• Empirical and fundamental mechanical tests in the evaluation of dough and bread rheological properties
  • Balestra, Federica <1979>


  • AGR/15 Scienze e tecnologie alimentari


  • Bread dough and particularly wheat dough, due to its viscoelastic behaviour, is probably the most dynamic and complicated rheological system and its characteristics are very important since they highly affect final products’ textural and sensorial properties. The study of dough rheology has been a very challenging task for many researchers since it can provide numerous information about dough formulation, structure and processing. This explains why dough rheology has been a matter of investigation for several decades. In this research rheological assessment of doughs and breads was performed by using empirical and fundamental methods at both small and large deformation, in order to characterize different types of doughs and final products such as bread. In order to study the structural aspects of food products, image analysis techniques was used for the integration of the information coming from empirical and fundamental rheological measurements. Evaluation of dough properties was carried out by texture profile analysis (TPA), dough stickiness (Chen and Hoseney cell) and uniaxial extensibility determination (Kieffer test) by using a Texture Analyser; small deformation rheological measurements, were performed on a controlled stress–strain rheometer; moreover the structure of different doughs was observed by using the image analysis; while bread characteristics were studied by using texture profile analysis (TPA) and image analysis. The objective of this research was to understand if the different rheological measurements were able to characterize and differentiate the different samples analysed. This in order to investigate the effect of different formulation and processing conditions on dough and final product from a structural point of view. For this aim the following different materials were performed and analysed: - frozen dough realized without yeast; - frozen dough and bread made with frozen dough; - doughs obtained by using different fermentation method; - doughs made by Kamut® flour; - dough and bread realized with the addition of ginger powder; - final products coming from different bakeries. The influence of sub-zero storage time on non-fermented and fermented dough viscoelastic performance and on final product (bread) was evaluated by using small deformation and large deformation methods. In general, the longer the sub-zero storage time the lower the positive viscoelastic attributes. The effect of fermentation time and of different type of fermentation (straight-dough method; sponge-and-dough procedure and poolish method) on rheological properties of doughs were investigated using empirical and fundamental analysis and image analysis was used to integrate this information throughout the evaluation of the dough’s structure. The results of fundamental rheological test showed that the incorporation of sourdough (poolish method) provoked changes that were different from those seen in the others type of fermentation. The affirmative action of some ingredients (extra-virgin olive oil and a liposomic lecithin emulsifier) to improve rheological characteristics of Kamut® dough has been confirmed also when subjected to low temperatures (24 hours and 48 hours at 4°C). Small deformation oscillatory measurements and large deformation mechanical tests performed provided useful information on the rheological properties of samples realized by using different amounts of ginger powder, showing that the sample with the highest amount of ginger powder (6%) had worse rheological characteristics compared to the other samples. Moisture content, specific volume, texture and crumb grain characteristics are the major quality attributes of bread products. The different sample analyzed, “Coppia Ferrarese”, “Pane Comune Romagnolo” and “Filone Terra di San Marino”, showed a decrease of crumb moisture and an increase in hardness over the storage time. Parameters such as cohesiveness and springiness, evaluated by TPA that are indicator of quality of fresh bread, decreased during the storage. By using empirical rheological tests we found several differences among the samples, due to the different ingredients used in formulation and the different process adopted to prepare the sample, but since these products are handmade, the differences could be account as a surplus value. In conclusion small deformation (in fundamental units) and large deformation methods showed a significant role in monitoring the influence of different ingredients used in formulation, different processing and storage conditions on dough viscoelastic performance and on final product. Finally the knowledge of formulation, processing and storage conditions together with the evaluation of structural and rheological characteristics is fundamental for the study of complex matrices like bakery products, where numerous variable can influence their final quality (e.g. raw material, bread-making procedure, time and temperature of the fermentation and baking).


  • 2009-06-05


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Balestra, Federica (2009) Empirical and fundamental mechanical tests in the evaluation of dough and bread rheological properties, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze degli alimenti , 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1941.