Cereal and flour science is a highly complex and demanding subject.
Here you will find an alphabetic list and explanation of the most important terms.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  XYZ

Acidity regulators

Acidity regulators make it possible to set the acidity of a food to an exact value. Above all they include buffering agents (phosphates, citrates and carbonates), but also alkaline solutions and acids. They are used to achieve certain flavours and intensify the effect of preservatives. In baking, they help to set the pH of the dough to the desired value and keep it there, enabling control of the properties of the dough and enzymatic activity.

Alpha-amylase (α-amylase)

Starch-degrading enzyme. It splits the straight chains of the starch (more precisely those of amylose and amylopectin) into smaller molecules (dextrins, with α-maltose being the smallest molecule). Alpha-amylase facilitates the formation of gas by the yeast in the dough and reduces the viscosity of the dough, thus helping it to rise. It also enhances browning.
See also Amylases.


Measurement of the rheological properties (cf. rheology) of a dough made from wheat flour. The properties measured are resistance to extension and the degree of expansion of a bubble of dough blown up until the dough starts to tear.


Enzymes that degrade starch. In order to utilize the vegetable starches present in a food, all vegetarian organisms have to break down the large starch molecules into smaller units. This digestion of the starch is partly carried out by amylases. For flour treatment it is chiefly alpha-amylase, beta-amylase and amyloglucosidase (glucoamylase) that are important.


An enzyme of the amylase family, also known as glucoamylase. It splits glucose off from amylopectin, amylase, dextrin and also maltose. Glucose nourishes yeast, so amyloglucosidase increases fermentation power. It also enhances browning, since glucose promotes the Maillard reaction (formation of brown pigments from protein constituents and sugars). Large amounts of amyloglucosidase can cause a sweet taste.


The amylogram yields information on the enzymatic activity of a flour and the baking properties that may be expected of it. Its main use is with rye flours. An amylogram records the changes in the viscosity of a meal-and-water suspension during gradual heating.

Ascorbic acid

As a food ingredient, ascorbic acid, commonly known as “vitamin C”, helps to prevent preserved food from going bad. Ascorbic acid is therefore widely used as an antioxidant (E 300). It is also used in flour standardization and flour improvement, since it increases the gas retention capacity and stability of the dough. In conjunction with the enzymes naturally present in the flour it acts like an oxidizing agent in this application.

Aspergillus oryzae

A mould used to produce enzymes, especially amylases and proteases. The name means “watering-can mould of rice” and is taken from the shape of the sporophores (like the spout of a watering can) and its original use (fermentation of rice to preserve it, or production of alcohol).


Azodicarbonaminde is a fast reacting oxidizing agent used for dough strengthening. Is has been used as alternative to potassium bromate, but in contrast to bromate, it’s clear disadvantage is the tendency to turn the dough extremely stiff (“bucky”) and cause irregular bread surface and large holes in the crumb structure. Specific enzymes and adopted processing have to be applied to overcome these drawbacks. Just as bromate, azodicarbonamide is only permitted in a few areas, their number shrinking.

Baking laboratory

The purpose of a baking laboratory is to test the baking properties of flours and flour additives and to simulate commercial baking processes.

Baking premix

A compound of functional ingredients such as enzymes, ascorbic acid or emulsifiers and carriers (e.g. flour). It contains important components needed for a particular baked product (bread, small wheat products, crackers etc.) in the correct ratios. The use of premixes saves time and ensures uniform product quality in the bakery.

Baking trials department

To determine the baking properties of a flour it is necessary to process it exactly as it will be processed later at the bakery. Mühlenchemie’s baking trials department is equipped with all manner of different devices and ovens that make it possible to bake under any conditions found anywhere in the world. A staff of ten experienced bakers and cereal technicians bakes a large number of products from many countries in order to optimize the results.

Benzoyl peroxide

An oxidizing agent used for bleaching of flour. The colour is removed from the pigments naturally present in the flour so that the flour is brightened. Its use is not permitted in the European Union and some other countries.


Beta-amylase belongs to the amylase family. It splits beta-maltose (a sugar consisting of two molecules of glucose) off the ends of the chains of the starch molecules. In doughs, the sugar formed by beta-amylase can be used by the yeast for fermentation and contributes to the browning of the baked goods.


In chemistry, bromate is the term used for the salts of bromic acid HBrO3. The most common bromate for flour treatment was potassium bromate. Bromates are powerful oxidizing agents and are still used as flour improvers in a few countries. In Germany their use has been prohibited since 1957.

Bromate substitute

Bromate substitutes stabilize and relax the dough with the aid of specially selected enzymatic activities. Bromate substitutes often contain ascorbic acid or azodicarbonamide and are used in conjunction with enzymes to replace bromate. One very well-known bromate substitute is ALPHAMALT BX, developed by Mühlenchemie.

Calcium propionate

A preservative, traces of which occur naturally in certain foods. Calcium propionate is the calcium salt of propionic acid. It combats mould and bacteria such as the bacillus that causes “ropiness”. Like all acids and their salts that are used as preservatives, calcium propionate is all the more effective the more acid the environment is. So sour dough or dough acidification improve conservation.

Cassava flour

Cassava flour is obtained by grinding and drying cassava roots (Latin: Manihot esculenta, also called yuca in some regions). Some cassava countries temporarily imposed a mandatory addition of cassava flour into wheat flour our subsidized the cassava flour in order to reduce wheat imports and currency drain. Combinations of cassava and wheat flour are called composite flours. In contrast to cassava flour, tapioca is basically only the starch of the cassava root.

Composite flour

Flour mixtures in which wheat flour is wholly or partially replaced by non-wheat flours, for example to reduce expensive imports of wheat in favour of local produce such as cassava, tapioca, corn or millet.

Compound, compounding

A blend of various substances in a specific ratio. Accurate compounding requires sophisticated technology. Mühlenchemie’s automated blending plant for substances in powder form makes up formulations accurate to the gram. Special blending units with spraying, heating and cooling equipment enable homogeneous, extremely fine distribution. The processing of liquid components is integrated into the automated system.

Cross contamination

The introduction of impurities into a substance from another substance, which is close by or was previously in the containers used. The production plant of the Mühlenchemie’s sister company SternMaid has 12 separate blending lines to prevent such cross contamination.


Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid. As a flour improver it makes doughs more extensible and less elastic. Cysteine is made from feathers or by fermentation.

Diacetyl tartaric ester of mono- and diglycerides (DATEM)

An important emulsifier. DATEM consists of mono- and diglycerides of edible fats with acetic and tartaric acid. In the baking process it serves to improve the gas retention capacity and stability of the doughs, their tolerance to mechanical stress and fluctuations in processing conditions. DATEM therefore helps to achieve uniform results in the baked products, including good shape and a high volume yield.


Distilled monoglycerides

Emulsifiers (E 471), usually made from vegetable fats (triglycerides) by splitting off two of the three fatty acids. They are used to prolong the shelf-life of the goods and produce a fine-textured crumb. Distillation separates off the by-products (glycerol, fatty acids, diglycerides) occurring in the production process in order to increase the concentration of monoglycerides (e.g. to 90 %). See also mono- and diglycerides.

Dough stability

Dough stability is one of the most frequently used technical terms for dough properties in this glossary, because of its utmost importance for bakers. The dough stability determines the handling properties, the tolerance towards fluctuations of the fermentation process (also referred to as fermentation stability or fermentation tolerance), the shape of the dough pieces and the baked goods and last not least the the volume yield. The dough stability is a function of wheat variety and quality, in particular of the gluten quality, but it is also affected by endogeneous enzymes, in particular amylases that may lower the stability if present in large amount, as for instance in sprout damaged wheat. On the other hand, several enzymes can improve the dough stability, in particular lipase and glucose oxidase. Other additives increasing the stability are ascorbic acid and emulsifiers such as DATEM.

Dust analysis

Determination of the dust content of a preparation in powder form (e.g. an enzyme compound or flour). The equipment used for a dust analysis is usually the Heubach Dustmeter® in which a current of air is passed through a mechanically agitated sample of powder and the dust taken up with it is trapped and measured.


Elasticity is the capability of a dough to regain its original shape nd structure after deformation, e.g. extension. Elasticity is not to be mistaken for extensibility.


The use of an emulsifier makes it possible to mix fat with water or to disperse droplets of oil very finely in water (emulsification), because the emulsifier molecule has a water-loving (hydrophilic) and a lipid-loving end. Hence, emulsifiers enable the combination of hydrophilic and lipophilic substances. The best-known natural emulsifier is lecithin.

Enriched flour

Enriched flour is obtained by fortification (enrichment) of flour with micronutrients. The term is mostly used for end consumer flour. Flour enrichment is mandatory in many countries, but may also be applied voluntarily.


Enzymes are proteins whose molecule form and physico-chemical properties make it possible to bind certain substances (substrates) for a short time. They promote (catalyze) very specific reactions of these substrates (e.g. decomposition, conversion or transfer onto other molecules) which would otherwise require the input of chemicals or thermal energy or take a long time.

Enzyme compound

Commonly, enzyme compound and enzyme system are used as synonyms. In Mühlenchemie, we redefined enzyme compound as blend of enzymes with other functional ingredients such as ascorbic acid.

Enzyme system

A blend of specific enzymes whose effects often exceed the sum of the separate components. Individually adjusted enzyme system enable all manner of different properties of a bakery product to be pre-determined exactly.


The extensibility determines how much a dough can be stretched without breaking. Extensibility is not to be mistaken for elasticity.


An Extensogram is used to determine the consistency of a dough made from wheat flour. An evaluation of the diagram for extensibility and resistance makes it possible to predict how the dough will react during fermentation and the baking process.

Falling Number

The Falling Number is a measure of the activity of the starch-degrading enzyme amylase in the grain, and is indirectly a measure of the grain’s degree of ripeness. Ripe grains in dormancy show little activity (Falling Numbers over 300), whereas unripe or already sprouted (sprout-damaged) grains show a high level of activity (low Falling Numbers) and extreme sugar formation.


A Farinogram is a measurement of the resistance of wheat doughs to kneading. It enables the water absorption capacity of the flour to be determined. The Farinogram also gives information on the dough development time for the optimum kneading time, the stability of the dough during kneading and the degree of softening if the dough is over-kneaded.

Ferment-activated wheat gluten

Wheat gluten that has been treated or combined with specific enzymes.

Fermentation stability

Fermentation stability, or fermentation tolerance, is the ability of a dough to withstand fluctuations in the fermentation conditions, especially a higher temperature or an extended time, without any appreciable loss of structure (collapse of the dough). In many cases, the term also includes tolerance to mechanical stress (which is really dough stability). Fermentation stability can be improved by adding wheat gluten, ascorbic acid, oxidizing agents, emulsifiers or enzymes.


Food Fortification Initiative. Established in 2002 as Flour Fortification Initiative, FFI is a public, private, and civic partnership that helps country leaders promote, plan, implement, and monitor fortification of industrially milled wheat flour, maize flour, and rice. Mühlenchemie has been supporting FFI’s efforts ever since.

Flour enrichment

This chiefly means the enrichment of wheat flour with minerals and vitamins. Flour enrichment – also titled flour fortification – can compensate for the widespread undersupply of vitamins and minerals. It is part of the food fortification concept supported by non-governmental organizations such as FFI and GAIN. Mühlenchemie has developed high-quality premixes for vitaminizing flour and fortifying it with minerals to meet the specific needs of various countries. See also micronutrients.

Flour fortification

Flour fortification is part of the concept of food fortification, which according to the definition of the WHO is “the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a
food, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide
a public health benefit with minimal risk to health”.
Flour fortification is a synonym for flour enrichment. It comprises also restoration. Mühlenchemie is engaged in the activities of non-governmental organization such as FFI and GAIN and UN-funded programs such as the WFP to fight malnutrition.

Flour improvement

Flour improvement measures include compensating for a low gluten or protein content, adjusting wheat varieties that are too strong, balancing qualities that produce moist, weak doughs, correcting lots with harvest damage and incorporating substitutes such as maize or tapioca. The main purpose of flour improvement is flour standardization, but it is often the only way of making good-quality baked products at reasonable prices.

Flour standardization

Generic term for measures to create products of uniform quality from flours of different qualities. Factors such as grain variety, the nature of the soil, climate, weather, harvesting conditions, storage and milling cause deviations from the specified quality, which are compensated for by flour standardization.

Flour treatment

The objective of flour treatment is flour improvement.

Folate, folic acid

Folate (often reffered to as folic acid) is one of the “B” vitamins and acquired its name from the fact that it was originally isolated from spinach leaves (folium is the Latin word for leaf). Folate is important for all growth and development processes, since it is needed to synthesize components of the nucleic acids.

Fungal amylase

Alpha-amylase obtained from mould cultures (fungi). The most commun fungal amylase used for baking (produced by Aspergillus oryzae) has an acid pH optimum (approx. pH 5) and an optimum temperature of about 50 °C. Under typical dough-processing conditions (pH 5.5 – 6.5, 22 – 28 °C) it nevertheless has sufficient effect.


Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. Non-governmental organization founded at the UN in 2002 to “tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition”. GAIN’s purpose is to improve the nutrition of all people, and “especially the most vulnerable”.


Gluten is formed by the proteins gliadin and glutenin present in certain cereals, in particular wheat, rye, barley and their close relatives. These proteins are insoluble in water but swell. The gluten forms during mixing.
If the natural gluten content of a flour is too low, gluten obtained by extraction from wheat flour (vital wheat gluten) can be added to supplement it. See also wet gluten, gluten extension, gluten properties.

Gluten Extensibility Index

Gluten extension

Mechanical process for determining the extensibility of wheat gluten. A high degree of extensibility is usually desirable. A distinction is made between weakly extensible and elastically extensible glutens. The former are best for laminated doughs, especially hard biscuits and crackers, whereas the latter are more suitable for voluminous products such as bread and rolls.
In Eastern Europe extensibility is measured by the IDK test instrument. Otherwise the instruments used are chiefly Alveographs and Extensographs.

Gluten Index

Wet gluten is forced through a specially constructed sieve in a Gluten Index Centrifuge. The Gluten Index is defined as the percentage of the wet gluten that does not pass through the special sieve of the centrifuge. The index characterizes the gluten quality as weak or strong quality.

Gluten properties

The properties of gluten are usually described as short, extensible, strong, weak or soft. A short gluten is plastic rather than extensible (it does not return to its original shape after deformation). A strong gluten can only be extended by applying a considerable force and is usually elastic too (it returns to its original shape). A weak gluten is easily deformed and is usually plastic too; often it is also short. A gluten is described as soft if it is easily deformed (weak) and extensible without returning to its original shape (plastic).

Guar gum powder

A hydrocolloid made from the seeds of a tropical legume plant, i.e. a relative of beans, peas and the like. One of its applications is as a thickener for flan glaze, for which it is dissolved with sugar and water, then boiled. The guar gum, and thus the flan glaze, gels as it cools down


A generic term for enzymes that split hemicelluloses, i.e. constituents of the cell walls of plants. Hemicellulases – often combined with amylase – are used as baking enzymes to improve the properties of doughs (machinability, stability) and optimize the finished product (volume, consistency, shape). The most common hemicellulases used in baking are pentosanases or, rather, xylanases, a subgroup of pentosanases.


Hemicellulose is the generic name for sugar polymers (carbohydrates) where the single sugars (monomers) are linked to eachother via a ß-1,4 glycosidic bonds. Since nature’s most abundant carbohydrate cellulose has the same type of glycosidic bonds, its relatives are called hemi-celluloses (hemi = Greek for half).


A generic term for natural or synthetic polymers that dissolve or swell in water to form colloidal solutions.


A device developed by Mühlenchemie technicians in the mid 20th century to measure the moisture content of grain and flour.

IDK test

This is a method widely used in Eastern Europe for determining the extensibility of a ball of gluten. 4 g of wet gluten (with an approximate diameter of 10 mm) are placed on a flat plate and exposed to a constant force exerted from above by a disk-shaped die with a diameter of 36 mm. The index value is calculated from the distance travelled by the die (max. 10 mm) within 30 seconds. It is about 15 times the distance. Values below about 50 indicate short or strong gluten; higher values indicate a softer, more extensible gluten.

Kneading tolerance

As the dough is mixed, the water-insoluble proteins glutenin and gliadin form a continuous network that suspends the starch and entraps the gas formed by fermentation. Overmixing may damage the gluten network and hence result in reduced dough stability and gas retention. Emulsifiers, especially DATEM, various enzymes and vital wheat gluten increase kneading tolerance.

L-cysteine hydrochloride anhydrate

Stable, commercially available form of cysteine.


Generic term for phospholipids. Lecithin was initially a by-product of soy oil extraction that had to be removed in order to dewater the oil. Its technological significance was not realized until later. Lecithin is still obtained mainly from soy, but there is increasing use of alternative sources such as sunflower and rape seed. The lecithins from these three sources all have very similar baking properties. The main function of lecithin in bread baking is improvement of dough machinability. It has also a positive effect on volume, crumb structure and duration of the crumb softness.


In industrial flour processing, doughs are rarely worked by hand nowadays. Machines are used to give the dough the required consistency and shape. But unlike hands, machines do not (yet) have enough sensors to judge the condition of a dough precisely and adjust its properties as necessary so that it can be processed without difficulty. This means that suitable measures have to be taken to adjust the flour or the dough so that no problems arise during processing. Doughs must have good machinability; in particular they must not stick, but they must be pliable and also sufficiently stable nevertheless. It is in meeting these apparently contradictory requirements that the art of optimal flour improvement lies.


Micronutrients are vitally important nutrients – minerals and vitamins – that are effective in small or minute amounts and cannot be synthesized by the organism itself. They play an important role in many physical functions and have to be taken in with the food. The minerals are classified as macroelements (e.g. calcium, magnesium, sodium) or trace elements (such as iron, zinc, fluorine, iodine, selenium, chromium and copper). The body needs the macroelements in fairly high concentrations; they often serve as “building materials” for the organism. Trace elements and also vitamins are only of value to the body in low concentrations. Large overdoses of some micronutrients may be toxic; therefore an accurate dosage is required.


The Mixograph is a laboratory mixer (kneader) that records the Mixogram. It provides information on the dough development, water adsorption and mixing tolerance, similar to the Farinograph. In addition to the latter, it also records the gelatinization behaviour, because mixing at ambient temperature is followed by a mixing phase the heating and subsequent cooling.

Mono- and diglycerides

Important emulsifiers for the production of baked goods. In particular they serve to maintain the softness of the crumb. The best effects are achieved with mono- and diglycerides that contain stearic or palmitic acid as fatty acids and also a large proportion of monoglycerides. This is the reason why distilled monoglycerides with a monoglyceride content of more than 90 % are used.

Oxidizing agents

Oxidizing agents are substances that can take up electrons. In the closer sense of the term they are substances that can give off oxygen. In the world of flour, oxidizing agents are used to brighten the colour of the flour and the crumb (benzoyl peroxide) or stabilize the dough, thus enhancing the latter’s processing properties and increasing its baked volume (potassium bromate). Ascorbic acid is often mentioned in this connection, but in fact it is an anti-oxidant (reducing agent). Enzymes naturally present in the flour convert ascorbic acid into dehydroascorbic acid in the dough; this then has the oxidative effect for which ascorbic acid is used.

Pekar test

Millers used to take frequently a sample from the flour stream, slick it on a wooden slab, wet it and compare it with a reference. Bran specks or a changing colour would indicate undesired changes of the milling parameters or broken sieves, for instance.


An enzyme of the hemicellulase family that degrades pentosans. Since the pentosans in wheat flour are mainly xylans, the pentosanases with an effect on the baking process mostly belong to the sub-family of the xylanases.


Polymers consisting of ß-1,4-linked pentoses (sugars with 5 carbon atoms, e.g. xylose, arabinose). Because of the chemical bond between the sugar molecules, the pentosans are classified as hemicelluloses. The pentosans of the flour are largely xylans (chains of xylose) with arabinose side-chains. For this reason they are also termed arabinoxylans. Flour pentosans bind about ten times their dry weight of water. This means that they and pentosan-degrading enzymes (pentosanase, xylanase) are extremely important for the condition of the dough.


Phospholipids are important for building up the cells of an organism. They have a double function as physiological agents in metabolism and as biological emulsifiers. Phospholipids are similar in structure to triglycerides (fats), but one fatty acid is replaced by a phosphate group. Most phospholipids also have a more or less large functional group (e.g. choline or serine). This structure makes them more polar (hydrophilic) than triglycerides and enables them to mediate between polar and non-polar substances: they are emulsifiers. The best-known phospholipid is probably lecithin. Whether naturally present in the flour or added subsequently, phospholipids have positive effects on the properties of the dough and on baked volume. They also help to maintain the softness of the crumb.

Potassium bromate

A powerful but slow-acting oxidizing agent with a very good effect on the stability of the dough and the volume yield of the baked products. Its use is no longer permitted in Europe and many other countries. Potassium bromate is increasingly being replaced by ascorbic acid and enzyme compounds. See also bromate substitute.

Potato disease


Proteases are enzymes that split protein. They break up amino acid chains and thus divide proteins into smaller units. In wheat doughs they cause softening. For certain types of product (e.g. biscuits and crackers) this is desirable and necessary to prevent the dough portions from shrinking after shaping and during baking. Proteases may also be used to improve the shape of specific goods from yeasted dough, e.g. toast or burger buns.

Ready-mixed flours

Besides flour, ready-mixed flours contain other components that have been added according to a recipe in order to make a particular baked product. These added ingredients may be sugar in the form of glucose and lactose, milk or whey powder, and also fat. Ready-mixed flours enable the baker to produce specialities without having to store a large number of raw materials for this purpose.


Resistance is the force that a dough exerts against an attempt to stretch or deform it. In the rheological laboratory, it is recorded by mixing devices (e.g. Farinograph, Mixolab) or dough stretching instruments (e.g. Alveograph, Extensograph)


This term is used in connection with food and flour fortification for the addition of micronutrients to foods to restore amounts originally present in the natural product, but lost during processing.


During the baking process, starch gelatinizes, i.e. its crystalline structure disintegrates, it “melts”. At lower temperatures, i.e. upon storage, the starch re-crystallizes partially, firmly binding water into the crystalline structures. This effect is called retrogradation and it is perceived as bread staling.

Rheological laboratory

A laboratory with equipment for measuring the rheological properties of doughs. Mühlenchemie’s rheological laboratory is equipped to conduct measurements of gluten properties, wet gluten content, Falling Number (including milling in the case of grain samples) and the Gluten Index. It can also prepare Farinograms, Extensograms, Amylograms and Alveograms and measure the viscosity of wheat flour masses with various different instruments. For Eastern Europe, gluten extension is measured by the IDK test (Gluten Extensibility Index). Furthermore, a Texture Analyser characterizes the structure of baked products and pasta.


The science of rheology seeks to determine the basic rheological properties of viscoelastic systems by measurement and interpretation of their responses to an applied standardized stress, e.g. extension or shearing or mixtures thereof. Basic rheological properties are strength, viscosity, elasticity and plasticity.


In rare cases, bread draws out into slimy threads (“ropes”) when broken, and occasionally, the crumb even liquefies upon storage, developing a disgusting sweetish smell. Heat-resistant spores of some common bacteria are responsible for this defect. The spores survive baking and subsequently form again proliferating cells. Their enzymes degrade the crumb and cause the above-mentioned effects. The spores enter the flour from the field through the grain, but they may also find their way into the dough from infected walls and equipment at the bakery. Bacillus mesentericus – also known as the potato bacillus –is often involved in this phenomenon of “ropiness” which therefore is also called potato disease.

Rye sour

Sour dough made from rye flour.


The term means the settling of solids that are heavier than the liquid or gaseous medium surrounding them. To determine the sedimentation value of a flour, the protein of a flour suspension is precipitated (coagulated) using a suitable coagulant (e.g. lactic acid). The height of the protein sediment is then measured after a set time. This is the sedimentation value.

Self-emulsifying monoglycerides

To achieve optimum efficacy, monoglycerides first have to be hydrated (i.e. they must bind water). This process takes time, which can be shortened considerably by suitable physical preparation (spraying) and carrier materials. These preparations are termed self-emulsifying monoglycerides. Another way of speeding up emulsion is to combine them with other emulsifiers, in particular lecithin, as “mediators”. One example is Mulgaprot. However, strictly speaking, this is not a self-emulsifying monoglyceride.


For baked goods the are two difference type of shelf-life. The first one concerns the duration of the crumb softness. It is affected by starch retrogration, water migration and water losses. Certain amylases and emulsifiers improve this type of shelf-life.
The second type is the microbial shelf-life, limited in particular by moulds. The microbial shelf-life can be prolonged by sour dough, acids and preserving agents. Lower temperatures or lower water content (or, rather water activity) also reduce the growth of moulds.

Sieve analysis

The classic sieve analysis of bulk material in powder form is being replaced more and more by laser diffraction measurement, which enables even very fine particles (smaller than 0.01 mm) to be determined reliably and quickly, or image analysis which even determines the shape of the particles. Mühlenchemie uses classic sieve analysis and a laser diffraction particle sizer.


Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (sodium hydrogen-carbonate). When heated, or when it reacts with acids or salts of acids, it releases carbon dioxide and thus leavens the product.

Sodium and calcium stearoyl lactylate (SSL and CSL)

Emulsifiers (sodium and calcium salts of lactic acid esterified with stearic acid). Their main purpose is to improve the stability of the dough, increase baked volume and enhance the softness and shelf-life of the crumb. Unlike DATEM, they are mainly used in products with a soft crust (e.g. hamburger buns).

Sour dough

Sour dough is used to leaven and acidify dough. It is made from a mixture of flour and water under the effect of moderate heat, wild yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. These organisms enter a kind of symbiosis in the sour dough, and after a few days they require further nutrition in the form of flour and water. Nowadays, so-called sour dough starters are often used to trigger the fermentation of sour dough. Starters are defined cultures of microorganisms with whose aid consistent quality can be achieved.

Sprout damage

Plants form grains to proliferate and survive cold periods or drought. Therefore, the grain enters a dormant status with only little metabolic activity in order to survive as long as possible. When the ripe kernels are moistened, they “wake up” and restart their metabolism including the formation of enzymes, in particular amylases, which are necessary to recover the energy stored in the starch. If this happens before harvest due to untimely rain falls, the grain and hence the flour contain larger amounts of amylase which may impair the processing properties of the flour

Surface moisture

Non-bound water on the surface of the dough. Bakers also experience surface moisture as stickiness.


Tapioca is a starch flour obtained from the cassava root (Latin: Manihot esculenta, also called yuca in some regions). It is sometimes used to reduce the average gluten content of flour in order to make it more suitable for use in biscuits, crackers or wafers. It can also be added to composite flour. In contrast to tapioca, cassava flour contains almost all solids of the root.

Tauber’s reagent

Used to detect ascorbic acid. Two separate solutions are mixed together in equal quantities immediately before use and poured over the wet Pekar slab. The ascorbic acid is then determined semi-quantitatively as blue spots. The assay uses the reducing action of ascorbic acid on ferricyanide, forming a dye called Prussian blue.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management means that quality control does not only take place at the end of the production chain; every step is checked, from delivery of the raw materials to the end product. Total Quality Management is a process-oriented system. In TQM, quality is assessed according to the customer’s measurable requirements, so that any deviations can be eliminated by optimizing the process.

Texture Analyzer

The term Texture Analyzer is not a generic description of instruments used to analyse the structure of materials, but is signifies an apparatus that compresses or tears a sample or forces it through a specific orifice by a linear vertical movement. By mounting different tools, a Texture Analyzer can be used for instance to determine the softness of the bread, the hardness of cooked pasta, the brittleness of biscuits or the stickiness of dough.

Trace elements


Triglycerides are animal or vegetable fats. Triglyceride molecules consist of a glycerol “backbone” to which three fatty acids are attached. The fatty acids may all be the same, or they may be different. Because of their structure, triglycerides are non-polar and therefore insoluble in water (hydrophobic) but soluble in non-polar solvents such as oil (lipophilic). See also monoglycerides.

Vitamin premixes

Blends of one or more vitamins with a suitable carrier to enable safe use and accurate dosage into the food, for voluntary or mandatory food fortification. In many cases, mineral micronutrients (trace elements) are also part of vitamin premixes. Folic acid (or folate), iron, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) are the most common elements of vitamin premixes.

Vital wheat gluten

“Vital“ stands for the properties of the gluten after the gentle extraction process protein from the flour. The extraction solvent is water and the temperature for drying is comparatively low in order to maintain the native gluten properties. For more information, see Gluten.

Werner’s reagent

Used to detect potassium bromate. Two separate solutions are mixed together in equal quantities immediately before use and poured over the wet Pekar slab. The potassium bromate is then determined semi-quantitatively as brown spots.

Wet gluten

Term for the sticky and elastic portion of the grain that remains when the starch and soluble constituents have been washed out of the flour. Wet gluten consists largely of water insoluble protein and accounts for about 80 – 85 % of the total protein content of the kernel. See also gluten.


World Food Programme. Food aid organization of the UN started in 1962. “WFP is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations. Two-thirds of WFP’s work is in conflict-affected countries.” Mühlenchemie has received the approval of the WFP to supply vitamin premixes for emergency food rations.

Wheat gluten

See gluten.

Wheat sour

Sour dough made from wheat flour.


Xylanases belong to the pentosanase group of enzymes, a sub-group of hemicellulases. Hemicellulases in general are capable of decomposing various substances present in the supporting structure of vegetable cell walls; in the case of xylanase this is xylan. Xylanase is used as a baking enzyme to improve the properties of the dough (extensibility, machinability, stability) and to optimize the finished product (volume).