Accurate Falling Number results

The Falling Number test is critical to make sure that sprouted grain is detected and properly sorted. In order to achieve accurate and repeatable Falling Number results it is important to follow the proper steps and use the right equipment. As some of you bring your Falling Number instruments to work after a winter sleep, this is a good time to review some of the critical points of the method.

As with every analysis method, it is critical to select a representative sample and use proper sample preparation for accurate Falling Number results.

  • Enzyme activity is highly variable between individual grains and for the Falling Number test, a minimum of 250-300 gram shall be ground to make sure the result is representative of the whole lot.
  • A proper Falling Number hammer mill needs to be used for correct particle size distribution in the sample.

Viscometer tubes and stirrers used for the Falling Number test must be completely clean and dry. Also verify that the stirrer is not bent and that the ring is sitting firm and perpendicular to the rod. And for safety reasons, NEVER USE DAMAGED TUBES.

One factor often overlooked is the importance of using freshly distilled or de-ionized water. If you have distilled water saved for long time, be aware that the pH of that water has likely changed. Make sure that you use distilled or ion exchanged water for the tests. It could save some real headaches. And make sure you dispense the correct 25 +/- 0.2 ml of water to the test tube.

Further reading

The Falling Number method check list lists all the critical points which need to be followed for correct results.

We provide several accessories that help make the Falling Number method more convenient and more reproducible.

Read more about Perten Falling Number – The World Standard Method