Wheat Flour Tortilla: Quality Prediction and Study of Physical and Textural Changes during Storage



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A cost-effective, faster and efficient way of screening wheat samples suitable for tortilla production is needed. Hence, we developed prediction models for tortilla quality (diameter, specific volume, color and texture parameters) using grain, flour and dough properties of 16 wheat flours. The prediction models were developed using stepwise multiple regression. Dough rheological tests had higher correlations with tortilla quality than grain and flour chemical tests. Dough resistance to extension was correlated best with tortilla quality, particularly tortilla diameter (r= -0.87, P<0.01). Gluten index was significantly correlated with tortilla diameter (r = -0.67, P less than 0.01) and specific volume (r = -0.73, P less than 0.01). Tortilla diameter was the parameter best predicted. An r2 of 0.87 was obtained when mix-time and dough resistance to extension were entered into the model. This model was validated using another sample set, and an r^2 of 0.91 was obtained. Refined and whole wheat flours, dough and tortillas were compared using five wheat samples. Refined flour doughs were more extensible and softer than whole wheat flour doughs. Whole wheat flour tortillas were larger, thinner and less opaque than refined flour tortillas. Refined wheat flour had much smaller particle size and less fiber than whole wheat flour. These are the major factors that contributed to the observed differences. In general, refined wheat tortillas were more shelf-stable than whole wheat tortillas. However, whole wheat tortillas from strong flours had excellent shelf-stability which must be considered when whole wheat tortillas are processed. . Different objective rheological techniques were used to characterize the texture of refined and whole flour tortillas during storage. Differences in texture between 0, 1 and 4 day-old tortillas were detected by rupture distance from one and two-dimension extensibility techniques. In general, the deformation modulus was not a good parameter to differentiate tortilla texture at the beginning of storage. It detected textural changes of 8 and 14 day-old tortillas. The subjective rollability method detected textural changes after 4 days storage.