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A durum wheat flour adapted for the production of traditional baguettes

A new process for the production of durum wheat flour has been developed by INRA and upscaled for industrial use by Les Moulins Pyrénéens. Thanks to a bread-making protocol adjusted to the characteristics of this new flour, a baguette made without additives is now available in local bakeries, under the brand name Mie’nutie.

Une farine de blé dur adaptée à la fabrication de Baguettes traditionnelles. © INRA
By Anne Perraut
Updated on 08/18/2015
Published on 04/25/2013

Durum wheat: too “hard” for French breads

In North African countries and Italy, durum wheat is used by bakers to produce breads that differ markedly from the baguette.  This flour is milled using a highly complex process that combines two milling systems.  The semolina thus obtained remains too granular for the production of French breads and durum wheat tends to be reserved for the manufacture of pasta in France, because of the texture of its kernel.

A new process to obtain durum wheat flour

Studies performed at the INRA Cereal Fractionation Platform in Montpellier have led to the development of a process that can produce flour from durum wheat kernels.  This patented process has been upscaled for industrial use by Les Moulins Pyrénéens. Made from a mixture of different durum wheat varieties selected by the Coopérative Arterris, the flour obtained is characterised by a grain size smaller than 200 µm, a high hydration capacity and good rheological properties.

From flour…to the baguette

The scientists developed a new bread-making protocol adjusted to the characteristics of this new flour so that, without any additives, they could produce well-risen baguettes while improving the bread yield, thus compensating for the higher cost of durum wheat.
This baguette, sold by local bakeries under the brand name Mie’nutie, is characterised by a very yellow, well-aerated crumb and by its long shelf-life, which is better than that of traditional baguettes.

Scientific contact(s):

  • Joel Abecassis UMR IATE – INRA/SupAgro Montpellier/Université de Montpellier Joint Research Unit for Agropolymer Engineering and Emerging Technologies
  • Hubert Chiron UMR BIA – Joint Research Unit on Biopolymers – Interactions and Assemblies
Associated Division(s):
Science for Food and Bioproduct Engineering
Associated Centre(s):
Pays de la Loire, Occitanie-Montpellier

For further information

These results were obtained in the context of a research project carried out at the request of the Arterris Cooperative, the largest durum wheat agent in France, and Les Moulins Pyrénéens, with support from the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Federation of Bakers and Confectioners, and LR transfers.
A patent has been filed in order to protect the production process for durum wheat flour that is appropriate for French bread-making. (N° FR1261763 filed on 07/12/2012)