Ready-Mixed Flour

1. What advantages do ready-mixed flours have over ordinary bakers and house hold flours?
The purpose of ready-mixed flours is to make the production of certain groups of baked goods quicker, simpler and therefore cheaper. Since ready-mixed flours contain all or most of the dry ingredients of the baked product, many steps in the baking process can be carried out simultaneously, simplified and rationalized.

2. What groups of baked goods are suitable for production with ready-mixed flours?
In principle all groups, with the exception of very special products.
The specific advantages lie in the fact that the flours contain the optimum ingredients and additives for each group of products. In contrast to “normal” commercial flours this makes it possible to produce specific top qualities over a long period with standardized working methods.

3. Are there other reasons for producing and using ready-mixed flours besides the convenience aspect?
A consideration that will become more and more important for the whole of the milling industry in future is the production of baked goods with a health benefit.
Nutrition research in all fields throughout the world is directed towards the development of new types of health food.
If the cereal processing industry is not to lose too much ground in this race, it will have to demonstrate its nutritional benefits based on the current image not only in marketing and advertising but above all through the development of innovations of its own :
Vegetable proteins, low fat content, dieatary fibres and special minerals will be important features.

4. What foods are suitable as ingredients of ready-mixed flours?
In principle all foods that can be processed into powdered semi-finished products without loss of quality and are sensorily compatible with baked goods.

5. What additives are necessary for the production of ready-mixed flours?
The nature and quantity of additives such as emulsifiers, lecithin, enzymes, thickeners etc. will depend on consumer expectations and the traditional uses of the products concerned.

6. What technical equipment is necessary for the production of ready-mixed flours?
The most important equipment is evenly-running mixers in which the ingredients to be mixed are subjected to as little mechanical stress as possible. High-quality products in powder form are available for working in fats. Special mixers are needed if normal fats are to be used. When the product is being filled in sacks, and during transportation and storage, great care must be taken to prevent separation of the ingredients.

7. Under what circumstances is it worth while producing ready-mixed flours?
The production and processing of ready-mixed flours are technical procedures that are constantly changing and developing. As a rule, small firms are note in a position to watch these developments so closely that they can be put to successful use in the company. Even big mills that deliberately restrict themselves to the production of commercial flours should not make half-hearted experiments in this field. Specialist blending plants with equipment that is programmed for flexible use have a good starting position if they develop their knowledge of the substances involved, for example through cooperation agreements.

8. How large are the markets? How good are the chances they offer?
There are no reliable figures; the share of the flour market is estimated at 3 – 3.5%. There is a definite trend towards premixes, i.e. semi finished goods for specific steps in the production process. The current mass production of bread and small baked goods such as rolls is not carried out with the aid of ready-mixed flours; more stable markets may be expected for special pastry goods and “ethnic food”, for example. There is a future for the export of know-how enabling goods to be produced in the developing countries.


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