Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA) as a Tool for Measuring Starch-Related Physiochemical Properties in Cereals: a Review

  • Sandra Balet
  • Anina Guelpa
  • Glen Fox
  • Marena ManleyEmail author


Starch, composed of amylose (AMY) and amylopectin (AP), is a common constituent of many agricultural grain crops and the main source of energy for both humans and domesticated animals. There are several physiochemical factors that determine the suitability of starch for a specific end use, which mainly entails the ratios of the AMY and AP, but also the granular and molecular structure thereof. This, in turn, determines its functional properties, i.e. swelling, gelatinisation, pasting and retrogradation. Different instruments, such as the Amylograph®, Falling Number® System, Ottawa Starch Viscometer and the Consistometer, in addition to the more recently developed Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA) are used to study the functional properties of starch. Due to its reliability, repeatability and versatility, the RVA is increasingly used to determine the physiochemical and, in particular, the pasting properties of cereal starches. This review gives an update on the current knowledge of starch-related physiochemical and functional properties of a selection of cereal (i.e. wheat, barley, rice and maize) starches, and the RVA as a measuring instrument thereof, including critical analysis and discussion.


RVA  Starch  Physiochemical properties  Gelatinisation  Pasting  Retrogradation 



This study was funded by the Winter Cereal Trust (grant number WCT/W/2018/01).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sandra Balet declares that she has no conflict of interest. Anina Guelpa declares that she has no conflict of interest. Glen Fox declares that he has no conflict of interest. Marena Manley declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of JubaJubaSouth Sudan
  3. 3.Centre for Nutrition and Food Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Food Science and TechnologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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