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Important Flour Characteristics used in bakery industry

Food technologist or any baker needs to know the flour characteristics for selection of flour for the products . These characteristics can be supplied by the vendors or can be checked in house in laboratory with help of different equipments like extensograph or alveograph.

Here are some important characteristics of flour used in bakeries
  • Gluten ( P/L ratio)

Higher P/L values indicate flours that are more difficult to work and that result in a bread less developed with a compact crumb. Lower P/L values indicate flours that will be weak, too extensible, and difficult to work because they are often sticky. The bread which results will be flattened because the dough has not succeeded in holding back the developing gases.

  • Falling number

It shows the activity of alpha - amylase enzyme .Higher number shows low activity ie less break down of starch and lower number shows high activity ie more break down of starch.

  • Moisture percentage

Amount of water content in flour .

  • Ash content

Ash content refers to the mineral content of a flour, and is determined by burning a given quantity of flour under prescribed conditions and measuring the residue. The mineral content varies and depends on many factors, such as the variety of wheat, the terrain, the fertilization, and the climate. The greater portion of minerals found in a kernel of wheat is contained in the germ, and husk, or bran, and the least amount in the endosperm. As a consequence, if a flour contains a greater number of bran particles, it has a more elevated ash content. The determination of the ash content serves to estimate the degree of the endosperm separation from the bran during milling

  • Water absorption power ( W.A.P)

Every flour has certain water absorption power so as to make good dough .Generally 60% of flour quantity amounts to the quantity of water

  • Adsorption in flour .

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