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Pastry Dough Hardness

Situation

short crust pastry penetration testLarge scale commercial bakery identified a requirement to measure dough hardness as a predictor to process performance in rotary moulder and plug former.

Dough texture and firmness was identified as critical characteristic to processing performance. If dough were too soft it would stick to the mold and plug former equipment. If too hard it would not fill the mold or crack on crimping.

The ability to be shaped depends on the textural attributes of adhesiveness, cohesiveness and hardness. Once baked into the final pastry product, the ideal sensory mouthfeel perceptions of cripness, crustiness, or crumbliness must be balance with the manufacturing balance of malleability and shortness.

Method

Three replicate penetration tests on a sample taken from the dough mixer.
Dough was pressed into the standard-sized container to maximise reproducibility.

short crust pastry penetration forces graph

  • Identified process and ingredient variables, which affect dough texture
  • Upper and lower limits for variables established
  • Troubleshooting checklist formed to rectify out of spec dough
  • Quality standards set for good and bad dough

Results

• Reduced downtime
• Reduced product wastage due to out of spec dough reaching production line

 pastry penetration forces bar chart for various types

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The University of Arizona’s Nutritional Sciences Food Lab acquired a Texture Analyzer from Food Technologies about 5 years ago. The company has a great product, which is tailored to food needs. 

We have used the Texture Analyzer for both research projects and as a tool to demonstrate to students how food manufacturers can employ objective testing in product evaluation to show how differing ingredients in the same product can affect quality attributes. Its use adds another dimension to the foods labs.

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Patricia Sparks, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
https://www.arizona.edu