by CHOPIN Technologies, France

 

The world reference in the field of quality control of cereals, flours and their derivatives, CHOPIN Technologies continues to advance its technological leadership with the Amylab FN, a new innovative solution for the detection of sprouted grains and the measurement of the alpha-amylase activity of flours.

 

Why monitor wheat alpha-amylase levels?

The first step of a comprehensive wheat quality control program is analysing the composition of the sample. It is especially important to measure the level of alpha-amylase, which plays a very important role during the production of leavened bread.

A shortage leads to hard-to-proof and low volume bread, whereas high amylase activity (due to sprouted grains) can lead to sticky dough and low bread volume with a red crust colour. There is an optimum level of alpha-amylase, which depends on the activity of the raw material (wheat, flour…) and the activity of added enzymes.

It is therefore important for the industry to know alpha-amylase levels and to detect lots of sprouted grains, as soon as possible.

Identification of the presence of sprouted wheat by measurement of alpha-amylase activity, according to two methods: The Hagberg falling number and Testogram

In the grains industry, alpha-amylase activity is traditionally assessed by the Hagberg method. It was developed in the early 1960's to provide a rapid means of determining the α-amylase activity in sprout damaged wheat or rye. It is widely accepted today and is standardised by international organisations, such as the ICC, AACCI, ISO and ASBC.

The Amylab FN allows performing the Hagberg test with improved control of test conditions, compared to existing systems. It also adds the capability to have the same information, in a shorter time, using the Testogram mode.

 

Hagberg method

The Hagberg method measures the amount of time it takes for a stirrer to pass through a starch sample, formed by the gelatinisation of a liquid flour suspension under the effect of its own weight. The shorter the time required for the plunger to fall, indicates higher levels of alpha amylase.

The Amylab FN applies the principles of the Hagberg method, while using innovative technologies. This guarantees that users will obtain the same results as with traditional instruments. Total test time depends on amylase activity and varies from 60 to more than 500 seconds (averaging around 200-300 seconds).

 

Testogram method

The Testogram method is a new, faster protocol. It measures the viscosity of a gel made of flour and water, that is agitated for 90 seconds at a constant temperature of 100°C. High consistency corresponds to low amylase activity (no gel degradation). The instrument displays the consistency curve live during the test.

After obtaining this measurement, the Amylab FN applies a prediction model, developed by CHOPIN Technologies on hundreds of samples from all around the world. It accurately predicts the Hagberg falling number. It is, on average, 66 percent faster than the Hagberg method, and is providing more productivity to the user, compared to the falling number method.

 

Main benefits

No matter which method the operator is choosing to use, the Amylab FN features several additional key innovations that are completely unique to FN instruments.

Heating by induction: The Amylab FN has perfect control of heating and avoids water evaporation

Reusable test tube: Aluminum tube eliminates the risk of cuts from broken glass, while improving food safety by preventing glass contamination in your products.

Bottom removable test tube: A perfect solution to easily remove starch gel from the tube and to ensure complete dryness before starting a new test

Large user interface: A seven-inch touchscreen for improved interactions with the device and better result readability

Precise results: Test tube dimensions are 100 percent controlled, high performance temperature control (infrared probes), no changing water levels in the water bath (no water), shaking movement precisely controlled

High return on investment: Higher throughput (66% faster on average using Testogram mode compared to Hagberg method), long life test tube, fast and easy tube cleaning (removable bottom)

User safety: No boiling water: no projection; no glassware: no breakage.

 

Technical characteristics

Operator time: 60 seconds for both methods

Test time: 90 seconds for Testogram method, 60-500 seconds for Hagberg method

Dimensions: L 226 mm x D 466 mm x H 561 mm

Weight: 18kg

About CHOPIN Technologies

Headquartered in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, France, the CHOPIN Technologies products focus on compositional and functional analysis in cereals, flours, and their derivatives. CHOPIN Technologies products provide exceptional results and are used across the globe to ensure operational specifications, regulatory compliance and quality standards are met. CHOPIN Technologies has additional offices in Milford, MA, USA and Beijing, China.

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