All About Wheat Flour

Similarities between Stemed Buns and Other Wheat-Based Products

Other wheat-based products with fillings have developed throughout the world. Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) and European ravioli are prepared from thin wrappers similar to noodle or pasta dough sheets which are then used to enclose fillings. Other examples of European dumplings include pelmeni, pierogi, and kreplach. Unlike steamed buns, these doughs are not yeasted and the products are cooked by boiling. Germknoedel is a yeasted dumpling or steamed bun often filled with cooked plums and is a specialty of Austria and Bavaria. A related product, dampfnudeln, is fried to create a crispy base before steaming. The method of cooking is similar to that used for Chinese dumplings, although the characteristics and taste of the products are completely different.

CURRENT STATUS
In China and other developing parts of Asia, there has been a rapid commercialization of the food and food distribution sectors. In the cities, manual and semimechanized production has been replaced by more efficient automated and semiautomated production. Rising incomes in Asia, urbanization, and lifestyle changes have led to more choice for consumers and a demand for safe, highquality food.

Traditional sales of steamed products in the streets by bicycle (Fig. 1.9) or trolley have evolved to organized distribution systems (Fig. 1.10) and multiple points of sale:
1. high-quality packaged frozen steamed buns and rolls in open freezers in supermarkets;
2. food presentations in supermarkets to demonstrate how the steamed products are made and customers can purchase items of choice;
3. hot and fresh steamed buns in 7/11 and other convenience stores and shopping centers.

There is still a tradition of trolleys and hawker stalls in the streets or the “wet market” which sell freshly manufactured steamed products. Special flours for steamed products have been developed in most flour mills across China and many parts of Asia. Frozen or chilled steamed products have become convenience foods, needing only 1–2 min reheating in a microwave oven, providing a fast and convenient meal. Wheat-breeding programs have evolved in China and wheat-exporting countries to target the quality attributes important for end products including bread, steamed bread, noodles, and Chinese dumplings.

In 2008, a large modern central manufacturing plant was established in Shanghai to produce steamed buns. Doughs are molded, proofed, and then blast frozen before delivery to chain shops overnight. The frozen buns are freshly steamed and sold in the morning. The venture has been a huge success and the shops are now all over Shanghai and have even spread to Hangzhou city, 202 km southwest of Shanghai.
FIGURE 1.9 Fresh steamed bread is delivered by bicycle in the early morning.

FIGURE 1.10 Steamed bread, buns, and rolls are transported by trucks and refrigerated vehicles

In Thailand, there is large-scale production of frozen steamed buns, which are distributed to supermarkets and convenience stores and also exported to surrounding countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Franchised outlets are also common. Many new products have been developed, for example,
containing healthy plants and cereals, black sesame filling, and custard cream filling (Keeratipibul and Luangsakul, 2012).

In response to healthy eating trends, wholemeal and wholegrain buns are available. In Singapore, wholemeal products with pumpkin, salted mung bean paste, and orange and mango custard have been designed to attract younger coffee shop customers and expand the market (Anon, 2012).

PRODUCTION OF STEAMED PRODUCTS OUTSIDE ASIA
Steamed products are becoming popular around the world. In Asian supermarkets in Sydney, for instance, there are numerous steamed products of which more than half are imported from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. All of the steamed buns have sweet or vegetable fillings, but not meat because of stringent Australian quarantine regulations. The remainder is manufactured locally. There are three main production avenues:
1. Product manufacturers and small factories that supply steamed products with meat, vegetable, and sweet fillings for yum cha, supermarkets, and the food-service sector.
2. Small workshops with fresh steamed products for sale at the front and production area in the back.
3. Restaurants, which produce fresh steamed products daily for customers to buy.

The majority of factories use semiautomated production, with the remainder relying more on manual labor.

CONCLUSION

The Asian region is undergoing rapid development and current trends, in terms of commercialization, the rise of convenience stores and large supermarkets with a variety of fresh and frozen foods, will continue. Despite the availability of Western foods, preference for locally manufactured traditional foods is still strong, but with a greater variety available than ever before. Consumers are becoming more sensitive to quality, convenience, value, and food safety, thus placing demands on the entire value chain, from wheat breeding to consumer, to deliver nutritious, high-quality, consistent products.

Refferences : Steamed Breads Ingredients, Processing and Quality. by : Sidi Huang and Diane Miskelly