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It is well known that different flours vary enormously in respect of the size and shape of loaf they yield on baking. The factor which determines the quality of flour in this connection has been termed “strength” and the latter has been denned as “the capacity of flour for making large well-piled loaves”(1).
Many views have been held from time to time regarding the explanation of flour strength from the chemical standpoint. The earliest view was that strength was determined by the gluten content of the flour, which by virtue of its tenacity was able to retain in the bread the carbon dioxide produced as a result of the activity of the yeast. Many cases, however, were investigated where flours possessing a high gluten content were not so strong as a flour with a low content of gluten. Furthermore, no accepted regularity has been found to exist between the strength of flours and the water-holding or gas retaining capacity of their glutens.