Falling Number

When flour or semolina is made from grain which has started to sprout before it's harvested, the quality of pasta and noodles will suffer due to increased levels of alpha-amylase. Testing each incoming batch of flour and semolina with a Falling Number instrument safeguards quality and reduces waste. It is easy, does not require technical staff and only takes a few minutes.


The analysis result is reported as a Falling Number value. A low value means that the flour is unsuitable for pasta or noodle production, whereas a high number means that the flour is not sprout damaged.

Producing pasta or noodles from flour made from sprout damaged grain is difficult, with dough handling and cutting problems and product sticking to machinery. It also results in an off-color end consumer product which will be sticky and too soft in texture after it is boiled. Using flour with the correct Falling Number will result in savings through improved processing as well as a higher quality end product.


The Falling Number method was developed by Mr. Harald Perten, the founder of Perten Instruments. It is the world standard method for detection of sprout damage in wheat, durum, flour and semolina. Tens of thousands of grain traders, flour millers and pasta/noodle producers use Falling Number instruments from Perten.