Cereal starches are the major source of calorific intake in humans, and are important for animal nutrition. Current approaches to manipulating starch qualities through plant breeding are empirical. Combining genomics and bioinformatics with new techniques in polymer characterization will provide the first predictive understanding of how DNA and environmental factors govern polymer structure in cereals. This will lead to genotype selection to produce starches better suited to nutritional and industrial uses from cereals adapted to Australian agriculture. This will bring health benefits to consumers, financial benefits to farmers, and will be relevant to the development of biorenewable materials.