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These days, producers of flour have it ‘off to a fine art’, with processing methods guaranteeing precise results. Every aspect has been thought about and perfected from harvesting the wheat to serving up the delicious result. Flour is a significant ingredient in so many recipes, and bread alone is consumed by 99.8% of the UK population.
But what is flour?
Flour is a fine powder produced from ground cereal grains, seeds or roots, and is a staple ingredient in diets all over the world. It comes in a wide variety of forms depending on the types of cereals used. Flour is commonly made from wheat in Europe, North America, India, North Africa and the Middle East. It’s made from corn in central America and rye in central Europe, there is also flour made from rice.
When did it appear?
Archaeological evidence shows us that flour was first made some 30,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic period in Europe. The technique used to make flour was to grind the grains a stone mortar and pestle. The Romans created cone mills to grind, featuring a convex upper stone and concave lower stones. The upper stone was turned by an animal to grind and produce the flour.
How Flour Processing Changed
A variety of mechanisms emerged through time, before 71 BC, the Ancient Greeks invented mills powered by water. Then there were windmills and eventually steam in the industrial age. Flour was pretty expensive and white flour was popular, although it lacked the vitamins contained in the germ. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the connection was made between certain illnesses and this deficiency in the flour. The problem was eventually resolved and over the years a vast choice of products made from flour became available. Flour comes as unbleached, refined, bleached, plain, self raising and enriched.
Flour is now produced in exceptionally hygienic surroundings, and every stage of processing is carefully monitored for perfect results. Specialist engineers such as Brookshaw Stuart, provide impressive and functional flour processing plants to the highest standards. So you can happily enjoy your delicious buttered toast!
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