Improving Flour Yield and Quality Attributes
Improving flour yield to increase milling revenue and profits by improving the quality of the raw materials
Flour Yield Impact on Millers and Bakers
For a miller manufacturing 75 million tons of flour annually, a gain of 1% in flour yield will reduce the amount of wheat they need to procure by 135,000 tons. This will positively impact the business by $24 million and require 3,300 fewer truckloads
The technical performance of a flour mill is measured by its throughput and by its flour yielding capability.
Wheat costs make up over 80% of the cost of flour; any gain in flour yields translates to added revenue and profits.
Properties such as gluten content, quality, soundness and overall physical attributes of wheat are critical for end-use utilization but not yield.
Test weight and 1,000 kernel weight are more often than not regarded by millers as good indicators of flour yield.
The following raw material characteristics have a direct impact on the flour yield and the cost of a ton of flour:
- Natural moisture
- Foreign material, broken and thin immature kernels
- Kernel texture extremes (too hard or too soft)
- Intrinsic yield potential
Using average values, the germ constitutes 2.5%, the bran 14.5%, and the endosperm 83% (starchy portion that contains gluten-forming proteins) of the wheat kernel weight.
- Complete separation of the bran, endosperm, and germ can never be achieved by the dry milling process. As a consequence, the theoretical yield of approximately 83% flour (or 100% pure endosperm) is never achieved.
- In practice, extraction rates of 72–76% are normally obtained in efficient mills depending on the class of wheat used. Higher rates (>83%) will always mean a greater proportion of bran particles in the resulting flour measured as ash.
Often ash content is considered the “be all and end all” in flour quality. Higher ash content in flour is reflective of higher flour yield as the bran layers are approached and ash content increases. Higher ash content has many adverse effects on baking. There are certain wheat types where the ash and flour yield relationship does not hold.
Millers’ Response to Improving Yield
Higher flour yield can only be achieved with higher wheat quality. Other lesser contributing factors include:
Optically identify and remove differing material to preserve as much of the wheat as possible.
Tempering is often used; however optimum tempering target is frequently compromised resulting in lower yield.
Drier wheat produces flour with higher ash content and inferior color and lower flour moisture. On the other hand, wheat with higher moisture results in the loss of flour yield and reduced throughput.
By-products of the milling process can be sold as feed.
CONTEXT from Aglytix
CONTEXT is an AI analytic and data solution, for key stakeholders throughout the wheat-flour-bread supply chain, that offers high confidence level predictive modeling of the attributes that impact flour yield. It identifies the underlying root causes of poor flour yield and provides the intelligence needed for action to be undertaken to remedy or mitigate future recurrence.
For each crop type and for each variety and hybrid, there is a unique Recipac™ quality assurance recipe that aligns the quality parameters needed to meet the needs of the final customer, whether it is a brewing company, a malting company, a miller, a baker or a food processor .
“Recipes” are an AI derived model that capture the correlations between the functional specification and a field’s characteristics, grower’s practices, inputs, and timing.
Recipes are proprietary to a client, specific to a crop and application of the crop; for example, barley and beer. While this article is focused on flour yield, recipes are broader in scope and will include multiple quality objectives such as sprouting, protein, plumpness, and extract.
For this use case, a recipe is used to analyze a specific field to identify Its susceptibility to grow wheat that results in low flour yield and to identify the root causes that result in this susceptibility.
Preventing low flour yield should start by selecting the optimal fields and Recipac recipes can be used pre-season to identify the fields and operators with highest susceptibility for high flour yield wheat.
Grower based analytics that identify the corrective actions a grower can take to improve profitability and increase quality.
SolverPod™ is designed to be used with growers to improve their profitability and performance and is a key tool for gaining grower adoption
it equally identifies a grower’s unrealized yields and avoidable costs and their root causes.