How Wheat Flour Breaks Down

Factory processed flours are not what nature intended for us to eat – only freshly milled flour can meet our biological needs.

Wheat grains (and other grains like them) store well because of the protective outer jacket that seals in freshness, and seals out the bacteria and oxygen. We know this outer layer as BRAN. Bran makes up about 15% of the entire wheat grain, and is rich in protein, vitamins and fibre. As long as this protective layer of bran remains in tact, the grain can be stores for years without deterioration.

Inside the bran “shell” is the endosperm – making up about 85% of the whole grain, it’s a soft white substance that contains the energy source for the grain when it is sprouting, rich in carbohydrates and gluten. Gluten holds the bread together when it rises and is made up of 2 strong proteins.

The third part of a whole wheat grain is the germ. This is the part that germinates and is rich in oils and vitamins. The wheat germ starts to self-destruct when opened. When the grain is broken open, this germ begins to become rancid due to contact with oxygen in the air. This gives the “old” taste to the flour after only a few hours, and makes the resulting bread “flat” and lifeless.

Mould is also quick to grow on the volatile oils from the germ, and together with bacteria, works to contaminate the whole batch in as little as 24 hours.

Fresh whole wheat flour is one of the few foods to hold an entire compliment of B vitamins, and is also rich in E vitamins. Once the grain is broken open, once again, oxygen goes to work and quickly breaks down the vitamin compounds. Almost all vitamins are lost within 72 hours.

Why is this important? Don’t we get fresh flour from the factory?

The simple answer is no, we do not.

Modern mills remove the bran and germ, leaving only the depleted endosperm to be called “flour”, a fine powder often bleached and enriched with additives to give the “white” bread result. Factory made wholemeal flour is white “flour” with processed bran flecks added back in. Even the very best stone-ground wholemeal flours are old and have lost their vitality. This processing is very often why people develop an intolerance to wheat based products.

So the simple solution is – mill your flour fresh at home, and receive the all the benefits of high nutrition and unequaled taste.

That’s the fresh flour story.

The Skippy Team