Cereals & Grains Association
Log In

Chapter 5: Specifying "Quality" Flour

Wheat Flour
Pages 67-77
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/189112725X.005
ISBN: 1-891127-25-X


Topics Covered

  • Quality and Consistency
  • Communication
  • Flour Specifications
    • General Information in a Comprehensive Flour Specification
    • Testing Procedures
    • Hard Wheat Products
    • Soft Wheat Products
    • Durum Products
  • Meeting and Enforcing Specifications
  • Crop Year Changeover
    • Water Relationships and New-Crop Flour
    • Gathering Information
    • Assimilating the Information
    • Disseminating the Information
    • Upgrading Specifications

Introduction to Chapter

Specifications of any sort are often viewed as burdensome documents that do not accurately reflect the ingredient required to make the desired product and are, consequently, of little use. Writing specifications is generally not a task viewed with much enthusiasm. In fact, however, if written and managed well, specifications can be an invaluable means of assuring that product quality is high and consistent. Flour is the major ingredient in many products and consequently exerts a major effect on quality, however quality is defined. It is also a complex biological entity and, as such, varies significantly with the source of the wheat. For these reasons, it is important that flour specifications be given ample attention within any organization seeking to produce good-quality, flour-based products.

To be effective, flour specifications must be dynamic. It is unrealistic to believe that a flour specification will be accurate for more than a year, regardless of how much effort went into it initially. Wheat crops change in many ways from year to year, and the flour used in commercial processes may reflect these changes. Consequently, provisions should be made to upgrade flour specifications annually. Not all parts of a specification will require change every year, but it is likely that some parts will need modification. It is also important to keep a history of the changes made so that if compromises are required, the original specifications can be reinstated in later revisions.