There is an easily understood expression in English that “you cannot judge a book by its cover.”
Applied to the new 2021/22 U.S. soft white wheat crop, that is good advice for the world’s flour millers and wheat food producers.
The persistent Pacific Northwest (PNW) drought is expected to lower yields and push 2021/22 SW protein levels higher than average.
As USW Bakery Consultant Roy Chung says, however, protein level alone does not say everything about soft white end-quality performance.
Instead, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is helping flour millers learn that testing for Solvent Retention Capacity (SRC) is the most effective and valuable method for predicting the true performance characteristics of flour for biscuits (cookies) and crackers.
These values describe the flour’s ability to absorb water during the mixing process and its ability to retain or release that water during and after the baking process, among several other performance characteristics.
The combined pattern of the four component SRC values establishes a practical flour quality profile useful for predicting functionality, giving the miller and baker a ‘fingerprint’ of U.S. soft white (SW) and soft red winter (SRW) wheat flour end-quality performance.
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