Cereal grains are biological materials and as such have certain unique characteristics greatly affected by both genetics and environment. Wheat is worldwide considered as the main cereal grain in the average human diet. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most important grading factors and kernel physical parameters that are involved in the estimation of quality specifications. The determination of the physical properties of wheat kernels gives a first approximation of the structural characteristics useful for the design and selection of equipment for handling, harvesting, aeration, drying, storing and more importantly to functionality, processing and end uses. For instance, physical quality test that directly measure those properties are needed. To get a better prediction, physical evaluation of the wheat kernels offers a first and interesting quality control for their selection as raw materials in order to optimize quality of a large diversity of products. Kernel colour, shape, size, sphericity, porosity and bulk and specific densities and damages incurred due to heat, insects, molds or sprouting are relevant tests related to wheat kernel properties and quality.
Part of the book: Wheat Improvement, Management and Utilization