Wheat Milling Process
‘Kernel’ is the wheat seed that is grown from the wheat plant. Most of the wheat plants grow up to two to four feet. The wheat head is harvested to produce food and each plant can yield 50-75 kernels. These kernels are small, dry, and suitable for storage and transportation. Then, they are milled into floor, and this process is known as ‘wheat milling’.
Steps involved in wheat milling:
The wheat milling process involves separating the wheat grain into three constituents - germ, bran, and endosperm. It is a complex and intricate process. Once the wheat is prepared it is weighed, inspected, and graded. Then, the grain is separated by size, shape, and weight.
Step 1: Cleaning:
sticks, stones and other such impurities are removed from the wheat. Then, the whole pure wheat is passed for further processing into the conditioning bins.
Step 2; Tempering and conditioning:
At this stage, the wheat is soaked in water to easily remove the bran. Conditioning is done before milling to ensure moisture content is uniform throughout the grain. The moisture helps prevent the bran from breaking during the milling process.
Step 3: Gristing:
This is a particularly important stage where, the conditioned wheat and cleaned wheat are mixed to create the required type and quality of flour.
Step 4: Separating:
The grist then goes through a series of rolls which rotate at various speed levels. The rolls only split the wheat grain open to separate the inner white portion form the bran.
Step 5: Milling:
The wheat is grounded by a machine that crushes it into pieces. It is then put through sifters from which the meal obtained is processed further with repeated grinding and sifting. Then, the meal becomes fine flour, wheat germ and wheat bran.
Step 6: Blending:
Here, constituents are mixed to produce different flours. For instance, a blend of wheat bran and white flour produce whole wheat flour.
The types of flour:
Early rolls produce white flour that becomes less white on the later stage, with the increased amount of bran particles. A mixture of white flour and other stream produces brown flour When all the other streams are mixed back in their original quantities you get whole meal flour.
It should be noted that the flour types to be produced are affected by the different qualities of wheat going into the mill. While milling, one must ensure further feature variations such as flour colour by mixing various streams of flour together.