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Collaboration to solve dough behaviour problems

By Sarah Hills , 03-Apr-2009

The flour specialist Mühlenchemie has teamed up with a manufacturer of dough testing equipment to help its customers improve the properties and consistency of flour and solve application problems quickly.

The German company Mühlenchemie will work with Brabender in Russia, Mexico, China, and India, where Mühlenchemie recently set up laboratories, as well as in Germany to help its customers address issues with dough rheology (the physical behaviour of dough).

Lutz Popper, head of R&D at Mühlenchemie, told FoodNavigator.com that it provides flour fortification and improvers to help the milling and baking industries achieve certain properties. Brabender, which is also a German company, will provide the equipment to test attributes such as stability, consistency and resistance.

Popper said: “We identified these countries as having the largest potential growth for ourselves and also growth and development of the flour industry.

“We will offer Brabender the laboratories to present their equipment and allow customers to test the flours and teach them how to use the instruments.

“We also help Brabender install the instruments in the flour mills of our customers.”

Brabender’s equipment includes a device that tears dough until it breaks to test the resistance and an instrument that can measure water absorption to obtain a defined dough consistency.

Popper said that improvers are added to flour at the mill to, for example, mimic the maturation process that flour undergoes during storage, thereby speeding up the process.

This is because the flour is matured by chemical means rather than the more traditional process of leaving it in fabric bags with good access to oxygen.

Popper added that this helps provides “optimum baking properties” as a freshly milled flour will give a very sticky dough.

Enzymes are also added to achieve certain dough behaviours.

Brabender’s equipment can be used to establish at what level they should be added to achieve the desired properties and help create a standardised flour with a consistent baking quality. The technology is also used for quality control of the final product.

By combining their expertise customers are expected to benefit from two technologies – flour improvement and analytical evaluation.

Lennart Kutschinski, general manager of Mühlenchemie said: “Due to decreasing resources of time and personnel, it is even more important to bundle know-how and to offer millers and bakers a knowledge fund.”

Mühlenchemie claims that its key competence are in devising solutions for the standardization, improvement and fortification of flour, from classic flour treatment to concentrates for ready-mixed flours.

It has developed enzyme systems, flour maturing and oxidizing agents, bromate replacers, emulsifiers, vitamin and mineral premixes and functional systems for ready-mixed and composite flours.

It exports its products to over 120 countries and collaborates with more than 1,000 mills globally.