Why using the world standard Falling Number method is important?


In an age where manufacturing is at its peak and products are readily available with lots of choice and replicas on the market, it is important to ensure your purchase is correct and best for your needs. Despite other options now available on the market, we wanted to show exactly why it is best practice to use a world standard method when testing flour for alpha amylase.

The Falling Number method was originally created in the 1950’s by Harald Perten and Sven Hagberg to find a practical way to detect alpha amylase in Grain and Flour. 


Germination or sprouting of Grain can occur when there is heavy rainfall during the harvest period, causing accelerated production of enzymes found in the Grain (one of which is alpha-amylase). Even a small amount of sprouted grain kernels mixed with un-sprouted can cause high levels of enzyme activity, which can have an impact on the product further down the line.


Since the introduction of the Falling Number method, also known as the Hagberg Test, it has been recognised globally as the world standard approved method for this type of analysis.


Methods in the Grain industry such as ICC, AACCI & CCAT are acknowledged and approved globally. In order to get this accreditation each manufacturer must have their version of the instrument independently tested by a group of competent laboratories in a ring test. This provides the statistical validation that proves a manufacturers instrument does in fact meet the industry required level of accuracy and performance. Currently only the Perten Falling Number has this approval, no other manufacturer has ICC or AACCI compliance for the method of testing Alpha Amylase in Grain and Flour.

AACCI/No. 56-81.03 (1972)

ICC/No. 107/1 (1968)

Although enhancements and modernization of the equipment have been made over time, the method has remained the same, and just as reliable! The Perten Falling Number range has options for a single or double determination depending on user requirements. 


The new and latest addition is the Falling Number 1000, which gives more versatility such as:

  • Fungal Falling Number – analyse total enzymatic activity in flours supplemented with fungal enzymes.

  • Mean Value Calculation – automatic calculation of Falling Number mean value.

  • Mix, Malt Addition, Sample Weight – calculate mix blends, malt addition, moisture corrected sample weight and moisture corrected Falling Number results.

  • Altitude Correction – use settable altitude correction

  • Multi Connectivity – 4 USB ports and 1 ethernet port enables simultaneous use of printers, barcode readers and data capture connection.

  • Data Security – review results for past results from the database.

For more information on the Falling Number please contact us on 01925 860 401 or info@calibrecontrol.com


Rachael Smith