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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Determination of properties of common wheat flour


Within the Community and in order to meet the needs of International trade, flour must conform to quality specifications determined either by industrial users or Regulations.
Standard methods exist, which can be used to check compliance with specifications, but there is currently non certified reference material available to check the required range of chemical and physical tests. In order to comply with laboratory accreditation schemes, analysts are often forced to prepare and validate "in house" reference material.

In order to improve this situation and conform to International standards, the project aimed to prepare a standard, reference flour certified for 17 flour quality parameters.
This is the first time that a suitable reference flour has been available for this range of rheological properties. It is of great benefit because the potential market is very large as there are thousands of laboratories, backeries and food manufacturers in Europe. This project has also led to the development of a reliable technique to preserve flour over a long time without notable evolution of their rheological properties.
A commercially milled flour was blended, sub-sampled and packaged in vacuum sealed, laminated sachets. Sample homogeneity was confirmed by appropriate chemical and rheological tests. Stability has been established previously over a 12 month period. Conformity checks performed after 12 months also showed no evidence of deviation in the selected parameters. Fourteen laboratories in nine countries participated in a certification exercise to produce certified values and uncertainties for moisture, protein et ash contents, falling number, zeleny sedimentation volume plus dough rheology characteristics as measured by Chopin Alveograph, Farinograph and Extensograph.


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