The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Protein Content: USA, France, and Italy

Vivian de Pane's picture
Vivian de Pane

Protein Content: USA, France, and Italy


 I have read that protein content is measured differently in the USA and France.

 In the USA the protein by weight percentage is considered with flour that contains 14% humidity, while in France the protein by weight percentage is considered with flour that is dry.

 In other words, for any given flour product, a protein content by weight percentage as its regarded in the USA will have a lower value than the protein content by weight percentage as it is measured in France.

 For example; a French flour listed as 12% protein content would seem to have a 10% protein content in the USA system.


 So, here is my question: How do Italian flour product labels compare? Is a Tipo 00 12% protein flour the same percentage that one would encounter in France or in the USA?

 I appreciate that hard and soft qualities are not described by overall protein by weight percentage quantities, but I want to make sure I understand what the protein information, however limited is attempting to convey,

Thank you!

DanAyo's picture

Hi Vivian. This has been discussed at length on the forum, unfortunately i can’t locate any of the post.

The protein content in American flours are calculated with 15% moisture content.
The protein content of European flours are calculated with 0% moisture content.

Consequently, if an American flour has 12% protein and a European flour has 12% protein, the American flour will have more protein for the same weight of flour.

I wished that all flour was describes according to the Italian method. I like it best. The W and P/L numbers are very important. Michael Wilson, aka TFL user ‘mwilson’ is our resident authority on this. Hopefully he sees your post.


Vivian de Pane's picture
Vivian de Pane

One of the primary reasons I asked this question is that I had originally read about how the ratings in France compared to USA ratings. I wondered if it was reasonable to assume that Italy shared the French method.

Then I found some references to Italian legislation about wheat flour and when I read it I saw mention of 14.5% humidity.

For example;;187!vig=

So I began wondering if labeling of total protein in USA and Italy was like to like.

I also have been wondering if there is a situation where packaging for flour meant to be sold in the USA is labeled as per USA conventions rather than French, and or Italian custom. In other words, is it possible the very same flour is labeled in more than one way?

The impetus for my questions is the easy availability of conflicting statements regarding the protein, and protein qualities of wheat flour used in bread and pizza making.

Thank you!