The characteristics and processing requirements of wheat for biscuit making


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 July 1990 - 30 June 1993
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£120,200 From HGCA (Project No. 0008/1/90)
Project leader:
D Thacker FMBRA



About this project


The aims of this project were to identify soft wheat varieties giving good biscuits without sodium metabisulphite (SMS, a source of sulphur dioxide) and to define the molecular basis for variations in performance. This information would be of potential benefit to plant breeders.

This programme of work has identified which of the modern varieties give good biscuits without SMS, using a standard test baking procedure. This test revealed that modern wheats are in two groups, those in which biscuit hardness is not affected by SMS in the recipe and those which give harder biscuits without SMS.

No biochemical or rheological tests examined in this work clearly discriminated wheat varieties on the basis of their biscuit making potential. However, useful linear relationships were found between dough viscosity and biscuit eccentricity and between dough elasticity and biscuit softness.

Measurement of rheological characteristics of wafer batters gives information on the strength of protein to protein interactions, a major factor in the tendency for gluten aggregation in these systems.

Further work is suggested to assess the impact of rectifying sulphur deficiency in UK soils on the performance in biscuits and wafers of new wheat varieties. Annual testing of current and new wheat varieties for biscuit and wafer making potential is also recommended.

Extension of this study into the manufacture of snack crackers is recommended.