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Flour processing technology has changed drastically since the days of the millstone pulled by a mule. But demand for more refined flour means that the production process is now slower than with more rudimentary techniques. When mixed with water, protein in wheat flour form an elastic gluten structure, giving bakery products their irresistible fluffiness.

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Refine the sifted grain with a secondary sieving

The wheat grain is composed of bran, endosperm, and germ. The bran and germ are sifted out, leaving behind the carbohydrate-rich endosperm. Before modern flour processing technology, the traditional way to sift was throwing the grains up in the air and letting the lighter chaff be blown away by the wind.

After sifting, the endosperm is ready to undergo a second sieving process to refine the material in preparation for further milling.

Water conditioning peels off the outer layer more easily

Before going for grinding, grains are treated with water to facilitate the removal of the outer skin. Cold conditioning involves soaking the wheat in cold water for up to three days. Warm conditioning, by contrast, immerses the material in water at temperatures around 46°C for 60-90 minutes and lets it rest for one day.

Water temperatures are sometimes ramped up to 60°C in a technique known as hot conditioning. In this method, grains are soaked for a shorter time. An alternative approach applies steam to the material instead of water immersion.

Apply semi-wet grinding to produce gluten-free flour from rice

Rice flour is a good substitute for rye, oat, or wheat flour. Its protein content is about 6.5-7%, but it does not contain gluten, making it an ideal candidate for gluten-free products.

The grinding process typically adopts a semi-wet method. Rice is fermented in water at a 1:2 ratio for 16 hours and then crushed. The material is partially dried in oven dryers operating at 60°C until the moisture content is reduced to around 24%. It is then ready to be milled again into finer particles and dried thoroughly.

Convert chaff from flour processing technology into wheatfeed

The bran discarded at the sifting stage is a rich component for feeds. Although frequently used in pig and poultry products, wheatfeed offers a good source of fiber and phosphorous in all types of livestock feeds.

The by-product is naturally low in calcium and vitamins, but it can be blended with other ingredients to produce a balanced feed premix. Wheatfeed is usually processed into pellet feed.

Processing steps involved in flour making

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