Infrared radiation effects on some functional characteristics of wheat flour

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Botero Uribe, Maria Emilia
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The main objective of this research was to investigate the potential of infrared radiation as an alternative method of improving bread-making characteristics. Infrared heating did not have a significant effect on the starch properties as shown by the Viscoamylograph peak, Falling Number, starch damage test, and the peak transitions of the flour water mix in a Differential Scanning Calorimeter. Infrared radiation significantly affected the gluten properties as seen from the changes occurred in the dough mixing characteristics, and the decrease in flour water absorption, wet gluten content and loaf volume. The dough mixing characteristics, measured in a Farinograph and Mixograph, showed that the infrared flour became more resistant to mixing and over mixing, required longer time to develop to an optimum consistency, and would hold longer fermentation. As infrared exposure time increased the dough development time, and stability increased, and the mixing tolerance index and the dough weakening angle decreased.The consistency (K) for the dough made with infrared treated flours increased from 40.5 $\pm$ 3.99 (control flour) to 55.3 $\pm$ 3.33 (105 s infrared treated flour). This increase in K is mainly due to the fact that dough water content decreased as infrared exposure time increased and the consistency coefficient is very sensitive to dough water levels. The flour wet gluten content was reduced from 35.7% (control flour) to 31.6% (105 s infrared treated flour). All bread characteristics but loaf volume were noticeably increased for all the infrared treated flour. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)