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Facts You Must Know About Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is a powder made for human consumption by grinding wheat kernels. Wheat flour is extensively used throughout India as it is required to make Rotis, bread, etc that is one of the essentials in an Indian diet. To make dough for Rotis, wheat flour is mixed with water that converts the protein content of wheat flour into gluten. 

There are wide varieties of wheat flours available including whole wheat or graham flour. The wheat flour varieties are differentiated as soft or hard. If the gluten content is low, it is known as soft flour. Whereas if the gluten content is high, it is known as hard flour. The flour with high gluten content has elastic toughness that holds the shape of the flour. While flour with low gluten content has a finer and crumbly structure. 

Table of Content

  • What is a wheat kernel? 
  • How is wheat flour made? 
  • Must-know facts about wheat flour.
  • Different types of wheat flour. 

What is a Wheat Kernel?

Wheat flour is made by grinding wheat kernels. Wheat kernels grow as seeded fruits on wheat plants. A wheat kernel consists of three parts: endosperm, germ, and bran. The endosperm is the food storage portion that constitutes 85% of the wheat kernel. The bran consists of several outer layers that constitute 13% of the wheat kernel. Lastly, the germ is the embryo plant that constitutes 2% of the wheat kernel. 

How is wheat flour made? 

When wheat arrives at a mill, it goes through a cleaning process that removes the coarse impurities. Following, it is further cleaned via screening which removes fine materials and separates the wheat kernels based on size, shape, and weight. 

To produce the wheat flour, the wheat kernel is to have tampered which means moisture to the grain is added. This softens the parts of the wheat kernel used to make wheat flour. In the production of refined wheat flour, all parts of whole wheat flour are used.

When wheat flour is mixed with water, the flour proteins named gliadin and glutenin combine to form the protein known as gluten. It provides the dough elasticity, strength, and structure that make it for a healthy roti.

Must-know facts about wheat flour

  • Wheat flour can be fortified, bleached, enriched, or unbleached. 
  • Wheat flour is the powder obtained by grinding whole wheat kernels consisting of bran, germ, and endosperm.
  • Wheat flour contains B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium.
  • During the process of milling, the components of wheat kernels are separated and recombined to make different types of flour. 
  • Wheat can become contaminated by insects, soil, animal feces, or other agents.
  • Flour has low water capacity and does not support any microbial growth.
  • Wheat can be treated with water and tempered with chlorine to reduce microbial load.
  • The fiber in the whole wheat flour helps the gastrointestinal tract function normally. 
  • It also helps in preventing more serious problems such as colon cancer.
  • Consuming wheat flour helps women avoid gallstones.
  • Whole wheat flour decreases the risk of type 2 Diabetes.

Different types of wheat flour

Even though all of the wheat flours are made by grinding the wheat kernels still there are different types of flour depending on their protein content and much more.  

  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose wheat flour is white flour that contains only the endosperm of the wheat grain. It has a mild flavor and works well in making baked products. It doesn't have much nutritional value. 
  • Whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour is flour that contains all three components of a wheat grain: germ, bran, and endosperm. This flour is dense and has all relevant nutrients. 
  • Bleached flour: Bleach flour is flour that is treated with a whitening agent called benzoyl peroxide. As treated with maturing agents, it can either dampen or enhance the gluten development in the flour. This allows the flour to absorb more liquid and turn into a thicker dough. 
  • Bread Flour: Bread flour is flour that contains high gluten content. During yeast fermentation, carbon dioxide gets trapped in the protein-rich flour resulting in the stretchy dough. 
  • Cake flour: Cake flour is made from soft wheat and has low protein content. It has an incredibly fine texture that results in spongy and light as air cakes. 
  • Durum flour: Durum flour is made from durum wheat whose scientific name is Triticum durum. It yields a high-protein flour of pale yellow color that is good for bread and pasta. 
  • Self-rising flour: Self-rising flour is an all-purpose flour mixed with baking powder and salt. Self-rising flour is typically used for baking goods like biscuits, muffins, etc. 

Conclusion

Wheat flour is popular and widely used in making several products like bakery goods, Rotis, etc. As wheat has gluten content, it yields elastic dough that has endless uses in cooking and baking. While choosing wheat flour, make a smart choice of choosing just the right one for your and your family.

If you wish to have all the benefits of wheat flour, make the right choice of choosing VRF fresh chakki atta for your family.