Effects of a late N fertiliser dose on storage protein composition and bread volume of two wheat varieties differing in quality
Wheat is an important source of energy and protein for humans all over the world and is mainly consumed in form of baked goods, for which a high baking quality is required. The main parameter for bread-making quality predictions of wheat flours is the grain protein concentration (GPC). Therefore, the GPC determines the value of the harvested wheat. Unfortunately, the GPC appears to be no longer an appropriate parameter for baking quality evaluation, given that, especially for high protein varieties, the correlation between GPC and bread volume is poor. A late N application is commonly used to increase GPC and enhance the bread-making quality of wheat flours. To minimise the environmental problems involved in the late use of N fertilisers, it is important to know how much N is necessary to achieve the desired effects. Therefore, in this study, the effects of two different doses of late N application on the GPC, as well as storage protein composition and bread volume were tested in two wheat varieties from different quality groups under field conditions in Germany. The findings of this experiment demonstrate that a low late N application appears to be sufficient to achieve a good baking quality of wheat flours. These results confirm the presumption that GPC is not a suitable parameter for bread-making quality predictions. As the relationships between the single storage protein fractions and bread volume were poor, it can be concluded that only the combined alterations within all gluten protein fractions explain the rise in bread volume.
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