A fairnograph analyzes the properties of flour in relation to dough.

A fairnograph analyzes the properties of flour in relation to dough.

Farinograph


What is a Farinograph?

A farinograph is a tool used for measuring dough and gluten properties of a flour sample. The results of a farinograph test are used as parameters in formulation to estimate the amount of water required to make dough, evaluate the effects of ingredients on mixing properties, evaluate flour blending requirements, and to check flour uniformity.2

It had been used as a sensing device that measures the dough’s resistance to mixing during successive stages of its development. At any particular time, dough may be in the process of being stretched, sheared, compressed, or may be in a state of relaxation resulting in the farinograph curve.1 The curve of the farinograph is a reflection of three processes: absorption of water; dough development; and dough breakdown.1

Function

Information on the farinograph properties of bread dough is read directly from the diagram of the farinograph curve. The farinograph curve represents the resistance of dough to mixing with paddles.2

Strong gluten flour has a higher water absorption and longer stability time than weak gluten flour. See figure 1.

Figure 1: Farinograph curve of strong gluten flour.

Figure 1: Farinograph curve of strong gluten flour.2

Absorption is the amount of water required to center the farinograph curve.2

Peak Time indicates dough development time, beginning the moment water is added until the dough reaches maximum consistency.2 Peak time is in minutes and gives an indication of optimum mixing time under standardized conditions.2

Arrival Time indicates the rate of flour hydration and is expressed in minutes.2

Departure Time indicates the time when dough is beginning to break down and is an indication of dough consistency during processing and is expressed in minutes.2

Stability Time is the difference between arrival time and departure time. It is a good indication of dough strength and is expressed in minutes.2

Mixing Tolerance Index (MTI) indicates the degree of softening during mixing and is expressed in Brabender units (BU).2

Process

A standardized method such as AACC – Standard Method 54-72, 2000 can be used to consistently measure the farinographic test process.3

  • A flour sample of 50 or 300 grams on a 14% moisture basis is weighed and placed in a farinograph mixing bowl.2
  • Water is added to the flour from a buret and mixed to form a dough.2
  • As the dough is mixed, the farinograph records a curve on graph paper.2

Application

Results from a farinograph are useful in determining processing effects of your formula. Mixing requirements for dough development, tolerance to over-mixing and dough consistency during production can be predicted by the farinograph.2

A study comparing baking quality of unchlorinated and chlorinated flours used data collected from the farinograph. Absorbency and PT values were instrumental in assessing tenderness, while stability and MTI values also enhanced the interpretation of baking results.1 The farinograph can be used to test your formula and predict finished good characteristics.

References

  1. Conforti, Frank D., and Janet M. Johnson. “Use of the Farinograph in Predicting Baking Quality of Unchlorinated and Chlorinated Flours.” Journal of Food Quality 15.5 (1992).
  2. “Section 4: Flour and Dough Tests.” Wheat and Flour Testing Methods: A Guide to Understanding Wheat and Flour Quality, Version 2.  Manhattan, Kan.: Kansas State U Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, 2008. 47-48. www.grains.k-state.edu/igp/wheatflourbook/fb/.
  3. Migliori, Massimo, and Sebastiano Correra. “Modelling of dough formation process and structure evolution during farinograph test.” International Journal of Food Science & Technology 48.1 (2013): 121-127.