Control of mixing step in the bread production with weak wheat flour and sourdough

  • Alessandro Parenti |
  • Lorenzo Guerrini
  • Lisa Granchi
  • Manuel Venturi
  • Stefano Benedettelli
  • Fabrizio Nistri


Recently, several old Italian grain varieties have been reinstated, and the market seems to reward the breads made with these flours. Among such varieties, cultivar Verna appears to be interesting because the regular consumption of bread obtained by this variety and sourdough provides beneficial effects on human health such as the improving of the lipid, inflammatory, and hemorheological profiles. However, flours derived from Verna shows low technological performances. For example, the W value of these flours, obtained with alveoghraphic tests and considered as the commercial standard for the flour “strength” evaluation, is largely inferior than the W values of the commercial flour blends currently used in the bread making process. Moreover, the W values broadly change among the batches of Verna flours, whereas, usually, commercial blends are provided to bakeries with standard technological properties. Hence, these properties of Verna flour could lead to developed or overworked doughs and therefore to breads of worse quality. In addition, the previous mentioned large variability of flours from Verna can affect also the sourdough microbiota. For these reasons the composition and activity of the sourdough microorganisms should be controlled while the mixing process should be able to adapt to the different flour properties. Some works, in literature, report that monitoring the electrical consumption could provide useful information about the dough rheology, and this could be used to monitor the mixing step. In the present work the effect of different mixing times are evaluated on breads made with Verna flour type 2 leavened with sourdough. Tests were carried out at industrial scale in two different days. During the tests the electric consumption was monitored to highlight some features suitable for the mixing phase control. The breads were evaluated in terms of loaf volume measurement, crumb image analysis and losses of moisture content during storage. The results show that the composition of the sourdough microbiota and the mixing time affects the produced bread, especially when it is baked with low technological performance flours. Bread baked with an appropriate mixing time shows higher loaf volumes and lower water losses during storage.


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baking, sourdough, mixing, old wheat varieties, Verna
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How to Cite
Parenti, A., Guerrini, L., Granchi, L., Venturi, M., Benedettelli, S., & Nistri, F. (2013). Control of mixing step in the bread production with weak wheat flour and sourdough. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(2s).