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Absorption

Absorption. (a) The term, when applied to bread flour (q.v.), refers to the amount of water (q.v.) or other liquid required by the flour to produce a dough (q.v.) of the desired or prescribed consistency (q.v.). This amount is governed principally by the flour's protein content (q.v.) and protein quality (q.v.), although other factors, such as damaged starch (q.v.), also exert an influence. Its calculation is normally based on l00 parts of flour (generally with an assumed standard moisture content (q.v.) of 14%), and is expressed as the percent increase in dough weight over flour weight that is attributable exclusively to the liquid. The ability of a bread flour to take up specific amounts of water and other liquids to produce a desired dough consistency is of major processing and economic importance to the baker. Under practical production conditions, dough consistency is most generally evaluated by the dough's appearance and feel, whereas in the laboratory special instruments, such as the Brabender farinograph (q.v.), are used for its measurement. (b) The retention of fat by a food product, such as a doughnut (q v.) or fried pie (q.v.) that is subjected t o deep fat frying (q.v.)