Determining Water Absorption of Flour and Dough Development Time with the doughLAB

The doughLAB from PerkinElmer performs CGI-approved analysis of flour water absorption, mixing tolerance and dough development. The instrument ascertains water absorption of flour, time taken for dough development and other dough mixing parameters.

The doughLAB employs the conventional 20-minute test and the latest 10-minute high-speed mixing test (AACC 54-70.01). The 10-minute test enhances efficiency and lab throughput. It optimizes analysis results by enabling easy interpretation of samples with indistinct development peaks, long development times and multiple peaks.

Moreover, the high-speed technique closely resembles current bread-making processes. The instrument displays the results in FU or SI units.

Features and Benefits

  • Rapid, 10-minute high-energy mixing AACC Method 54-70.01
  • Automated — Built-in bowl temperature control system and in-built, automatic water dispensing with “drip” function to perform repeatable, operator-independent measurement of water absorption
  • Virtual Blending — Millers can quickly calculate flour blends to satisfy target water absorption specifications with the software. Users can perform complex “what if” analyses without the need to perform lots of tests. The blend models can be employed to manage crop changeover problems and design flour blends to maintain specifications for particular purposes and products while minimizing costs.
  • Approved high-speed, fast mixing method
  • Traceable — Calibrated in traceable, standard toque units (Nm) and complies with ISO9000 and Quality System requirements
  • Versatile — Users can choose from a conventional 20-minute test, the latest 10-minute high-speed mixing test and self-defined methods. Bake labs can develop specific tests to investigate flour performance with variable temperature and high-speed/energy mixing. Temperature can be programmed to analyze dough performance while cooling, heating and gelling/cooking. Variable speed mixing is available to analyze stiff and crumbly dough, novel formulations, assess dough response to varying stress and simulate commercial mixing.
  • Easy cleanup — Bowl can be quickly disassembled for easy cleaning to enhance sample throughput.
  • User-friendly — Windows software embedded with flour/dough quality methods in the software library. Users can develop their own methods. Real-time graphs, data analysis and diagnostics are allowed. Test configuration as well as data and analysis programs are stored in the software and can be easily transferred. User-friendly “routine user” mode.
  • Secure results — Password-protected software and single-page report along with traceable data comply with Electronic Registration/Electronic Signature requirements.


Wheat flour doughs are referred to as nonlinear viscoelastic materials. Thus, there is a complex relationship between the strains imparted while mixing (shearing, stretching, relaxation and compression) and during dough resistance.

Several factors associated with processing conditions and flour type will also have a huge impact on dough behavior. Changes in protein and water content, variations in the fibrillar structure of the protein, pentosans, starch, gluten strength starch damage and the actions of enzymes on the dough components all have an impact on how the dough behaves.

An empirical instrument test is preferable since the behavior of the dough is complex.

Millers and bakers require two key pieces of information — the absorption (amount of water needed for dough to reach a specific consistency) and the mixing profile of the dough (development time, softening, and stability) — which indicate the suitability of the flour for various applications. Even other parameters can be measured.

The information offered by doughLAB will be vital for the following applications:

  • Milling, baking (cake, bread, biscuit, pastry), pasta and Asian products (for example, flat bread, steam bread and noodles) laboratories where the quality of the wheat flour and processing characteristics should be tested.
  • Particular applications are the analysis of carbohydrate and gluten functionality, enzyme activities in flour, effects and functions of dough ingredients (organic acids, antioxidants, dried dairy ingredients, sugar, salt, emulsifiers, enzymes, yeast and improvers), composite flour properties, effects of special flour treatments and emulation of commercial processes.
  • Applications also include the testing of cereal grains apart from wheat, such as durum, rye and triticale. The doughLAB can be used for analyzing the mixing characteristics of vital gluten, which is added if the flour exhibits a lack of sufficient quality or quantity of gluten and is mostly used in specialty breads (for example, those made with rice flour), bread produced at high altitude and for many grain and brown breads.


Source: PerkinElmer Food Safety and Quality

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Power Requirements AC 220/240 V ± 10% 50/60 Hz, 1200 VA.
Computer Requirements PC with Windows Vista or later operating system.
Dimensions (HxWxD) 370 x 490 x 970 mm.
Net Weight 91 kg incl. bowl.
Data Interface USB B type.
Temperature Range 10–80 °C (variable).
Water supply 1 L/min at maximum, 100 kPa (at instrument), <25 °C.
(Chilled water supply required for operation below room temperature.)
Heating Rate 2.5 °C/minute max.
Cooling Rate 5 °C/minute max. (depending on cooling system).
Temperature Monitoring Sample, bowl and water.
Speed Range 0, 10-200 rpm.
Motor Torque Up to 25 Nm.
Research Areas Food and Agriculture

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