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Relationships between Falling Number, α‐amylase activity, milling, cookie, and sponge cake quality of soft white wheat

Alecia M. Kiszonas, Douglas A. Engle, Leonardo A. Pierantoni, Craig F. Morris
Cereal chemistry 2018 v.95 no.3 pp. 373-385
alpha-amylase, cookies, economic impact, enzyme activity, falling number, flour, genetic variation, milling, mixing, soft white wheat, sponge cakes
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Falling Number (FN) in wheat is an important quality predictor and carries a significant economic impact. Lower FN is associated with higher α‐amylase activity and poorer soft wheat end‐use quality, especially sponge cake. The objective was to examine wheat samples with a range of FN between 70 > 300 s for α‐amylase activity and sponge cake quality. FINDINGS: Falling Number was moderately well correlated with α‐amylase activity. Stirring Number, an alternative to FN, was poorly correlated with α‐amylase activity. Milling reduced α‐amylase activity in break and straight‐grade flours compared to grain, but not substantially. Sugar‐snap cookie diameter was unrelated to FN. Japanese sponge cake quality, however, was variably associated with FN and α‐amylase activity. CONCLUSIONS: It seemed that likely the inherent genetic differences in cake quality of specific varieties out‐weighed the effects of α‐amylase (and relationships with FN). In conclusion, field samples of soft white wheat showed the general inverse relationship between FN and α‐amylase activity. However, the relationship was not strong enough to consider FN a highly robust predictor of α‐amylase activity or of sponge cake quality. SIGNIFICANCE AND NOVELTY: The results of this study illustrate the complex relationship among FN, α‐amylase, milling, and sponge cake quality.