How to Measure the Characteristics of Dough During Mixing

The Mixolab from CHOPIN is suitable for measuring the rheological characteristics of dough during mixing. The Mixolab 2 package includes a mixing bowl, filling hopper, cleaning brush and mini PC. The mini PC is a dedicated central unit designed to control the Mixolab.

Preparing for Testing

Before powering up the device, it is important to check the water tank. If this is empty, it should be filled with distilled water. Next, both the cooling system and Mixolab are switched on.

The Mixolab’s power button is located next to the power cable at the device’s rear. Once activated, the LED located on the front will flash red, orange, and green during the 1-2 minute long initialization phase. Finally, the mini PC can be switched on, and the Mixolab will be ready to run.

Before starting a test, it is important to ensure that the nozzle is positioned on the tank. It is then necessary to configure the test in the software by clicking on ‘Test’ and then ‘Prepare a Mixolab test.’ The user must also select a protocol and enter the desired hydration.

CHOPIN recommends using 55% hydration for white flour and 60% for whole grain flour. The hydration base is always set to 14% for the standard Chopin+ protocol. The water content of the sample should be entered from measurements taken earlier.

Once all required information has been entered into the software, it is possible to automatically calculate the flour weight to be prepared. The user must weigh out the quantity of flour indicated by the software to an accuracy of plus or minus 0.1 g before closing the Mixolab.

Commencing Testing

To commence testing, the user must click on the ‘Start’ icon in the software to launch the test. The LED will turn orange, indicating that the test is underway, and the blades will start to run.

The system will prompt the user to add flour. At this point, it is necessary to place the hopper on the top of the mixing bowl and gradually add the flour to the hopper. After 30 seconds, a further message will appear asking the user to place the nozzle onto the mixing bowl.  Next, the user will wipe the nozzle, clean this and place it into the nozzle holder.

Once all the parameters have reached their refill values, the measurement will begin automatically. After 45 minutes (in the case of the standard Chopin+ protocol), the test will stop automatically, and the test results will be displayed.

Post-testing Procedure

The LED will turn green once the test is complete and the mixing bowl has cooled down. At this point, the user can clean the nozzle and place this back on the water tank before opening the lid, unlocking the bowl, and pulling out the mixing bowl.

To clean the instrument, unscrew the positioning screw from the mixing bowl, remove the front cover, the two mixing arms, and the back cover before immersing all parts in water and cleaning them carefully.

Once these are clean and dried, the parts can be reassembled, and the device is ready to run another test. If all tests are completed, the user can simply close the software and switch off the Mixolab.

How to Analyze a Dough Using the CHOPIN Mixolab 2

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by KPM Analytics.

For more information on this source, please visit KPM Analytics.

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