doughLAB – Improved Flour Analysis


In order to evaluate the water absorption and mixing quality of flour the most common standard methods used are the AACCI 54-21.02 method [1] and the ICC115/1 method [2], also called the Farinograph standard method. It was invented in the 1920s and uses 300 g of flour plus the sufficient amount of water to reach a stiffness of 500 FU (Farinograph or Force Units) with a mixing condition of 63 rpm, 30°C for 20 minutes. Since then the needs and demands for additional mixing methods have increased, and thus also the requirements of the analyzers.

Faster methods to meet the mixing of today

Many modern flours give rise to flatter torque curves containing two mixing peaks due to harsher milling conditions. Processing issues might occur if the wrong peak is chosen as the development peak, [3-7]. The bakery mixers of today are also more powerful than they used to be and a normal mixing time can now come down to 2-5 minutes. To meet these problems, a new rapid doughLAB method was developed. By mixing at 120 rpm, 30°C during 10 minutes, the graphs are more defined and the results are obtained earlier. This method has been approved by AACCI as a new standard method (AACCI 54-70.01) [8].

Smaller samples

The doughLAB can run with either a 300 g or a 50 g flour bowl with similar results [9]. For the breeders and research institutes where the amount of flour is limited, the doughLAB has a smaller sibling, the micro-doughLAB. In the micro-doughLAB, only 4 g of flour is needed. The micro-doughLAB can also measure the stress-relaxation (elasticity) of the dough. Furthermore, the micro-doughLAB and the doughLAB have the same user friendly software.

Temperature and Torque range

Temperature control is important during dough mixing. The doughLAB has integrated temperature control, so there is no need for an external water bath. Operating temperatures are between 5 and 80°C. The doughLAB also has automated temperature controlled (5-40°C) water addition, using a syringe dispenser.

The maximum torque for the doughLAB is 25 Nm, suitable for analysis of crumbly (cookie) dough, and low water pasta and noodle dough.

SI units

In the old Farinograph standard method, FU is used as the torque unit. This unit can be difficult to explain, interpret and compare to other process equipment and other types of analyzers. The doughLAB allows the user to choose between the old farinograph units and SI-units for their torque values. The SI-unit used is mNm (milliNewtonmeter).


The doughLAB software for windows (DLW) is very user friendly with a password protection control for “routine user” mode and flexible data analysis settings for customized profiles. It automatically calculates the adjusted water to the dispenser for the repeat samples, has several auto functions, and traceability. The software also has real time graph display, and the possibility to create easy single page reports and specifications containing settings, graphs, results and sample data.

Virtual Blending

The virtual blending capability of the software allows the miller to predict the performance of flours blended from up to 60 mill streams or flour bins without actually having to run the tests on each blend. This assists the miller in meeting specification requirements.

Read more about the doughLAB


1 . AACC International Approved Methods of Analysis, 11th Ed. Method 54-21.02. Rheological Behavior of Flour by Farinograph: Constant Flour Weight Procedure. AACC International, St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.

2. ICC No 115/1. Method for using the Brabender Farinograph. Approved 1972, Last revision 1992

3. Tanaka, K. and Tipples, K.H. Relation between Farinograph mixing curve and mixing requirements. Cereal Sci. Today 14(9):296-300, 310, 1969.

4. Frazier, P.J., Daniels, N.W.R. and Russell Eggitt, P.W. Rheology and the continuous breadmaking process. Cereal Chem. 52(Suppl.):106r-130r, 1975.

5. Zounis, S. and Quail, K.J. Predicting test bakery requirements from laboratory mixing tests. J. Cereal Sci. 25:185-196, 1997.

6. Allen, H.M., Pumpa, J.K. and Blakeney, A.B. Dough mixing using a high speed dough mixer – the doughLAB. In: Proceedings of the 54th Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference and 11th Wheat Breeders Assembly (Black, C.K., Panozzo, J.F. and Rebetzke, G.J. (eds.)), 21-24 September, 2004, Canberra ACT, pp.256-258, 2004.

7. Allen, H.M., Pleming, D.K. and Pumpa, J.K. The development of a rapid dough bread baking method using a doughlab. In: Cereals 2005: Proceedings of the 55th Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference and AACC International Pacific Rim Symposium, 3-7 July 2005, Sydney. pp. 293-296, 2005.

8. AACC International Approved Methods of Analysis, 11th Ed. Method 54-70.01. High-Speed Mixing Rheology of Wheat Flour Using the doughLAB. AACC International, St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.

9. Dang, J.M.C and Bason, M.L. 2013. AACCI Approved Methods Technical Committee Report: Collaborative study on a method for determining the mixing properties of dough using high-energy mixing. Cereal Foods World, 58(4):199-204.