Thursday, June 16, 2022

Wheat flour quality characteristics

Flour quality can be defined as the set of organoleptic, physical, chemical and rheological characteristics imposed by processing requirements for the purpose it is intended. The usefulness of flour is different depending on the industry in which it will be processed: bread and bakery products, pasta etc.

The quality of wheat flour is fundamentally determined by its chemical composition. The major components of wheat flour are protein (approximately 10%–12%) and starch (approximately 70–75%), and the minor components are polysaccharides (approximately 2-3%) and lipids (approximately 2%).

Chemical compositions may affect the flour properties of dough kneading (water absorption rate), gluten network formation, dough properties (hardness, viscosity, elasticity, extensibility, plasticity, water retention, etc.,) and cooking characteristics (shape retention, chewing viscosity, hardness, shrinkage, etc.,).

During storage, the quality of wheat flour undergoes major changes, some of them are beneficial, and others may worsen quality. The moment during storage when technological properties of flour improves, that process is called maturity.

Bakers generally classify wheat by the hardness of the kernel, that is, by whether  the kernel is hard or soft. Hard wheat kernels are high in protein; soft wheat kernels are low in protein. Hard wheat kernels feel harder than soft ones because protein in these kernels forms large, hard chunks. Hard wheat kernels typically are higher in carotenoids than soft wheat kernels are.

The baking potential of wheat flours is influenced by many factors, most notably protein content. Protein content is in turn influenced mainly by nitrogen fertilization, while the protein quality is determined primarily by the wheat genotype. On the other hand, both the quality and the content of the wheat protein are affected by the climatic conditions during wheat maturation
Wheat flour quality characteristics 

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