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wheat From December 2010 newsletter

Optimising quality - the role of proteins

Proteins play an essential role in defining ingredient performance or end-product quality in many foods and drinks. Whether it´s suitability of wheat flour for baked goods, behaviour of barley during malting, or how egg contributes to the texture of a quiche for example, understanding the contribution of the protein components is essential, as Simon Penson, Head of Cereals and Milling, explains:

“Seemingly similar batches of raw material or ingredient can vary considerably due to differences in the quality and quantity of their protein content. The use of protein-rich ingredients such as milk powders is influenced by their solubility in the food matrix - which in turn is affected by thermal processes that can denature the proteins. In wheat-based products the interactions of gluten proteins are critical to product quality.

We have at our disposal considerable expertise, skills and state-of-the-art facilities to help companies troubleshoot problems or find effective formulations of ingredients in which protein interactions are critical. We can explore the types of protein present, their relative amounts and the way they interact.

We can assess the way in which their structure and functionality are affected by processing factors such as pH and heat.We are also able to use proteins as 'authenticity markers´ - for example in varietal identification of grain and flours - to ensure that materials meet specifications.

In working for clients on a one-to-one, confidential basis, we are also able to call upon the expertise of a wide range of scientists and technologists to carry laboratory-based studies through to kitchen and pilot scale production using controlled materials and processing conditions.“

Contact: Simon Penson
+44(0)1386 842280