Alpha- and beta-Amylase quality markers for cereals, flours and malt

The natural product grain has its own enzymes. Germination of the grain mobilizes the whole enzymatic power of the grain. Germinated grain is offered as baking malt and makes it easier for organic bakers to optimize their art of baking without the use of foreign additives.

Natural products are exposed to the climatic conditions, so that cereals show clear quality differences depending on the local growing areas. This can also be seen from the enzymes in the grain.

The most important enzymes for the production of baked goods are the alpha- and beta-amylases. Only the two enzymes together can loosen starch, which is strongly condensed in the grain, so that water is bound and the dough can maintain stability (paste effect).

In healthy and ripe grain the beta-amylase is present with high activity (quality characteristic for cereals). Germination of the grain does not change this activity significantly. The activity of alpha-amylase is very low in the grain, but can be increased many times by short-term germination (3-5 days) (see figure).


Src.: Corder et al. (1989, Cereal Chem. Vol. 66, p. 435)

The flour from ripe cereals should have a high beta-amylase and low alpha-amylase activity. Malt, on the other hand, should have significantly higher alpha-amylase activities (quality feature for malt).

We offer testing of these activities for cereals, flours and malts. In this way, precise information about constant quality of baked goods can be obtained quickly and inexpensively. Baking malt manufacturers can advertise an optimal product with high alpha-amylase activity and, depending on beta-amylase activity, choose the grain that is best suited for malt production. Malt producers can check their drying program based on the alpha-amylase activity. Ultimately, our test procedure offers a documentable argument for the product quality.

As an independent test laboratory, we issue a certificate of the proven activities.

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