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Importance of water content in the grain industry

12 February 20215 min reading

Djamel Rebgui

Djamel Rebgui Expert Assessor for Cereals and Derivatives Agro-Industrial Analysis Development Centre

In the scope of the accreditation of the current version 2017 of ISO 17025 in its laboratory, the Agro-Industrial Analysis Development Centre (CDAAI-Agrodiv, Algeria) has validated the Brabender Moisture Tester MT-C for compliance with the ISO 712 method (Grain and Cereal Products - Determination of Moisture Content). Djamel Rebgui, expert assessor for cereals and derivatives at CDAAI-Agrodiv, explains the benefits of the MT-C for him and his colleagues.

Mr. Rebgui, what is CDAAI-Agrodiv? CDAAI is at the service of professionals in the agricultural and food industry. CDAAI AGRODIV develops professional expertise and, at the request of the customer, to support operators in the dynamics of competitiveness and growth of cereal subsidiaries in the current market context.

The mission of the CDAAI is to provide technical assistance to the grain subsidiaries of the Agrodiv Group and to the operators of the agro-food industry. Our six departments and our management offer analytical services in various fields: Certification of cereals, physicochemistry, biochemistry, technological rheology, microbiological toxicology and manufacturing tests.

We support the operators with advice, action and assistance. The CDAAI is committed to the growth and development of the sector by providing technical assistance and advice, analyses, laboratory tests, training, research and development, information and communication to operators in the agri-food sector.

The joint efforts of CDAAI staff to meet expectations and provide customers with services are adapted to the needs of the agri-food industry, such as studies, consultancy and technical assistance, food safety, specialized training in milling, analysis and testing, research and development and technology monitoring.

Why did you choose the Brabender Moisture Tester MT-C for moisture analyses in your laboratory? The moisture content of cereals and derivatives (especially wheat and flour) is important to ensure that the flour remains stable during storage and to balance the baking values required for making bread. From these facts, the sample preparation for grinding and the adaptation of the operating diagram to the grinding stage is derived. Furthermore, this criterion is of a capital character with regard to value creation.

However, the use of the Brabender Moisture Tester MT-C by our Development Center for Agro-Industrial Development Center (C.D.A.A.I.) partly meets the requirements of ISO 712. There are minimal differences between the standard and the operating manual of the instrument, which is normal, but the accreditor requires validations which we have performed successfully.

The MT-C is equipped with a permanent wet flow. The drying process is much faster than with a conventional oven and is characterized by its precision and reliability. It has been modified by introducing an automatic part in the equipment. Furthermore, it is to be noted that it is calibrated and qualified by the supplier and has a calibration certificate.

What was necessary to validate the MT-C to comply with ISO 712? In order to validate the analytical method applied by using the MT-C, we had to observe the use of ISO 5725-2 as a reference document, as well as the use of ISO 5725-2 as a calculation tool with reference to Chapter 7.2.2.1 ISO 17025/2017 Note 2 - Evaluation of uncertainty of measurement results, based on knowledge of the theoretical principles of the method and practical experience with its implementation.

Thus, among other measures, pedagogical explanations were developed and formulated for the auditors of the organization ACCREDITEUR. Uncertainties are intrinsic to ISO 5725-2 through the methods of GRUBBS and COCHRAN (intrinsic elements of ISO 5725-2) with regard to the metrological control of equipment and testing by control bodies. CDAAI applied the 95% confidence level method (k=2). This is the rule used for the metrological confirmation of devices (achievable by standard or MRC). The results of the interlaboratory comparison tests (BIPEA) obtained at our level from January to June were satisfactory.

Fig. 1: Works precisely and almost fully automatic: The Brabender
MT-C was validated for moisture analyses in CDAAI AGRODIV
laboratory in order to comply with the ISO 712 standard.

Interlaboratory tests issued by the prestigious Interprofessional Bureau and analyses (BIPEA) were sufficient according to ISO 17025/2017. Chapter 7.2.2.1.1 Note. II of the latter states that the interlaboratory comparison tests were sufficient for the validation of humidity ISO 712.

How does the MT-C and therefore the compliance with ISO 712 contribute to your quality policy? To ensure the quality of grain in cereals and processed products, reliable and rapid analysis must be carried out (see ISO 17025-2017). Our comprehensive range of grain and finished product analyses reliably and quickly confirms the quality of our customers' products. We can also perform wheat crush tests and instant analysis to meet the requirements of our customers' specifications.

As the national market leader in the analysis of grain, oilseeds and finished products, we are committed to providing our customers with over 40 years of experience in agricultural products. The expertise of our scientists and technicians, combined with the use of the latest ISO standardized test methods and innovative technologies, enables our laboratories to guarantee the highest standards of precision and integrity.

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