I've recently had the opportunity, thanks to a generous favour, to take a few flour samples to be examined under a microscope in a biology lab. I'm no scientist, and there was no methodology here other than "I wonder what different flours look like up close". This was all spurred by recently acquiring some Caputo and I was curious to see if there are any obvious differences between Caputo and locally available flours.
I took in seven flour samples (F1 to F7):
F1 - Caputo Pizzeria 00 - imported via Brick Oven Bakers
F2 - Divella 00 Pizza - Available in NZ supermarkets, this is the easiest italian 00 flour I can personally access
F3 - Elfin Home Life Pure Flour - A New Zealand flour, this is not a strong flour, but I've used for pizza very successfully
F4 - Champion High Grade - A New Zealand strong flour, one of the better flours commonly available in my experience
F5 - Edmonds High Grade - A New Zealand strong flour, I haven't used it a lot
F6 - Pams High Grade - A New Zealand budget brand strong flour, this is actually not a bad flour - but may actually be imported
F7 - Australian Organic Stone Ground - don't know a lot about this flour, no idea what the specs are, bought from the local organic shop
The procedure was to put a small amount of the flour sample onto a slide, and suspend it in a drop of water. The water was to make the flour more easily seen under the microscope. I had worried about the water altering the grains, but it did not appear to do so, other than you can see large blobs in the slides - these are the edges of water bubbles.
Most of the slides are from a single microscope, but a small number of slides are from a second microscope as indicated - the second microscope had a different camera.
Most of the slides are 40x or 60x, but didn't note which were which. A couple of the initial Caputo slides have the wrong scale on them and have indicated this in the file name. I think we had upped the magnification to 60x for these slides, but the scale is set for 40x.
Speculation, informed or otherwise welcome!!
Pics to follow...