The alveograph is a test that measures the baking performance of flours intended for the production of yeast-leavened bakery products.

Alveograph


What is an Alveograph?

An alveograph is a rheological tool used to assess the baking performance of flours used in baked products (bread, noodles, tortillas, biscuits, etc.). It is based on injecting air into a thinly stretched sheet of dough to form a bubble, simulating gas/carbon dioxide release and retention during dough fermentation and oven spring during baking.

Bakers use alveograph data to gain understanding of fluctuations in dough rheological changes by assessing:

  • Tenacity
  • Elasticity
  • Baking strength
  • Resistance of dough to deformation
  • Extensibility

Origin

The alveograph is a modified version of the extensometer which was invented by Marcel Chopin in 1920. The instrument was used to prove that the baking properties of bread were essentially dependent on the quality of wheats.2 The method applies to any type of wheat—from soft to hard—with a specific protocol for measuring Durum wheat flour. Relatively fast and simple compared to other means of measuring wheat flour performance, the alveograph is one of the most used quality control tools worldwide.

How it helps measures flour quality

How does it work?

The test is done with the following steps:3,4,5

  1. Prepare 250 g of flour and a sodium chloride solution (2.5% weight/volume). On the constant hydration method, the volume of water required to hydrate the flour to a predetermined value is adjusted according to the moisture content of the sample. An adapted hydration protocol (based on actual four water absorption capacity) is available.
  2. Mix and knead in a chamber for about 8 minutes to form a dough of proper rheology and consistency.
  3. Extrude the dough. This step aligns the gluten network and is very important to create repeatable and reproducible bubbles.
  4. Divide the extruded dough into five equal parts. Then, they are sheeted with a roll to obtain a fixed thickness (12 mm), followed by dough resting.
  5. Cut the dough sheets into discs using a die, and proof in an isothermal (temperature-controlled) box.
  6. Automatically inflate the dough disc by injecting...

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