Analytical Laboratory

The Analytical Laboratory is equipped to evaluate oilseeds, whole grain, milled products, and finished products in a quality control environment. Equipment includes Tecator NIRT, Dickey-John NIRR analyzer, Pacific Gardner colorimeter, Kjeltec protein analyzer, Falling Number apparatus, Glutomatic gluten washing machine, and Varian gas chromatograph. Instruments to measure the rheological properties of wheat products include the farinograph, mixograph, and extensigraph.

Proximate Analysis

Ash Content —Ash is an inorganic mineral residue. The ash is mainly found in the bran component of the wheat kernel. The test indicates milling performance. Standard white flour has an ash of around 0.5% whereas the whole wheat kernel has an ash content of around 1.6%. (AACCI 08-01.01)

LECO —The Leco combusts the sample and determines the nitrogen content in the sample. The percent nitrogen can be converted to crude protein content using the correct protein factor. (AACCI 46-30.01)

Lipid Analysis —Crude oil is extracted from food sample and reported as percentage of oil in the sample. (Modified AOAC 2003.06)

Moisture Content —Moisture content is determined as loss in weight after heated in the oven for a specific time. (AACCI 44-15.02)

Carbohydrate Analysis

Amylose/Amylopectin Ratio —Amylopectin is precipitated out by Con A and amylose is enzymatically hydrolyzed and resulting glucose is measured in a spectrophotometer.

Rapid Visco Analyzer Super 4 —RVA tests the viscous properties of starch, grain, flour and food. RVA measures the starch profile overtime against variable temperature. The equipment enables to study the viscous characteristics and its interaction over time and temperature on any food products, flour and ingredients. (AACCI 76 21.01)

Resistant Starch Analysis —After removal of non-resistant starch, the resistant starch is enzymatically digested and resulting glucose is measured in a spectrophotometer. (AACCI 32-40.01)

Total Starch Analysis —Total starch is determined by the starch digestion method and resulting glucose is measured in a spectrophotometer. (AACCI 76.13)

β-glucan Analysis —β-glucan is a soluble fiber which has the scientifically proved health benefit. The assay determines the percentage of β-glucan present in sample by enzymatic hydrolysis method. (AACCI 32-23.01)

Additional Tests

Water Activity —Water activity is the availability of moisture for microbial growth. The growth of bacteria is inhibited at specific water activity values. Water has a water activity of 1, pasta has a water activity around 0.5, wheat flour has a water activity of around 0.8 and bread has a water activity of around 0.95.

Lipoxygenase Assay —This is very important test for determining lipoxygenase activity which affects the oxidation of products especially bleaching of soybean product. The method employs MBTH with DMAB in a hemoglobin catalyzed reaction and color formation is read in a spectrophotometer.

Flour Quality Tests

Alveo-Consistograph —The Alve-Consistograph determines the gluten strength of dough by measuring the force required to blow and break a bubble of dough. Stronger dough requires more force to blow and break the bubble. A bigger bubble means the dough can stretch to a very thing membrane before breaking and that the dough has higher extensibility. (AACCI 54-30.02)

BranScan Fluoroscan —The BranScan uses UV light to pick up the yellow specks of the fluorescent aleurone and the dark specks of the bran in flour products such as semolina, rye, wheat, oat and barley. The data can be presented as both aleurone and bran counts and speck percentages.

Extensograph —The extensograph determines the resistance and extensibility of dough by measuring the force required to stretch the dough with a hook until it breaks. The results include resistance to extension, extensibility and area under the curve. The resistance to extension is a measure of dough strength, a higher resistance to extension requires more force to stretch the dough. The extensibility indicates the amount of elasticity in dough and its ability to stretch without breaking.

The area under the curve shows the relationship between the extensibility and the resistance to extension. (AACCI 54- 10.01)

Farinograph —The farinograph is essentially a little mixer with an attached recorder that produces a graph documenting the amount of power used to drive the mixer paddles through flour-and-water dough. The resistance of the dough against the blades, a function of its viscosity, is measured as torque. The resulting Farinograph curve reveals a number of significant characteristics about the flour such as, water absorption, arrival time, stability, peak time, departure time and mixing tolerance index. The results are used to predict processing effects, including mixing requirements for dough development, tolerance to over-mixing, and dough consistency during production. (AACCI 54-21.02)

Grit Analysis —Grit is any hard object ground during milling and present in the finished product (stones, glass). Can destroy thin wall pasta products when it lodges in the die.

Minolta Colorimeter —Colorimeter determines the color of a variety of products like flours and pastas. Colorimeter quantifies the color of a product using index. L* a* and b* value are universal and useful way of providing the brightness, yellowness and darkness of the color.

Mixograph—The Mixograph measures the gluten properties of flour by measuring the resistance of dough against the pins in the mixer. From the graph, the absorption, peak time and mixing tolerance can be determined. This test uses a very small amount of flour and is mainly used by wheat breeders. (AACCI 54-40.02)

Mixolab —The Mixolab measures the torque of the dough during mixing with an increase in temperature. The changing temperature parameters allows operators to look at not only water absorption, development time, and stability but also parameters related to starch content and quality such as, gelatinization, setback and gelling. (AACCI 54-60.01)

Falling Number —Falling number provides the indication α-amylase activity which is the enzyme causes breaking down of starch. This is one of specifications frequently checked by millers and bakers which greatly affect the baking quality. (AACCI 56-81.03)

Glutomatic —Glutomatic separates gluten from starch and quantifies the wet and dry gluten as well as Gluten Index. Gluten index is the universal term provides gluten characteristics. (AACCI 38-12.02)

Rheofermentometer—The Rheofermentometer assesses the fermentative capacity of flours and yeast activity and it measures the development of the dough during fermentation. The equipment simultaneously records three curves: dough development, the speed of CO2 released and quantity produced, and the volume of CO2 maintained in the dough.

SDmatic —The SDmatic measures the amount of starch damage in a flour sample. The equipment measures the amount of iodine absorbed by a diluted flour solution. The more starch damage in the flour the more iodine is absorbed. Starch damage has a major effect on the end product quality. Hard wheat usually has higher starch damage then soft wheat due to the higher mechanical stress put on the wheat kernels during milling. Some starch damage is necessary, but too much can cause increased cook times and higher cook loss in pasta cooking and sticky, unmanageable dough, breads that collapse, and small loaf volumes are concerns in bread baking. (AACCI 76-33.01)

Sedimentation —The sedimentation test uses a lactic acid solution which is added to a flour and water solution. The lactic acid causes the gluten forming proteins to swell and the volume of the flour solution is measured after a set time. The higher the sedimentation volume the better the gluten strength of the flour will be. (AACCI 56-61.02)

Solvent Retention Capacity —our solutions are used in this test, deionized water, 50% sucrose, 5% sodium carbonate, and 5% lactic acid. The lactic acid solution swells the glutenin proteins which indicate the strength of the flour. The sodium carbonated solution gives an indication of starch damage. The sucrose solution indicates pentosan content. The water indicates the ability of the flour to hold water. (AACCI 56-11.02)