Determining factors of durum wheat bread loaf volume and alveograph characteristics under optimal, drought and heat stress conditions
Durum wheat is an important crop, especially in Mediterrannean countries; around 25% of durum wheat world-wide, and 70–90% in the Middle East, is used for bread making. Climate change is causing increased periods of drought stress and higher temperatures which are affecting wheat quality. Alveograph extensibility is important for durum wheat loaf volume (LFV), as is the relationship between dough tenacity and extensibility. This study was done to identify the factors determining LFV and alveograph properties under optimal and stress conditions. Six durum wheat cultivars with the same glutenin composition were grown for two seasons under optimal, drought and heat stress conditions. Good LFV was consistently related with higher dough extensibility, irrespective of production conditions. A number of the LMW glutenin fractions, and the γ-gliadins were significantly reduced and β-gliadins were increased under both heat and drought stress. The large and total unextractable polymeric proteins and unextractable HMW glutenins were significantly reduced by heat stress. In a multiple regression of LFV (without alveograph values), solvent retention capacity and sodium dodecyl sulphate sedimentation were the best predictors of LFV under all conditions. Size-exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography fractions combined with flour protein content were good predictors of LFV only under optimal conditions.