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Using ultrasound to characterize fresh yellow alkaline noodles

Summary of research

Researchers at the Canadian Grain Commission evaluated using low-intensity ultrasound to characterize changes in the mechanical properties of fresh yellow alkaline noodles prepared with different ingredients (Bellido and Hatcher, 2009a). Their research found that the ultrasonic technique could provide technologically relevant information about the rheological properties of fresh noodles. It is a simple and reliable way to determine important textural parameters of yellow alkaline noodles and distinguish between them.

To compare the results of ultrasonic testing with a commonly-used test, the researchers evaluated samples of fresh noodles using stress relaxation testing. Results from these tests showed that ultrasonic velocity increased and attenuation decreased (p<0.05) with either an increase of sodium chloride concentration (1 to 3%, flour basis) or the addition of 2% transglutaminase to the fresh noodle formula. These changes to the fresh noodle formula gave the noodles increased mechanical strength. This increased strength was shown by changes in the longitudinal mechanical moduli (a modulus derived from applying ultrasonic waves as the external, probing force).

The velocity, attenuation and storage mechanical modulus obtained from ultrasonic experiments were correlated with the maximum stress detected by stress relaxation tests the researchers performed on the noodle samples.