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Roller mills


As populations expanded and the demand for more and better flour and bread grew, so a new milling process was devised. Originating in Hungary in the late 1870s, this new process involved passing the grain between sets of spinning metal rollers. These mills operate by passing the grain between a series of paired counter-rotating rollers with fluted surfaces. The resulting crushed grain is sieved between each roller pair in order to separate the bran (coarse and brown in colour – see image below) from the starchy endosperm (fine and white in colour – see image below). The end product is a super-fine white flour. To produce wholemeal flour from this type of milling it is necessary to collect the bran that have been sieved off during the early stages of milling and add them back to the final product. To obtain a brown flour a proportion only of the extracted material is added back.

Types of flour

Most of us would describe “flour” as fine powder, made from wheat, which we use in cooking. However, depending on the wheat variety and the blending processes used by millers, different types of flour, each with a different purpose, are obtained. For example, there are flours intended for cake/biscuit making, for bread making, for household use, and for pasta production. The intended use of the various types of flour on sale is usually listed on the packet.