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Cereal functionality From July 2018 newsletter

Cereal quality and functionality

Cereals such as barley, oats and wheat are used in a wide range of products, often as the main ingredient. The quality and safety of cereal-based raw materials, ingredients and products is important, as are reliable, standardised methods across the industry to support quality and safety.

Our Cereals and Cereal Applications Testing Working Group (CCAT) provides a forum for all industry stakeholders to discuss:

CCAT has been in existence since 1950 and is costeered by the Cereals, Milling and Baking and the Fermented and Alcoholic Drinks MIGs (member interest groups).

CCAT produces a manual of methods for the main cereal and flour testing methods as well as methods for specific cereal product testing The methods are free to members and are available to download individually from our website. CCAT has recently launched a grain quality and safety bulletin, including updates to testing methods. The bulletin is available free to members.

Currently CCAT is reviewing rapid assays for mycotoxins and working on a breadcrumb resilience testing method.

New standardised method for batter preparation

Batter viscosity is frequently measured in the cereal industry, but there is no standard procedure to perform these tests.

We have recently published a standardised method for batter preparation in RD438 Investigation of factors affecting viscosity measurements of batter systems. Research we carried out determined some of the factors that influence the viscosity of water/flour batter systems, and we then used an optimised procedure to test flours with a flow cup and rotational viscometer. The research found that the viscosity of simple flour/water systems was heavily dependent on the ratio of flour to water. The results also showed that batter behaved in a complex way, changing with rest time and displaying timedependent sheer-thinning behaviour. This makes it difficult to suggest the best time to measure batter viscosity after mixing - a suggested compromise may be to test the viscosity straight after mixing. Other factors such as batch size, type of mixer attachments, speed and duration of mixing were also found to be important when using more sensitive methods of viscosity measurement.

This was part of a member funded research project on the quality and safety of cereal-based products and ingredients for the food and brewing industry.

Get involved

Campden BRI members can join the CCAT group, which brings together primary producers and processors with their suppliers. Its work has been supported by memberfunded research projects for over a decade. If you want to find out more about CCAT get in touch, the next meeting is 1 November 2018.

Contact: Clothilde Baker
+44(0)1386 842287