Gluten Polymer Size & Baking

January 29/Food & Farm Week -- According to a study from Louvain, Belgium, "Flour characteristics of laboratory-milled flour fractions of two wheat cultivars were related to their cookie-baking performance. Cultivar (cv.) Albatros wheat milling yielded fractions with lower damaged starch (DS) and arabinoxylan levels and higher sodium dodecyl sulfate-extractable protein (SDSEP) levels than did cv. Meunier wheat milling. During baking, cv."

"Albatros flour doughs spread faster and set later than their cv. Meunier counterparts and, hence, resulted in larger cookie diameters. DS levels negatively affected spread rate during both cv. Albatros (R-2 = 0.68) and cv. Meunier (R-2 = 0.51) cookie baking. SDSEP levels also influenced cookie quality. The use of flour heat-treated to reduce its SDSEP levels to different degrees led to reduction of the set time (R-2 = 0.90)," wrote B. Pareyt and colleagues, University of Leuven.

The researchers concluded, "It was deduced that larger gluten polymer sizes limit dough spread time during baking and that, apart from DS level, the SDSEP level is an indicator for cookie flour quality."

Pareyt and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ("Flour Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS)-Extractable Protein Level as a Cookie Flour Quality Indicator." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, UNKNOWN DATE;58(1):353-360).

For more information, contact B. Pareyt, Catholic University of Leuven, Laboratory Food Chemical & Biochemistry, Kasteelpk Arenberg 20, B-3001 Louvain, Belgium.

From the February 1, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition