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The Impact of Flour Storage Conditions on Dough Rheological Properties and Overall Baking Performance
Y. BORSUK (1), R. Boyd (1), C. Wei (1), Y. Supeene (1) (1) Canadian International Grains Institute, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Flour storage conditions around the world can and will vary, influencing the raw material which can ultimately affect baking performance. Millers/bakers continually deliberate on what the optimum flour storage period is that will deliver the best baking performance. The aim of this study was to evaluate, at varying time intervals, changes in dough rheology and baking quality. The study took place over a 2-year period at both ambient and frozen storage conditions (ASC and FSC, respectively). Dough rheology was assessed using Farinograph and Extensograph. Baking performance was assessed on a laboratory/pilot scale. Over a 2-year period, strength increased for ASC and FSC but at a slower rate for FSC. It appears the impact of storage conditions on baking performance is more complex as there were fluctuations detected within 2 years of storage. For ASC there were 2 peaks in dough strength occurring at 8 and 21 months. Improvements in baking performance occurred after 3 weeks of ASC with minimal changes noticed until 10 months later. This finding was supported by greater loaf volume and brighter crumb colour (Minolta L*). It appears at 13 months, flour quality at ASC drastically deteriorated and resulted in a reduction of dough strength and baking performance. At 21 months, the dough was very resistant, resulting in lower loaf volume. Baking performance of flour stored at FSC was more stable (mixing time); however, there were fluctuations in loaf volume and crumb colour following the same pattern as for ASC but at a slower rate. Overall dough handling properties were more resistant on ASC and more extensible on FSC. It appears a minor reduction in flour moisture content resulted in a reduction in farinograph absorption (R2=0.72). Regression analysis was used to evaluate the impact of flour storage conditions over time on dough rheology and overall baking performance.