Appendix 2

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Considerable work has been done to develop standardised testing of bakery products and a selection of commercial testing methods and documentation is included here as examples. Each may be modified for use with other food commodities.

Suggested tests for major raw materials

Scoring systems for commercial bread assessment

Scoring systems are designed to give numerical values to various properties of the bread, weighted in favour of the features that are important to the company. A typical system might be:

4 points for external appearance
5 points for crumb colour
8 points for crumb cell structure
8 points for crumb firmness

Bread assessment sheet

Loaf Characteristics: shape, volume, crust colour, crumb colour, evenness of crumb cells, fineness of cell structure, size of the cells, crumb firmness, crumb springiness, stability and strength, eating quality:- flavour and aroma, other faults (ea. contamination, wrong weight)

Bread is assessed and given a score so that the reason for score can enable the bakery to see where it does not compare favourably against competitors.

Crumb Firmness: Customers rate freshness as most important characteristic of sliced and wrapped bread. The most common method of checking the freshness is a squeeze test. Crumb firmness is affected by age of the loaf; size of the loaf, degree of baking and storage conditions.

Crumb Springiness: While measuring crumb firmness it is easier to measure crumb recovery, i.e. degree of crumb springiness or resilience. This is important in separating soft, soggy bread from soft but resilient bread.

Scores are given as follows:

> 50% recovery - 8 points
45-50% recovery - 6 points
40-45 % recovery - 4 points
35-40% recovery - 2 points

Crust Colour: assessed against colour standards as follows:

5 points - golden brown
2 points - pale crust
0 points - burnt crust

Crumb Colour: should be uniformly white; 12 points for colour and evenness.

Crumb Stability: 10 points for crumb stability.

Crumb Structure: size and shape of cells; thickness of the cell walls; and the evenness of the cells. Judgement of these characteristics relies heavily on experience and knowledge of bread variety, but it may assist producer in correcting faults. 20 points for crumb structure.

Loaf volume

Judgement of test loaves:

The general judgement of bread concerns the effects of changes in all parts of the baking process on the quality of the loaf. Test loaves should be judges for:

Flavour and Aroma (Note whether flavour and aroma "normal" or "unusual")


External shape, appearance & colour

Oven break

Crumb colour

Crumb texture

Crumb softness and strength

In order to judge crumb quality it is necessary to cut the loaf accurately across the middle, using a very sharp knife and taking care to produce a perfectly flat surface. Apart from volume, it is not really practicable to evaluate these aspects of quality without the use of judgement and experience and simple reproducible numbers cannot be quoted. It is always necessary to compare the test loaf with the control loaf and with experience, it is possible to place the test loaf in one of the following categories:

Much better than control +3

Better than control +2

Slightly better than control + 1

Equal to control 0

Slightly poorer than control -1

Poorer than control -2

Much poorer than control -3

An overall marking for the general quality of the loaf, in comparison with the control may thus be produced by adding the numbers. Such a system of marking is only satisfactory when operated by one individual as he/she will emphasise certain aspects more than others. However, if carefully used a system of this sort may be of great value within a bakery.

Volume: This is the one attribute of a loaf which may be measured accurately but due to the irregular shape care is needed. The method is described in Chapter 3 (loaf volume measurement). Lack of volume generally indicates the use of a weak flour, or one low in enzyme activity. A very strong flour may also produce a loaf of small volume and this would indicate the need of a longer fermentation period, during which the gluten would become ripened and so more extensible.

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