosenberg, N. Schlossman, C. Wanke, J. Bagriansky, K. Sadler, Q. Johnson, J. Tilahun, A. Reese Masterson, A. Narayan.  2011.  Delivering Improved Nutrition: Recommendations for Changes to U.S. Food Aid Products and Programming.  Retrieved September 16, 2012 from: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADZ842.pdf

Last updated: August 15, 2014

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