One instrument does not a laboratory make. That’s especially true when formulas use ingredients as complex and potentially variable as flour. A suite of analytical systems will be necessary.

“Whether you need to perform a few specific tests on flours or you have to test-bake to observe end-product quality, there are many ways to determine flour quality,” observed Wes Shadow, business development manager, Perten Instruments, Inc. From the company’s inventory of instruments, he assembled the pieces necessary to verify flour quality and performance:

By the miller at load-out: Falling Number (sprouting), Glutomatic (gluten quality and quality), DA 7250 (moisture, ash, protein and estimated starch damage and water absorption), IM 9500 and IM 8600 (moisture, ash and protein in flour) and DA 7300 (moisture, ash and protein of flour for in-line blending).

By the miller or baker in the test-bake lab: doughLAB (water absorption, stability, mixing time, mixing energy of flour and dough), BMV (volume, size, density, specific volume of finished baked goods), TVT (firmness, springiness, hardness, crispness, fracturablity of finished baked goods), RVA (starch pasting) and DA 7250 (moisture, protein, fat and sugars in baked goods).