How is Gluten manufactured?

Gluten powder

To obtain gluten, flour is mixed with water and the starch is washed out. This process is completed commercially and a great deal of care is needed to maintain the baking quality of gluten.

First step:  The flour and water are mixed together. The resulting dough is left to rest to allow the protein components time to absorb the water.
Second step: The dough is then conveyed into long horizontal water filled tank containing screw-type conveyors, which knead the dough until all the starch is suspended in the wash water.
Third Step: All that remains between the screws is the gluten mass which is then forced through fine openings, chopped into small pieces and dried in a hot turbulent air stream ready for bagging.

There are different strengths of commercial gluten – stronger glutens are usually a greyish green colour while weaker glutens are yellow. Commercial gluten is available as either a dried powder or in a wet form

The approximate composition of dry gluten is:

Moisture

8%

Protein

70-75%

Fat

5-8%

Starch

11-16%

Fibre

1%

Using commercial gluten

When compared to flour, commercial gluten is an expensive product at about six times the price, so it should be used at only the required level to meet product quality requirements.. Some useful points to remember when using gluten as an ingredient at home or in a bakery setting are:

  • To make a useful improvement in the dough structure, approximately 4% of extra gluten is added (based on cereal weight).
  • If adding dried gluten to a bread formula then more water is required. This is approximately 1.5 times the weight of gluten added.