The AlveoLab test consists of producing a thin sheet piece of dough, which, under air pressure, turns into a bubble. This process reproduces the deformation of the dough when subject to carbon dioxide bubbles during fermentation, analysing the visco-elastic or rising properties of wheat dough that occur in the baking processes.
The Alveograph indicates how pliable a dough a flour can make, by measuring how much pressure and how much time is necessary to cause and burst a large air bubble in the dough. From this test, bakers can decide on the best product to make with the flour.
To use an Alveograph, a set amount of dough is mixed. The standard amount of flour usually used is 250 g (1/2 pound.) A liquid consisting of 97.5% water and 2.5% sodium chloride is added (how much liquid is added will depend on how moist or dry the flour used was.) The flour and water are mixed for 8 minutes, then the machine extrudes the dough in small sheets. The dough is allowed to rest, then it's moved to the Alveograph, which then inflates the dough until it bursts, and measures the point at which it burst.
Different values are extracted from the analysis of the bursting point. To simplify the values:
Click here to watch a demonstration.