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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Research Project #437009

Research Project: Methods for Evaluation of Whole Wheat Flour

Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research

Project Number: 3020-44000-027-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Consumption of products made from whole wheat flour is increasing in the US due to its nutritional and health benefits. The whole grain foods market including whole wheat bread is projected annual growth of nearly 7% by 2021 based on Global Whole Grain Foods Market 2017-2021 report. Whole wheat flour is challenging to milling and baking industries because the whole wheat flour quality impacts on end-product quality. Approved (standard) physical dough testing methods for measuring wheat flour quality are based on refined flour rather than whole wheat flour. Therefore, prediction of whole wheat flour quality, especially on physical dough properties are essential. The objective of the project is to develop methods to evaluate the physical dough properties of whole wheat flour using physical dough testing instruments and to apply the method(s) for quality prediction of hard winter wheat breeding lines.

Four hard winter wheat varieties with protein contents of high (15%), medium1 (13%), medium2 (11%) and low protein (9%) will be used for preparation of whole wheat flour. Each wheat will be milled at three different tempering moistures (13 to 13.5%, 14.5 to 15%, 16 to 16.5%). The resulting 2 refined flour samples will be used as controls. The germ and bran will be mixed together before they are ground in a hammer-mill to obtain different particle size (<150, <250 and <350 micron). Whole wheat flour will be produced by combining the ground bran, shorts (germs) and flour. The flour samples will be evaluated using physical dough testing instruments. Different water absorption levels (68%, 70%, 72%, 74%, 76%, 78%, 80% and 82%) will be used for each whole wheat flour sample and controls on the mixing tests. Pup loaf baking tests will be conducted with optimum bake water absorption and bake mix time using a formula that is commonly used in baking industry. Other quality evaluation parameters include moisture, protein, gluten subunits, ash, farinograph, rheological properties, damaged starch, flour particle size, sedimentation tests.