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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Variability in a Starch Isolation Method and Automated Digital Image Analysis System Used for the Study of Starch Size Distributions in Wheat Flour

item Bechtel, Donald
item Wilson, Jeff

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2000
Publication Date: May 1, 2000
Citation: Bechtel, D.B., Wilson, J.D. 2000. Variability in a starch isolation method and automated digital image analysis system used for the study of starch size distributions in wheat flour. Cereal Chem. 77:401-405.

Interpretive Summary: A starch isolation procedure was developed that reduced the time required to produce pure starch to about four hours. The starch was then analyzed using an image analysis system coupled directly to a light microscope. This system was then used to statistically determine how much starch needed to be analyzed to obtain uniform results in the least amount of time. The automation of data acquisition and processing of this system will be applied to determining end-use quality of wheat starch and may be used to help predict bread baking quality.

Technical Abstract: A starch isolation method and digital image analysis system were developed to accurately measure size distributions of the starch populations in wheat. The image analysis system was coupled directly to a light microscope equipped with computer controlled step stage and automatic focus. Automation of data acquisition and processing eliminated some of the labor intensive steps previously required for analyzing starch size distributions. This system was used to standardize starch isolation methods and compare variation and reproducibility of the system. Operational variations were determined and statistically assessed. The number of fields of view required for low standard errors and acceptable speed of analysis was determined to be fifty. A major advantage of the system has been the increased resolution. The use of higher magnifications and stage automation allowed the analysis of starch granules as small as 0.84 um in diameter while analyzing thousands of starch granules per sample.

Last Modified: 3/31/2015
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