Comparing Small-Scale Testing Methods for Predicting Wheat Gluten Strength Across Environments
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Gluten strength is the main factor determining the rheological and processing properties of wheat. Rapid, small-scale tests that can indirectly predict gluten strength are extremely important for wheat-breeding selection, particularly when using pedigree methodology. The efficiency and reliability of three small-scale tests (SDS sedimentation volume [SDSS], swelling index of glutenin [SIG], and lactic acid retention capacity [LARC]) across three environments (E1, no stress; E2, drought stress; and E3, heat stress) were evaluated by using 15 common wheat and nine durum wheat cultivars. In the case of common wheat, SIG highlighted its advantage for predicting gluten strength, even under stress environments, compared with LARC and SDSS, whereas SDSS showed the best relationship with bread loaf volume. For durum wheat, SIG showed the best predicting value in E1 and E3; however, under drought stress, SDSS, SIG, and LARC all lost their good ability for predicting gluten strength in durum wheat, which needs further investigation. Also, the comparison between two mixograph parameters (mixograph peak time and mixograph peak integral) for predicting gluten strength and the suitability of testing SIG and LARC with whole meal (or semolina) instead of refined flour were also investigated.
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