Wheat and flour specifications are communications between buyers and sellers. Standard methods have been developed to promote an orderly marketplace. The wheat and flour tests described in this section are standardized testing procedures commonly used for quality control purposes. Results from these tests have a direct relationship to finished product quality.
Wheat and flour specifications commonly require basic tests for moisture content, protein content, and falling number. Ash content is another important specification for flour. Flour color and single kernel characterization system (SKCS) are physical tests that may be specified by wheat processors. Milling is the separation of wheat into flour and bran. Laboratory milling is used to evaluate the milling performance of wheat and to produce flour for laboratory tests.
Several tests evaluate dough and gluten strength properties. The Farinograph and Mixograph measure the resistance of dough to mixing. The Extensigraph measures the resistance of dough to stretching. The Alveograph measures the resistance of a bubble of dough to expansion.
The main components of flour are starch and protein. Specialized tests are used to evaluate these components. The wet gluten test measures the amount of gluten protein in flour. The Amylograph and Rapid Visco Analyzer measure starch properties.
This section is intended to provide some basic information on wheat and flour quality tests used by the wheat industry worldwide.