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Hydration Dynamics of Durum Wheat Endosperm as Studied by Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Soaking Experiments

September 2008 Volume 85 Number 5
Pages 660 — 666
A. Kratzer,1 S. Handschin,1 V. Lehmann,2 D. Gross,2 F. Escher,1 and B. Conde-Petit1,3

Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland. Bruker-Biospin GmbH, D-76287 Rheinstetten/Germany. Corresponding author. Phone: +41 44 632 37 31. Fax: +41 44 632 11 23. E-mail: beatrice.conde@ilw.agrl.ethz.ch

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Accepted January 20, 2008.

The precise knowledge of the kinetics of water transport in durum wheat endosperm is a prerequisite for the optimization of wheat processing techniques like pasta dough mixing on a fundamental basis. Pieces of endosperm were cylindrically cut, prepared from durum wheat kernels, and used to study the water uptake by applying a gravimetric method and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The total water uptake of endosperm cylinders at different soaking times was determined by gravimetric soaking experiments and revealed a swelling limit of ≈40 g/100 g wb after 60 min. With these results it was possible to estimate an apparent diffusion coefficient of water in durum endosperm by using numerical simulation based on a diffusion model (D25°C ~ 0.76 × 10–10 m2/sec). MRI was used to quantify the water distribution in the endosperm cylinders over time at excess and limited water conditions. The calibration of MRI for the quantification of local and time-dependent water contents was successful by correlating the spin-spin relaxation time (T2) with the water content of calibration samples at intermediate moisture levels (19–45 g/100 g wb). Water content maps were generated and showed the kinetics of water distribution inside the endosperm cylinders up to equilibrium conditions. The water uptake of the endosperm cylinders over time, as measured by MRI, fitted well to the water uptake as determined gravimetrically in soaking tests, which validated the applied MRI calibration and measurement procedures. The results allow the quantitative prediction of water transport properties of durum wheat endosperm during moistening procedures.

© 2008 AACC International, Inc.