Wheat flour doughs are nonlinear viscoelastic materials, and as such there is a complicated relationship between the strains imparted during mixing (stretching, shearing, compression and relaxation) and dough resistance. A number of factors related to processing conditions and flour type will also have a large effect on how the dough behaves. Variations in water and protein content, changes in the fibrillar structure of the protein, starch, starch damage, pentosans, gluten strength and the actions of enzymes on the dough components all affect dough behaviour. Due to the complex nature of dough behaviour an empirical instrument test is desirable.

The two key pieces of information required by millers and bakers are the absorption (amount of water required for a dough to reach a definite consistency) and the mixing profile of the dough (development time, stability and softening) which are indicative of the suitability of the flour for different applications. Other parameters may also be measured.

micro-doughLAB information will be useful to:

  • Wheat breeding laboratories developing new lines for milling, baking (bread, cake, pastry, biscuit), pasta and Asian products (eg steam bread, noodles and flat bread), who need to test wheat flour quality and processing characteristics using small samples (F4 and possibly F3 stage). micro-doughLAB can also be used to develop rapid and small scale methods that correlate to standard methods.
  • Flour Millers producing flour that meets the customers’ specification, establishing the performance of new season wheat, mixing and blending old wheat with new in order to meet the specifications, developing flour blends that are optimised for processes, establishing the specification of incoming flour, developing new products and studying gluten characteristics. micro-doughLAB offers high sample throughput, fast tests, convenient handling and commercial process emulation routines.