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Hagberg falling number measurement: New machine versus conventional machine

22/06/2018 09:22

PRESENTATION
Pre-harvest sprouting or germination on the mother plant (due to rain before harvest) and late-maturity alpha-amylase (due to heat or cold shock during grain development) cause alpha-amylase activity increase. The consequences of this for wheat flour and baked products can be very important and may lead to significant problems like sticky dough, bread with low volume and excessively red crust. The Hagberg falling number method was developed in the early 1960’s to provide a rapid means of determining the alpha-amylase activity. This widely accepted method measures the time required for a sensor to plunge into a heated flour and water gel.
 
Alpha-amylase present in the gel will cause it to degrade and reduce the viscosity of the gel. Thus, the plunger will fall faster. The shorter the time required for the plunger to fall indicates higher levels of alpha-amylase. The conventional FN machine (Perten Instrument) uses breakable glass tubes, boiling water and a cooling tower. A new device, Amylab FN (CHOPIN Technologies) using a safer induction heating system and reusable test tube made of aluminum is now available. The objective of this study is to evaluate accuracy performances of this new machine.
 

MATERIAL AND METHODS

20 wheat samples and 18 flour samples covering a wide range of alpha-amylase activity (from 90 s to 450 s) were analyzed both with the new Amylab FN machine and with the Perten FN machine.

 
RESULTS
20 wheat samples and 18 flour samples covering a wide range of alpha-amylase activity (from 90 s to 450 s) were analyzed both with the new Amylab FN machine and with the Perten FN machine.
The observed correlation coefficients (r2) between the two machines are equal to 0.98 for wheat and 0.98 for flour. In the same way, the difference between the two machines is lower than the uncertainty of ISO 3093 method for more than 95% of the tested samples.
 
CONCLUSION
This study confirms the Amylab FN ability to provide equivalent results to conventional machine with safer and more user-friendly conditions. 

 

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