Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cereal Processing: History of Milling

The objective of cereal milling is to remove the bran and germ from the seed and to free the endosperm.

This left whole as in rice milling, ground into coarse pieces (wheat semolina, maize grits) or milled into flour.

Since prehistoric times up to the middle of the 19th century, cereal grains were ground in small mills, driven by hand, wind or water power.

The process of milling wheat into flour was revolutionized around 800 BC in Mesopotamia, when animal, water and wind power were harnessed for the first time to run the large stones used for grinding.

In ancient Rome the mill and the bakery were the very same enterprise. The grain were milled and worked up without delay to dough and bread.

The flour ground in such a mill was whole grain flour, because the complete cereal grains poured into the mill on top, came out out as flour at the bottom.

Probably the most ancient technique involves the grinder rocking backwards and forwards while grasping an ellipsoid stone in both hands which crushes the grain within a larger concave stone suits in front of the grinder.

Both upper and lower stone are usually made from a hard igneous rock such as granite or basalt to avoid the production of stone in the grinding process.

Around the Mediterranean and possibly also in China during the first half of the first millennium BC, there were two sophisticated versions of the handmill the hopper-rubber and the lever mill.

Moving to the milling process proper, it was in 1878 that Henry Simon took 19 British millers, to Hungary to view the all steel rollermill invention.

This machine became the heart of what is known as the gradual reduction system, commonly used worldwide today.
Cereal Processing: History of Milling
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