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T-00273: Dough Expansion System to Predict Loaf Volume

Background: One of the main needs with new formulations of dough products is to find the expansion of the dough under optimal conditions. Current dough rheology systems are only effective about 50% of the time in estimating loaf volume and require elaborate and expensive instrumentation and training.

Description: SDSU researchers have devised a system to determine the proper dough forming parameters and then the expansion of the dough to determine the potential of the experimental wheat varieties to produce bread. The dough can be mixed to optimal conditions, expanded, and the volume of the dough is then correlated to loaf volume achieved using a scientific baking procedure. The system can provide valuable information of the ability of the flour to form a gluten network and for the network to retain the expanding gasses during baking.

Advantages: Loaf volume and the predictability of loaf volume is a holy grail in the baking industry. No single test currently is able to estimate it adequately. This system accomplishes these goals by simply adding water to flour, mixing the two, and subjecting the mixture to vacuum treatment. The apparatus and technique will significantly reduce the time spent in determining end-use applications. The only currently available alternative to test baking potential is to take the flour through baking trials and to measure bread characteristics. This apparatus and technique can greatly speed up the dough quality evaluations and reduce the cost of quality assurance.