Wheat is a staple food for 35% of the world’s population and it is Canada’s largest field crop grown. Every year, Canada exports wheat to more than 70 countries. Canadian wheat is also used domestically for food, feed and fuel.
Canada remains one of the world’s top exporters of high-quality durum. Working with Prairie Grain Development Committee, Cereals Canada continues to participate in discussions and evaluations of durum breeding lines that have low cadmium content, high protein and yellow pigment contents with high semolina milling extraction rates. This sets Canadian durum apart from other exporting countries in the world marketplace.
There are 10 wheat classes grown in Western Canada and seven wheat classes grown in Eastern Canada. Each wheat class has different qualities and characteristics.
Canadian wheat varieties are grouped into classes by their functional characteristics and categorized as western Canadian or eastern Canadian. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates grain handling in Canada and establishes and maintains science-based standards of quality for Canadian grain.
Official wheat classes
Western wheat class include
Canada Western Red Spring
Canada Western Hard White Spring
Canada Western Amber Durum
Canada Western Red Winter
Canada Western Soft White Spring
Canada Western Extra Strong
Canada Prairie Spring White
Canada Prairie Spring Red
Canada Northern Hard Red
Canada Western Special Purpose
Eastern wheat classes include
Canada Eastern Red Spring
Canada Eastern Hard Red Winter
Canada Eastern Soft Red Winter
Canada Eastern Amber Durum
Canada Eastern White Winter
Canada Eastern Other Wheat
Canada Eastern Feed
There are four main classes of wheat grown in Canada. Each class has different qualities and characteristics. There are three main wheat classes grown in Western Canada and one from Eastern Canada.
Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat is Canada’s most widely grown wheat class. CWRS is a hard wheat with high protein content with well-balanced gluten strength and superior milling and baking quality. CWRS is ideal for high-volume pan bread as well as for hearth bread and flat bread, noodles and Asian product applications.
Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) wheat is recognized for its high protein content, good gluten quality, high yellow pigment content and high semolina yield. The high quality and large production of CWAD makes Canada the leading exporter of durum wheat in the world. Products made from semolina milled from CWAD—like high-quality pasta, couscous and bread—are characterized by a bright yellow appearance that’s desired by consumers.
Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat is another wheat class that offers very good quality as a medium protein content wheat. It has medium kernel hardness and excellent flour yields. CPSR is ideal for pan bread, hearth bread, flat bread, crackers, instant noodles and white salted noodles.
Canada Eastern Soft Red Winter (CESRW) wheat is grown largely in Ontario with additional production in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. CESRW offers very good quality and low protein content ideally suited for cakes, pastry, cereal, crackers, biscuits and fillings.