Conditioning is the preparation stage of the grain for the milling process in the flour industry. It is one of the important processes that affect particularly flour quality, flour yield and energy consumption. It can be defined as bringing the grain to be milled to the optimum water level and resting. Due to the multiple advantages it brings to the grinding process, conditioning has become a fundamental operation in modern milling facilities.
Conditioning is a critical part of the wheat preparation system for milling. The conditioning process is adding water to the wheat and followed by a rest period in tempering bins until the added water penetrates the kernel and reaches the optimum moisture distribution which helps to prepare the wheat for optimum milling. “Tempering” is a term that refer to the rest period. For flour and semolina, tempering is used before debranning and milling operation.
If the wheat is milled without conditioning the bran becomes brittle, and turns into small particles during milling by the roller mills, which contaminate the produced flour. Therefore, the produced flour ash content will be high. Milling energy will be high, the damaged starch of produced flour will be high, it will produce sticky dough, and its baking qualities would be low.
There are three factors that affect dampening in milling technology. These are dampening water, temperature and period. Besides, the usage of heat in dampening both shortens the time and lowers down the energy consumption and ensures superiority in the flour quality by providing optimization on the physical properties of the grain.
The automatic dampening systems for grains were introduced on the market around 1980. Such a system is mainly composed of:
• Measuring track, that continuously measures the parameters of the incoming flow (capacity, hectoliter weight, temperature, initial moisture)
• Electronic unit for the management of the dampening operation
• Water dosage panel
• Water and grain mixer, provided with product detecting box.
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- Grain cleaning and tempering
“The cleaning process works as a unit that must be operated according to a certain logic and design. Although these stages are close to each other in flour, semolina and bulgur type milling sectors, there are special applications and systems for each sector. In this article, cleaning principle and technologies were explained. Additionally, tempering stage was analyzed.”
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- Wheat Conditioning and Tempering
“Reducing tempering time was the aim of modern dampening equipment, which based on the increasing the rate of water penetration by reducing water surface tension by generating high frequency vibration. Reducing water surface tension enhance the efficiency of water dispersion over the grain mass and water penetration into the kernel. This equipment does not break the kernel because it does not include scouring process.”
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