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‘Profiling’ flours and their value to end users

‘Profiling’ flours and their value to end users

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Flour quality control is not an easy task. Many parameters have an influence, starting from the protein (quantity, quality …), the starch (damaged or not…), the enzymes (amylases, proteases…) and many other components.
Flour quality control is not an easy task. Many parameters have an influence, starting from the protein (quantity, quality …), the starch (damaged or not…), the enzymes (amylases, proteases…) and many other components.

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Published by: Milling and Grain (formerly GFMT) on Dec 01, 2010
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Digital Re-print - November | December 2010

‘Profiling’ flours and their value to end users

Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872







by Charles Loubersac D’hotel, Chopin Technologies SAS, France


lour quality control is not an easy task. Many parameters have an influence, starting from the protein (quantity, quality …), the starch (damaged or not…), the enzymes (amylases, proteases…) and many other components.

Chopin Technologies has been working on the quality control of cereals and flours for more than 80 years, providing solutions for cereal chemistry with the help of international association such as AACC, ICC. You may be familiar with the Chopin Technologies’ Alveo-consistograph, SDmatic for damaged starch determination, laboratory mills for flour (CD1 & CD1 Auto), the new NIR Infraneo and much more. The company launched recently the revolutionary ‘Profiler’, based on the Mixolab system, that both creates a new scoring system and inverse the QC as it currently exists by scoring the raw material in function of product end value and the processing consistency rather than the raw material alone. Mixolab measures the consistency of the dough during mixing and submitted to a gradual increase and decrease of the mixer temperature. With just one single test, the operator has information concerning the protein and gluten quality (water absorption, dough stability during mixing, mixing time, strength of
18 | november - december 2010

the dough), but also concerning the starch (gelatinisation temperature, retrogradation, diastasic activity …) and some enzymatic activities (proteases on the first part of the test, amylases on the second). This tool is interesting for the all grainflour-bread chain thanks to its 50g mixing bowl. It also gives interesting and fast results from whole meal flour (obtain by grinding the wheat). Pure gluten or pure starch has also been successfully tested.

Successful testing
After a six years successful life and a wide acceptance over customers such as

additives manufacturers, breeders, universities, industrial bakeries and millers, the company has improved the software facility of the device. The repeatability and reproducibility of the Mixolab allows users to manage the three-part software (all included) package with the device called Mixolab System. It is composed of the Mixolab Standard (ICC173), comprehensive tool for the R&D where the curve interpretation remains free, but requires cereal chemistry-skilled users; the Mixolab Simulator, that simulates the Farinograph® values and the Mixolab Profiler which is the perfect tool for daily QC purposes for it helps the millers and bakers scoring their flours on six very comprehensive indexes.

Fundamental rheology: ‘The cereal chemistry minded tool’
The Mixolab senses, in real time, the torque in Nm produced by the dough between the two mixing blades. All information is transmitted to the computer for data treatment and visualisation. The Mixolab can work either at constant hydration or at constant consistency. For constant consistency, the Chopin standard target is 1.1Nm: it is adaptable to other targets as needed. Once the dough is formed, the device measures its behaviour

Figure 1: The Profiler software facility

as a function of time, mixing development and temperature. This allows for: • The analysis of the quality of the protein network: hydration, stability, elasticity, mixing power • The analysis of starch behaviour: gelatinisation and gelation temperatures, modification of consistency by additives, etc • The analysis of enzymatic activity: proteolitic, amylasic and other In order to be assured of getting a good analysis of temperature influence on the dough, a sensor is located at the dough/ mixer interface (dough temperature): this complements the information given by a second temperature sensor situated near the heating element (mixer temperature). Dough development: Starting at constant temperature, the beginning of the test checks the water absorption level of flours and measures the characteristics of dough during mixing: stability, elasticity, water absorption Protein breakdown: As the dough temperature increases, the consistency decreases. This part of the curve shows that the weakening depends on protein/gluten quality Starch gelatinisation: When a certain temperature is reached, starch gelatinization begins. Additives can influence this gelatinization temperature and/or the maximum consistency of gelatinized flour Measure of amylase activity: The consistency value at the end of heating depends on the naturally occurring and/or added amylase activity Cooling the dough down, beginning of starch gelling: When cooling, starch retrogrades and the product consistency increases. Some additives have an effect on this phenomenon and can modify its behaviour. These additives can help avoid early staling, and increase the softness of the end product, and their effect can be measured The Mixolab is very flexible and can adapt itself to every single problematics. The user can choose between the Chopin protocol proposed as a standard method or can create its own test. In this last case, he will be able to set different temperature cycles,

play with mixing speed (from 55 to 250rpm), modify the target torque, etc. This in order to be the closest of industrial use conditions of his flour. The Mixolab is very simple to use. The analysis is completely automated. Figure 2 The only steps are to weigh the flour, put it in the dough mixer and position the necessary amount of water for hydration and water injector. The device is completely injects it. A conrtol menu allows the adjustment driven from a PC thanks to user-friendly software working on Windows 98, 2000, NT, and monitoring of all the Mixolab features XP, Vista, 7. It is possible to get all the results under Excel sheets. The Mixolab design has been optimised in order to guaranty to the end-user maximum safety. Before each test, the Mixolab checks that all test conditions are respected. Once all set values are reached, the system takes the +1 515-254-1260 • Email: ascott@insta-pro.com • www.insta-pro.com


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november - december 2010 | 19



“The revolutionary Profiler creates a new scoring system and inverses the QC as it exists actually. It scores the raw material in its function at the end product and the process itself rather than just the raw material”
and particularly calibration of the different sensors: temperature, torque, etc. The Mixolab is particularly adapted for a wide range of applications in Research laboratories. However, in the end, few tools are available that help them to assess not just the quality but the functionality of their flours as well. index, an amylases index and a retrogradation index. Flour tested shall be identified such as, for example, 352-345. This Index, thanks to the reproducibility and the repeatability of the device, becomes the flour fingerprint.

Functional rheology
Functional rheology is the ultimate tool for Industrial baker. The cereal chemistry-minded tool translates into a daily use, routine and functional control all the flours tested. This is typically the kind of requirement industrial bakers, having various suppliers, are asking for. This what Chopin technology achieved with its software facility on the Mixolab. Millers, suppliers of bakeries, are giving quality parameters, such as protein, ash, starch damage, sedimentation, Hagberg, water absorption (from the Farinograph) or even Alveograph values such as W&P/L, that most of the time complies with bakers requirements. Still, some trouble shooting is possible. In a world where customers requirements are moving fast, new products developments are a critical competitive point for industrial bakers who are following new trends such as gluten-free, high-fiber, digestibility, whole grain, enriched flours etc.

Trouble shooting with the Profiler
Then there is the Profiler on the Mixolab. The quality parameters mentioned above are most of the time focusing on gluten, few are considering the starch fraction. Most the trouble shooting is coming from starch ‘miscontrol’. For example, if you just consider the water absorption you can obtain using common rheological methods, they don’t translate precisely into what is the actual water absorption in an industrial mixer. Again, Mixolab is measuring the consistency on a dough, a real dough, not a slurry or batter, where interaction between gluten and starch are critical with a limited amount of water available, where the quality of the gluten can influence the starch behaviour during the warming phase. This is actually a very good way to mimic the actual process. And this is the reason why the Mixolab is so valuable for bakers, as there is no other such device that is close to their processes. The standard curve from the Mixolab requires a pretty good knowledge of dough rheology; the baker needs fast and simple method in one test. The aim of the Profiler is to translate this raw curve into a comprehensive and understandable test. Six indexes are ranked from 0 to 9 (see Figure 2), an absorption index, a mixing index, a gluten quality index, a viscosity

Designing your own profiles
Based on that, the bakers will be able to design their own profiles for each of their end products with tolerances values on the Chopin Index. They need, like a calibration, to process on the Mixolab 12 to 20 samples of well performing flours for a dedicated end product. That includes the process used for that end product. They will design, like this, the Profiler they need. From that preliminary work you shall be able to ensure 100 percent consistency in your production line. As soon as you have the profile, you can make it easy, whatever the skills of the user: you know if the flour is “in” the Profile or “out”. If in, no worries, if out, the profiler shows where the problem comes from, on which index and how it can be fixed with your supplier. Indeed, that provides the bakers, in one single test, a better understanding, avoid trouble shootings from arising and allow communications with suppliers to be accurate and precise. The revolutionary Profiler creates a new scoring system and inverses the QC as it exists actually. It scores the raw material in its function at the end product and the process itself rather than just the raw material.

Figure 3: The Mixolab device



Chopin Technologies 20 avenue Marcelin Berthelot Villeneuve-la-Garenne Cedex, 92396 France
Website: www.chopin.fr

20 | november - december 2010


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• ‘Profiling’ Flours And Their Value To End Users Global grain & feed markets Company profiles 2010/11

• New dimension in the production of hygienised feed meal

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