Cereals - EdExcel Specification

The key facts from the cereals topic.


Nutritional Value

Principal nutrient is Carbohydrate.

Protein in cereal grain is of Low Biological Value.

The amount of fat varies in the different grains.

Vitamins - B group, Riboflavin, A and C.

Minerals - Iron and Calcium.

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Composition of wheat

Germ- 2%. The embryo plant rich in protein, fat and the B vitamins.

Bran - 13%. The seed coats which protect the embryo and controls the intake of water. Mainly fibre but with some minerals and B vitamins.

Endosperm - 85%. The young plant's food reserve composed of starch granules mixed with protein.

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Wheat Protein - the Mixograph

The Mixograph curve provides information about protein quality.

The amount of water absorption affects the placement of the curve on the paper and the peak time.

Higher water absorption levels indicate higher quality wheat flour proteins.

The curve peak is the highest point obtained in the Mixogram.

A well-defined peak indicates proteins that are suitabe for bread-making.

Longer peak times of well-defined curves indicate stronger gluten proteins.

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Yeast bread ingredients

Flour provides the structure for the product.

Fat contributes flavour and colour.

Sugar adds sweetness, colour and moisture.

Eggs are a leavening agent and the yolks add fat and act as an emulsifier for texture.

Liquid carries flavourings, forms gluten bonds, reacts with starch in protein for structure.

Salt strengthens gluten and adds flavour.

Yeast Makes the dough rise and adds flavour.

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Milling and Baking definitions

Hardness related to endosperm texture.

Hard wheats used for breadmaking and mill to give a free-flowing flour of high water-holding capacity.

Soft wheats are often used for biscuit flours, mill to give poorer flowing flour of low water-holding capacity.

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The Milling Process

1. Cleaning

2. Conditioning

3. Blending / Gristing

4. Breaking

5. Sieving

6. Reducing

7. Sieving

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Optimum moisture content range for cereal grain is 10-14%.

Higher moisture conditions induce germination and this leads to the conversion of starch to sugar as the grain uses up its food store.

As water availability increases bacteria and moulds are able to multiply and begin to rot the grain.

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Types of wheat used in various products

Strong wheats with high protein content required for breadmaking.

Weaker - lower protein content for cakes and biscuits.

Pasta made from semolina or Durham wheat harder endosperm less drying.

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Process of obtaining Malt

Obtained from Barley.

Exposed to warm and moist conditions to bring about sprouting / germination.

Enzyme - amylases break down starch to Maltose.

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