Bread flour quality, which is directly related bread quality, varies from time to time. It is therefore almost impossible to obtain bread with consistent quality without determining the flour's suitability for bread-making and the addition of bread improvers. Rheological tests such as the farinograph and the mixograph which are commonly used by bakeries to predict flour quality are empirical in nature which makes fundamental interpretation of the results difficult. The stress relaxation test, a more fundamental rheological test, was used in combination with the mixograph to determine if the stress relaxation test can provide additional information to the mixograph on prediction of the effect of ascorbic acid and DATEM on bread-making quality of three different flour samples. In this test, an optimally developed ball of dough was compressed between parallel plates of a TA-XT2 texture analyser. The 20 g dough was compressed to a load of 1.5 N and thereafter allowed to relax at constant deformation. The relaxation time (RT) was recorded as time taken for the compression force to decay to a force of 0.65 N. Longer RT indicated better flour quality. RT was compared with the mixograph peak time and peak height as predictors of the effect of ascorbic acid and DATEM on bread quality. Test bakes were carried out, and concentrations of ascorbic acid and DATEM were varied as in the stress relaxation test and the mixograph test. At the various stages of the baking process several dough and bread properties were assessed subjectively and scored according to a standardised scoring system. The mixograph was successful in characterising untreated flours in terms of bread-making quality and the stress relaxation test did not provide additional information in this regard. The mixograph was better able to predict the effect of improvers on the stronger Lelie while the stress relaxation test was better at predicting improver effect (especially of DATEM) on the weaker flours, Tiger and Silver Queen. The mixograph predicted the improving effect of DATEM on Tiger and Silver Queen up to a peak, followed by no further improvement. The stress relaxation test predicted improvement beyond the peak, and this continued improvement was observed in the test bake and strong correlation (p<O.05) was found between effect of DATEM on RTs and these important test bake parameters: baking height, loaf volume, drop baking height and the bread score. In addition to information on mixing properties provided by the mixograph, RT seemed to be predicting dough's stability, related to its gas-retaining properties. This stability which can be enhanced by DATEM may be related to both the extensibility of dough's gluten matrix and the stability of the liquid film surrounding the gluten matrix.
Dissertation (MSc (Agric) Food Science and Technology)--University of Pretoria, 2005.