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The art and science of modern flour processing

Analytical data for key parameters such as moisture, ash and protein helps you to extract more from the process while protecting traditional quality standards.

 

Steeped in tradition, flour milling has always been an art of balancing traditional quality standards against practical realities of supply and demand. The COVID crisis and its impact on consumer demand is just one example. The availability of quality raw material in the light of supply chain and climate challenges is another.

On such a stage, technology provides the edge required to thrive in a world of famously tight margins. Among the flour processing options for millers, fast, reliable and easy-to-use analytical solutions provide insights required to achieve new levels of operational efficiency while staying faithful to the high standards controlling what ends up in the bag.

Measurements of quality parameters such as ash, protein and moisture help to ensure baking and storage properties and ultimately, business reputation through the consistency of delivered products made with the least possible cost. What’s more, recent advances in analytical technology, including instrumentation, connectivity and software make analytical solutions more accessible than ever, and, not least, more cost effective than ever.

 

 

Insights add value

 


 

Incoming and blending grain

Know the quality of your incoming grain. Segregate grain types with confidence. Produce closer to target values. Reduce input costs.

Conditioning/tempering

Precise control of moisture levels. Produce closer to target values.

Milling

Real time analysis for immediate adjustment. Control ash for profit with accurate analysis.

Finished products

Accurate results your customer can trust. Deliver to customer specs consistently.

 

 

Intake control with infrared solutions for efficient flour processing

 

FOSS solutions add significant value when acquiring grain for milling. Moisture, protein and test weight in batches of whole grain are measured as they arrive at the flour mill. This allows the perfect blend of grain for consistent quality products downstream in the milling process. It also helps to improve the tempering process by allowing the right timing, use of energy and water according to the exact nature of the grain.

 

 

Easy-to-use bench top solutions based on near infrared technology can be positioned at the weighbridge for a virtually instant test. Recently, the use of near infrared analysis for testing grain deliveries has been taken a step further by FOSS with the ProFoss™ 2 whole grain in-line analyser. This system can measure entire batches of grain using a specially designed sample interface that analyses the grain as it is conveyed in a standard pipe or transport system without the need for sample diverters. It then feeds a continuous stream of analysis data back to a computer in your control room.

 

 

Ash is cash

 

Just one practical example of how rapid analysis data adds value in flour processing is the ability to get highly accurate test results for ash very quickly. Users place a sample of flour in the instrument and results for ash and other parameters such as protein and moisture are delivered within 30 seconds. With this type of analysis, millers are empowered to get production perfectly aligned with quality standards, improving profitability at the same time.

 

 

Instruments such as the NIRS™ DS3 analyser offer highly reliable analysis of ash. Robust calibrations coupled with groundbreaking performance in near infrared technology guarantees highly accurate measurement of ash and other key parameters across a broad wavelength range of 400 to 2500 nm by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. By getting just 0.1% closer to target on ash content, you can expect a return on investment in under a year.

Consistent analysis across all instruments and sites with connectivity and networking software

 

Near infrared analysis (NIR) has become indispensable to modern food manufacturing, but how can users ensure that their growing fleets of NIR instruments are all working just right, all of the time?

The latest in networking and software connectivity provides a practical and cost-effective answer. For instance, if you are running several instruments across different locations, you can bring them all under one virtual roof where a single support person can monitor the performance of multiple instruments to check that they are performing consistently. Monthly reports can be provided to highlight potential issues before they can affect instrument performance and cause expensive downtime. Based on diagnostic checks, the support person can also determine the stability of instruments in compliance with official standards.

 

The use of smart connectivity and software technology promotes transparency in analytical operations while raising the overall level of performance for entire fleets of instruments. At the same time, it avoids time-consuming checks at different sites and work involved in compiling and reviewing reports. Read more about digital services.

An eye in the process

In addition to bench top analysers, NIR analysis can be applied directly in the process stream. Taking measurements every few seconds, solutions such as ProFoss™ 2 provide critical information about your process 24/7 for optimal quality products and improved profitability in flour analysis.


A sensor mounted at the appropriate place in the process feeds back continuous measurements every few seconds. The process variations are monitored using a trend chart and a moving average function. This enables the detection of process variations that are significantly smaller than the standard error of prediction (SEP) of a laboratory analyser. Even if one result is wrong for some reason, this has no influence on the overall result because a new result will be generated a few seconds later.

 

 

The test data can also be easily integrated into control systems such as PLC, SCADA or statistical programs such as LIMS. In short, with ProFoss 2 you gain the ability to run production on cruise control, meeting targets consistently for increased profit with less risk of customer claims.

 

Performance validation allows you to validate ProFoss 2 predictions using a FOSS benchtop analyser such as NIRS™ DS3 as a reference, without any manual entry of data- Read more about ProFoss 2 Flour.


 

 

Practical check for enzyme activity in flour

 

Based on extensive FOSS experience with the automation of analytical procedures, a modern and safe version of the standard falling number test checks for sprouting damage in grain and enzyme-activity in flour before baking.

A specially designed cooling lid minimizes the rush of steam when loading samples, avoiding potential serious injury. A fully insulated sample bath avoids hot scalding external surfaces and reduces risk of inadvertent burns. An overflow directly into waste stops hot water spillage on the bench or near the work area.

 

 

Touch screen usability

A touch screen interface allowing rapid, error-free use by anyone. The practical design has a detachable rack for tubes and other accessories and rear water connectors to ensure they are clear of the work area.

The method is recognised by international bodies such as the ICC, AACC, ISO and ASBC in the standards: ICC/No. 107/1 (1968), AACC/No. 56-81B (1972), ISO/No. ISO/DIS 3093 (1974) and ASBC Barley 12-A. Read more about Alphatec.

 

 

Performance, uptime and transparency of data

 

FOSS solutions draw on multiple technology disciplines including instrumentation, software and connectivity. Among the benefits of this complete solution approach is rock-solid and consistent high analytical performance of instruments, no matter where they are located and who is using them. Other advantages include transparency and traceability of results and unique levels of service and support.

 

Network DS3

 

With you in your daily work

 

Our integrated and remotely controlled support and optimization services ensure maximum value from all your FOSS solution wherever you are in the world. Beyond on-site maintenance, our service engineers and application specialists are always with you online. The team monitors performance status and secures that your connected analytical operations run smoothly. Our preventive maintenance warrants up-time and quality of data - day after day.

Are you ready to explore how you can increase your flour yield with highly accurate ash analysis?

Get in touch with our specialists to discuss your potential business value with no strings attached. Let's talk

Infratec™

The robust and reliable Infratec™ bench top analyzer can be positioned at the weighbridge for a virtually instant test on incoming grain for moisture, protein and other parameters such as Test Weight for an accurate volume weight determination of the grain. Read More

NIRS™ DS3

Exceptional accuracy for measurement of ash, protein, moisture and more.

 

The innovative NIRS™ DS3 combines unique analytical performance with the latest software and networking services, making reliable test data more easily available than ever.

 

Know the quality of incoming raw materials, blend with confidence, optimise moisture levels and control ash for maximum profit.

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NIRS DS3 Product Picture

ProFoss™ 2 for flour

ProFoss™ 2 measures critical parameters such as ash, protein and moisture for control of incoming raw materials and in the final stages of the milling process. Accurate in-line flour analysis enables you to detect trends in your ash and moisture content, troubleshoot production malfunctions and secure final quality.

Read More

Alphatec™ FNo

Alphatec™ FNo provides a safe and modern way to perform standard falling number analysis for sprouting damage in grain and enzyme activity in flour. With hammer mill and cooler included, Alphatec™ is a complete solution from the maker of the renowned Infratec™ Grain Analyser. Read More

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