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If you like a warm and easy breakfast, oatmeal can be a great option for you. Oatmeal, most commonly known as rolled oats, is prepared oats ready to consume in a form of porridge or cereal. Other than rolled oats, there are other types of oatmeal – such as steel-cut oats, quick oats, and instant oats. You first need to prepare clean oat groats – the hulled kernels of wild oats, and you can decide which oatmeal processing equipment you would like to set up and depending on the oatmeal of your choice.

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Preparing your oat groats for different types of oatmeals

Multiple different types of end products can be produced when it comes to oats. From oat groats to rolled oats, steel-cut oats, quick oats, and instant oats, the possibility of wild oats is limitless. To produce all of these products, however, you need to clean and process groats – the base of all oat products. 

Once the wild oats are checked for their quality, they first have to be cleaned. During this cleaning process, any impurities are removed, and the oats are then graded for their qualities. Then, it is the dehuller’s turn to shine; during the dehulling process, the husk that covers the inside of the kernel – called the hull – is detached. These dehulled kernels now go through a kilning machine, a machine that heats up and dries the moisture from the oats. This process reduces microbial spoilage and develops a nutty flavor of groats. After this, the groats go through another grading process depending on their weight and damage.  

Oatmeal processing equipment for steel-cut oats (Irish oats), rolled oats (old fashioned oats), quick oats and instant oats

Once you have prepared the clean and hulled groats, you can now decide which end product you would like to make. For manufacturing steel-cut oats, you simply need to cut the groats. You first need to transfer the groats into the rotary granulator, which has a drum-shaped rotational piece with steel knives that allows you to cut the kernels in the shape you would prefer. Depending on the speed of rotation and the position of the knives you set, the size of the cut groat can vary after the process.

If you want to make rolled oats, as known as old-fashioned oats, you first need a set of rotating rollers that can flatten the whole or steel-cut groats. This process is called flaking. During the flaking, it is important to use a steamer and release some additional steam to the groats – 3-5% of additional moisture to be accurate – because if they are too dry, they will become powder. A slight increase in temperature can optimize this flaking process. After this, a drying and cooling process is followed. Instant oats or quick oats have the same production steps as rolled oats, except they are additionally cut into smaller flakes – instant oat flakes are smaller than the quick oat flakes. Instant oats also include additional ingredients such as sweetener (sugar), salt, and flavorings, which are mixed in the mixer after the cutting process. 

Making the "diet food" - oat processing and its influence on the nutritional aspects

We all know that oats are amazing for their nutritional benefits – especially with their high soluble fiber. But, how can the processing of wild oat influence the nutritional component of any oat product? Firstly, the dehulling process allows oats to be digestible and makes human bodies easily absorb the nutrients in the oats. The heating extrusion process of oats disables the enzymes to rancidify and improves the general nutrition properties of oats; the oat brans that went through the heating process have a higher solubility and swelling capacity with viscosity. This character allows the human stomach to digest the oats slower and gives a “fuller for longer” feeling. 

Processing steps involved in oatmeal making

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