While standard methods for determining water absorption are established for wheat flour, they do not yet exist for gluten-free materials. Up to now, the water addition is adjusted by using trial and error or by calculating the Water Holding Capacity (WHC) of the individual recipe components.

At University College Cork, the Farinograph-TS was used with the Farino-Add-S300 tool to investigate the addition of water for gluten-free raw materials and formulations. Gluten-free formulations using various hydrocolloids were used. Hydrocolloids are usually used in gluten-free recipes to improve the structure.

The addition of water has been optimised, once by calculation on the basis of the WHC determination of the individual recipe components, and experimentally with the Farinograph. The recipes were then baked and the quality of the breads assessed, eg by determining volume, texture and cell structure. The effect of the adjustment of the water addition on the quality of the baked goods was then examined.

The results show that the Farinograph is a suitable measuring device to optimise water addition for gluten-free recipes. In addition to the addition of water, it is also possible to examine the kneading properties of the dough and the stability. Furthermore, the influence of all recipe components is taken into account. This can help to optimise the mixing process in the production of gluten-free baked goods and to determine an optimal mixing time. The results are reproducible, which is caused by measurement at a constant temperature kneading chamber amongst others.

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