The experience of our staff includes process design, mill design and commissioning for flour mills and wheat processors worldwide. An understanding of different grain characteristics and process flow are integral in improving yield and product quality. AMS’ knowledge of soft wheat, hard wheat, and durum processing, along with the experience of conventional milling and debranning techniques will ensure the proper design of your milling process. We can provide you experience in any of the below-mentioned operations:
Intake / Precleaning
Wheat generally arrives at the plant by hopper truck or railcar. We have systems to efficiently intake the wheat. The incoming wheat contains impurities and one objective of this operation is to pre-clean the grain to remove large impurities and ferrous materials which may damage or choke downstream equipment.
This section further cleans the grain stream to remove finer impurities such as smaller chaff, loose husk, seeds, dirt/sand, ferrous materials, and other impurities. This is done in the part of the plant often called the cleaning house. Cleaning is done using a combination of screening, aspiration, magnet separation, density separation, length grading, scouring, and sometimes optical sorting equipment. After cleaning, the grain is ready for subsequent processing.
Tempering / Conditioning
Of the utmost importance in flour milling is tempering, or conditioning. Tempering implies the precise addition of water to the cleaned grain and allowing the dampened grain to rest in a mass flow ‘temper’ bin for an optimum amount of time. The water is typically added in a machine called a tempering mixer, or dampener. The objective of tempering the grain is to moisten the outer coat, or bran layers, and the starchy inner part of the grain. Moistening the bran allows this layer to remain intact during subsequent milling while allowing the inner part of the grain, or endosperm, to be reduced more easily into flour. The ideal amount of moisture and temper time varies with different varieties of grain as well as other variables.
Flour milling is a repetitive series of very selective grinding, sifting, and purification. Rollermills typically provide most of the reduction of the endosperm into flour sized particles and other fractions. Multi-section plansifters provide sifting and separate the ground product from the rollermills into multiple streams directing them to the next appropriate part of the process. This could be another rollermill passage, a purification step before additional grinding, or a bran finisher to clean the bran and recover residual flour.
Blending the flour can be as simple as adding enrichment / fortification to provide nutrients that are lost by removing the bran coat of the grain, or more involved. Some facilities add other components depending on the type of flour and its end use. Blending is also used in the productions of breads, mixes, batters, and other formulations.
Loadout / Packaging
The finished flour / blend is then send to storage and is subsequently packaged in various sized packages and bags, or loaded out in bulk to railcars and bulk tanker trucks.