RVA - Ingredient Performance Analyzer

Whether your raw material is rice flour, semolina or wheat flour the starch characteristics are important for noodle and pasta quality. The RVA determines starch pasting properties, rapidly and reproducibly, making it easy to detect flour batches which will not perform and keep them out. It also helps verify finished product quality and trouble-shoot production problems.

 

Samples are analyzed in a canister, adding a small amount of water and then placing the canister in the RVA. The RVA will start to stir and heat the mixture according to a predefined profile, continuously measuring the viscosity. As the sample is heated the starch will gelatinize, increasing the viscosity. In effect the RVA subjects the sample to a similar process as the production process, acting like a miniature pilot plant, determining how the materials will behave.

Wheat flour noodles 

Research has shown that the quality of noodles made from wheat is largely dictated by the pasting characteristics of the starch in the flour, making the RVA a valuable tool in noodle production. A number of studies have shown strong correlations between the sensory quality of noodles and various parameters of the RVA pasting curve, particularly peak viscosity. The RVA therefore can be used to provide a rapid and objective test for noodle quality of wheat flour. The method is applicable to wholemeal, flour or starch.

Starch noodles

In noodles made from rice, mung beans and similar, starch characteristics play a key role in noodle quality. Starch is made up of two different molecules, amylose and amylopectin, and the ratio between them determines starch characteristics and how it behaves in noodle production.

Different types of noodles require different ratios and the RVA is used by many noodle producers to verify the quality of the incoming flour. A high amylose content is important for end-product quality, and the RVA rapidly determines the level. Should amylose content be too low, the noodles become too sticky and soft, causing problems in production and poor quality noodles.

Many rice noodle manufacturers also use the RVA to segregate incoming flour based on amylose content, and later blend from several bins to reach the optimum amylose content in production. This gives them a consistent raw material which removes variability and reduces waste. It also allows them to accept some batches of lower amylose content flour, as they can blend it with other batches of extra high amylose content.

Pasta

High quality hard pasta products, such as spaghetti, are produced by a cool temperature extrusion process using durum semolina. The quality of the product depends in part upon starch quality and amylase activity. These can be readily assessed in the RVA.