Culture collections (CCs) are organizations that mainly collect strains of microorganisms to stably preserve or maintain them and distribute them to users. There are 23 CCs in Japan ; these are mainly established in universities and national institutes, and contain a total of 411 183 strains of preserved microorganisms (191 692 bacteria, 50 799 yeasts, 49 380 fungi and others), accounting for 20 % of strains preserved in CCs around the world. CCs also store information on their microorganism collections (species, location and origin of isolation, and growth conditions) in databases. These primary data for the identification of strains are open to the public via the Internet, and users can retrieve the data using searching systems offered by the CCs instead of using paper-based catalogs. In CCs, deposited microorganisms are cultured and, depending on the microbial group, freeze-drying or other freezing methods are used to prepare the microorganisms for distribution. At regular intervals, survival tests are carried out to check the quality of the preparations. In addition, CCs offer services other than distribution of their collections, such as e-mail newsletters, workshops on the handling of microorganisms, booklets on the microorganisms, and safety-deposit services for users’ collections.
Whole wheat flour is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals when compared with commercial flour lacking bran and germ. However, whole wheat flour prepared by conventional milling contains roughly ground bran and causes elastic deformation of the gluten membrane and degradation of bread quality. Cleaning of the wheat seed coat is an important step in the process of preparing hygienic whole wheat flour. It is also important to prepare fine scratches on the seed coat in order to finely pulverize the bran. Milling of wheat grain was carried out using a stainless steel mortar developed by NFRI, and this enabled the preparation of whole wheat flour with finely pulverized wheat bran. Bread products made from fresh ground whole wheat flour showed high quality with superior flavor. In this study, we outline the novel surface treatment technology used to prepare hygienic whole wheat flour with finely pulverized wheat bran, and the techniques for producing high-quality whole wheat bread from the noodle wheat “Kitahonami”.