Background of the project This project investigates a new method for the separation of wheat dough into its constituents. The separation occurs when dough is exposed to well-defined shear. The separation process is based on the fact that dough has viscoelastic properties and that its constituents differ in rheological behaviour. Compared with traditional separation, which is based on kneading and washing, the current process offers several advantages. Less water and energy is needed, while improved gluten properties can be expected.
Aim During the research we will try to understand the driving mechanism responsible for the separation process and phenomena related to this separation behaviour. This understanding of the mechanism of the macroscopic separation process will be used into development of new separators or applications.
Approach The separation process will be studied using a shearing device that allows well defined deformation of concentrated biopolymer systems. After shearing dough in this device a concentration of gluten at the apex of the cone can be observed. Another application of this shearing device is the production of a fibrous material made of milk proteins.
During the initial stage of the project, the separation process will be analyzed by means of measuring the protein content, starch content and specification of the composition. By determining the rheological properties of the starting material, for instance the viscoelasticity, the driving mechanism of the separation process will be further unravelled. We expect that the properties of the starting material will have an influence on the separation behaviour. Also differences in start composition in relation to the amount of separation will be determined. In addition to compositional aspects, process parameters, such as rotation time, rotation speed and processing temperature, can be varied and the effect of this on the separation behaviour will be determined.
At the end of the project we aim for a new pilot plant separator for starch and gluten can be build.