First the wheat is cleaned, this separates the grain from seeds and other grains, removes foreign materials that may have originated as the farmer harvested his crop, such as straw, stones and even metal objects. It will then pass through a magnetic separator to remove ferrous metal particles, in fact in our milling process there are many magnets positioned all over the mill to ensure that no metal pieces end up in the finished product.

There can be as many as six steps to clean the grain, using vibrating drums, air currents, gravity and sifters to make sure the grain is in prime condition to start milling.

The wheat is then conditioned for milling, this involves soaking the wheat, a process called tempering, and this helps to toughen the bran and mellow the inner endosperm, making the parts of the kernel separate more easily and cleanly.

Now the wheat is ready to be milled into flour, and this process remains the same as it has for hundreds of years. The wheat kernels are gradually reduced through a process of grinding and sifting. This is done via a series of roller mills, corrugated cylinders that are paired and rotate inward against each other, moving at different speeds. This process begins the separation of the bran, endosperm (starch) and germ, and there can be up to five roller mills, each with the same objective to get as much endosperm as possible.

Then the broken particles of wheat are elevated through tubes and dropped into a huge vibrating box like machine that sifts the wheat to separate the large from the small particles. Inside the sifters are screens with square openings that get smaller and smaller the further down they go.

These processes are repeated over and over again until the maximum amount of flour is separated, approx. 75% of the wheat kernel.

The finished flour is then tested to ensure it meets all specifications, and stored in bins or silos to be either packaged in bags for our own brands or for collection by our customers who range from local bakers to large industrial bakers to large multi-national consumer brands.

This process for most millers takes place 7 days a week, and almost 365 days of the year, to ensure that the worldwide demand for 130 million tonnes of bread and bakery products is met.

Scott Wellcome E:

25 | ADMISI - The Ghost In The Machine | July/August 2019

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