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Chapter 4: Wheat and Flour Testing

Wheat Flour
Pages 47-65
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/189112725X.004
ISBN: 1-891127-25-X


Topics Covered

  • Tests Exclusive to Wheat
    • Test Weight
    • Thousand-Kernel Weight
    • Kernel Hardness
    • Flour Yield
  • Color Tests
    • Pekar Color (Slick) Test
    • Agtron Color Test
  • Odor Test
  • Basic Analyses
    • Moisture
    • Ash
    • Protein
    • pH
    • Enrichment Detection
    • Semolina Granulation
  • Flour Performance Tests
    • Farinograph
    • Mixograph
    • Extensigraph
    • Alveograph
    • Gluten Washing Tests
    • Alkaline Water Retention Capacity
    • Solvent Retention Capacity Profile
  • Enzyme Analyses
    • Falling Number
    • Amylograph/Rapid Visco Analyser
  • Viscosity Methods
  • Microbial Assays
  • Baking Tests
  • Starch Tests
    • Starch Content
    • Starch Damage
  • Near-Infared Reflectance Methods

Introduction to Chapter

There are hundreds of wheat and flour tests, and it is beyond the scope of this handbook to discuss each one in detail. This discussion is limited to the procedures most commonly used in the testing of wheat and in the documents written to specify flour for end-user needs. The methods are described in general terms, and the importance of each test with respect to effects on processing and product quality is emphasized to ensure that the application of the test is understood.

The Cereals and Grains Association and the AOAC International (formerly Association of Official Analytical Chemists) maintain collections of approved methods that may be particularly useful to those involved in the analysis of wheat-based products. These methods involve a detailed description of the purpose of each test, the apparatus and materials required, and a detailed procedure. Using a Cereals and Grains Association or AOAC approved method enables laboratories to compare results and avoid discrepancies because identical, proven methods can be employed. These methods are also routinely upgraded to ensure that they are current with respect to analytical technology.