Importance of moisture content of the flour, Chemistry

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Q. Importance of Moisture content of the flour?

Moisture content of the flour is an important parameter and does not remain the same throughout the period of storage. As the food grains respire and produce heat, water and carbon dioxide, being porous absorb and give out moisture to maintain equilibrium with the humidity in environment. It is free water that is held by capillary force that fluctuates with the environment. Thus, the amount of free water determines the rate of deterioration in grains and flour. During the milling processes in the preparation of flour, the husk is structurally separated from the seed thus making the moisture absorption an easier process.

Increase in moisture content encourages mould growth. Moisture moves from one portion of the stored mass of flour to another, either due to temperature gradient or due to differences of temperature between flour particles and environment and this migration leads to caking associated with growth of mould and yeast.


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