Assessing the Quality of Gluten Proteins Using Acoustic Waves
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The elastic properties of gluten samples were extracted from wheat flours of variable protein content, i.e. strength, were investigated using ultrasound using low frequency (50kHz) longitudinal ultrasonic waves. The objective of the experiments was to use ultrasonic parameter as a tool to assess quality of these samples based on their elastic properties, which is determined from the measured longitudinal ultrasonic velocity. The gluten samples were extracted from a set of 7 flour samples with variable protein content ranging from extra strong to soft wheat flours. The variation in the value of ultrasonic velocity in the 7 samples screened was found to be about 1400 m/s between the soft wheat sample and the extra strong one. The results of these experiments demonstrate that ultrasonic measurements can be used as a powerful technique to classify the strength of flours based on flour protein content (FPC). The sensitivity of ultrasound to protein differences between cultivars show that ultrasound can be considered as a tool that has great potential to be used as a selection tool for breeders and provide quantitative information that complements the information provided by conventional screening tests
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