Most people do not realize the work that goes into making the bread for their sandwich. Farmers go through months of strenuous work to grow grain for processing. Sometimes, the grain travels a long way from the farm to grain storage bins in Oregon area. Indeed, wheat is usually hauled by trucks or by train. Once the grain arrives at its destination, the wheat is tested and sampled. Workers are looking for moisture content, weight and material that should not be mixed with grain. Initially, the grain must be dried for storage.
Next, wheat may be put in grain storage bins in Oregon to await processing. Processing begins in the cleaning house, a set of machines that cleans grain. The cleaning process has as many as six steps. The steps are designed to remove impurities from the wheat and scour its surface. A magnetic separator, aspirator and de-stoner is used to get rid of all types of foreign substances. The cleaned grains are separated based on size and mis-shaped grains are thrown out. The scourer removes the outer husk from wheat and the kernels are broken apart. Wheat is made of three parts, the bran, endosperm and germ. Interestingly, how the parts are separated determines if the flour will be whole wheat or white. Wheat must be tempered, or moistened, to separate the kernel from the rest of the grain. The whole process takes 6-to-24 hours.
The kernels are fed into a milling machine and the bran, endosperm and germ are removed. At this point, the wheat is in granular pieces for making white flour. If one is making whole wheat flour, the bran, germ and endosperm are ground together. Industrial sifters separate the pieces and larger ones are sent through additional rollers to make a flour where the grains are all the same size. Finally, most of the wheat kernel is made into flour. This flour is bleached and enriched with vitamins like iron, folic acid and B vitamins. White flour is often used for yeast bread, cakes and pasta. Whole-wheat flour is denser and thought to be healthier. Today, wheat-flour is also used for baking and pasta. Indeed, a lot of work goes into taking the grain from the farm to the table.
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