The interplay between the main flour constituents in the rheological behaviour of wheat flour dough

M. Meerts, R.M. Cardinaels, F. Oosterlinck, C. Courtin, P. Moldenaers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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There is still considerable debate in the literature about the respective roles of starch and gluten in both the linear and non-linear rheology of wheat flour dough. Hence, to elucidate the individual contributions of gluten and starch to the overall dough behaviour, the rheological properties of dough and mixtures of different gluten-starch ratios were studied systematically in shear and extension, by means of an adequate rheological toolbox consisting of linear small amplitude oscillatory shear tests and non-linear tests such as creep-recovery in shear and uniaxial extension. The starch component plays a pivotal role in linear dough rheology. With increasing starch content, the linearity limit observed in oscillatory shear tests decreases as a power-law function. Starch also clearly affects the extensional viscosity at small strains. Consequently, in the linear region differences between different gluten systems may become obscured by the presence of starch. As breadmaking qualities are known to be intrinsically linked to the gluten network, it is imperative to probe the non-linear behaviour of dough in order to expose differences in flour quality. The quality differences between a strong and a weak flour type were revealed most clearly in the value of the strain-hardening index in uniaxial extension and the total recovery compliance in non-linear creep-recovery tests. Notwithstanding its earlier successful application to pure gluten gels, the accuracy of the critical gel model in predicting the linear rheological properties of dough was found to be limited, due to dough having a small linearity limit and a finite longest relaxation time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
Issue number2
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Burgers model
  • Creep-recovery
  • Critical gel model
  • Dough rheology
  • Gluten-starch mixtures
  • Strain-hardening properties


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