Rheologica Acta

, Volume 57, Issue 12, pp 813–827 | Cite as

The time-dependent rheology of fermenting wheat flour dough: effects of salt and sugar

  • Mathieu Meerts
  • Dries Vaes
  • Stefaan Botteldoorn
  • Christophe M. Courtin
  • Ruth Cardinaels
  • Paula MoldenaersEmail author
Original Contribution


The in situ study of the linear viscoelastic behaviour of complex biological materials with changing volume, such as fermenting dough, poses great challenges to the rheologist. The aim of this study is to develop a new methodology involving a parallel-plate setup with an adjustable gap, to enable time-tracking of the dynamic moduli and density of fermenting dough. Frequency sweep snapshots at specific points in time were obtained in multiwave mode to reduce measurement times, and overfilling effects were taken into account by establishing a calibration curve with unfermented dough. The new test protocol allowed to distinguish the rheological impact of the CO2 gas from that of the other metabolites produced during fermentation. A further validation of the test protocol was achieved by studying the impact of sugar and salt on the fermentation kinetics, for which the results of the oscillatory tests were combined with gas production data obtained with a rheofermentometer.


Dough rheology Fermenting dough Multiwave frequency sweeps Rheofermentometer 



Nore Struyf and Mohammad Naser Rezaei are gratefully acknowledged for determining the flour characteristics (protein content, moisture content, optimal mixing time and water absorption).

Funding information

MM is indebted to the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) for a doctoral fellowship at KU Leuven. The authors would also like to express their gratitude to the Research Fund KU Leuven (IDO/12/011) for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathieu Meerts
    • 1
  • Dries Vaes
    • 1
  • Stefaan Botteldoorn
    • 1
  • Christophe M. Courtin
    • 2
  • Ruth Cardinaels
    • 1
    • 3
  • Paula Moldenaers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Soft Matter, Rheology and Technology, Department of Chemical EngineeringKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry & Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Center (LFoRCe), Department of Microbial and Molecular SystemsKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Polymer Technology, Department of Mechanical EngineeringTU EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands

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