1H and 2H NMR Studies of Water in Work-Free Wheat Flour Doughs
Proton and deuterium NMR relaxation methods were used to characterize water compartmentalization and hydration in work-free wheat flour doughs. Transverse (spin-spin) relaxation measurements define three motionally unique water compartments in the work-free dough preparations. The apparent occupancy fraction and relative mobility of each water domain are found to be functions of moisture content, temperature, and flour type. Additionally, the number of relaxation-resolved water compartments and their characteristic relaxation rate constants are found to depend critically on both moisture content and the interpulse-delay employed for the multi-pulse relaxation experiments. Under controlled experimental conditions, dynamics between the three water compartments can be observed to be consistent with the onset of flour hydration. The most notable observation during the initial period of hydration is a loss of “free” or “loosely bound” water to environments characterized by less mobility. Freezing studies show that hard wheat doughs have slightly less amorphous, non-freezable water than do soft wheat flour doughs prepared under similar conditions.
KeywordsWheat Flour Water Component Flour Type Flour Dough Hydration Site
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