Drought is causing high falling numbers in wheat

13 September 20183 min reading

The 2018 harvest will pose major challenges in the production of bakeable flours.Mühlenchemie assists millers with enzyme systems compensating for loss of quality caused by the weather conditions. With its enzyme system Deltamalt FN-A, Mühlenchemie offers a solution to the current challenge of producing quality flours.


The long drought in many regions of the European Union and Eastern Europe has caused massive damage to the wheat crop. In many areas the harvest has had to be brought in early in order to save at least part of the crop. The weather conditions are affecting the quality of the wheat as well as its quantity; because of the drought, the falling number is unusually high. When millers process the 2018 harvest, they will have to supplement the natural enzymatic activity of the flour. With its enzyme system Deltamalt FN-A, Mühlenchemie GmbH & Co. KG offers a solution to the current challenge of producing quality flours. While the grain is growing, a large amount of amylase is needed in order to form its starch content. The amylase is broken down again before dormancy. At high moisture levels the grain starts to prepare itself for germination and forms amylase again. If the wheat is harvested after a long dry period, as in this summer, the grain is fully dormant and therefore contains very little amylase. In the past, when millers wanted to lower the resulting high falling number, they usually added malt flour to their product. Malt flour is made from germinated cereal grains such a wheat, barley or rye and contains large amounts of α- and β-amylases. In this way it is possible to lower the falling number and improve browning and to some extent the volume yield. However, when added in large amounts, malt flours quickly results in wet doughs with poor stability. In order to standardize the baking properties of the flour and meet the specifications, different malts and enzymes had to be added. With Mühlenchemie’s solution – Deltamalt FN-A – millers now have access to an enzyme system that optimizes both the falling number and the baking properties of the flour simultaneously. Mühlenchemie GmbH & Co. KG is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of flour treatment. Its key competence lies in solutions for flour standardization, flour improvement and flour fortification – from classic flour treatment to concentrates for ready-mixed flours. Mühlenchemie exports its products to over 120 countries and maintains close relations with more than 2,000 mills around the globe. . Mühlenchemie standardizes over 100 million tons of wheat a year. The company was established in 1923 and has been a member of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe since 1990.

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