QUALITY CONTROL AND FUNCTIONS OF LABORATORY IN MILLING

Quality control is a critical component of flour milling and its importance cannot be over-emphasized thereby making it expedient on all flour mills that want to be competitive, remain in business and profitable need to appreciate quality’s contribution and be ready for investment in its personnel and operation. In order to assure continued satisfaction from customers, everyone must understand firstly what quality is and what it is not. The millers need to control on both raw materials and manufacture in order to produce a good flour baking quality, and continuous uniformity.

Quality control is important and essential for any flour milling operations since the target of milling process is more or less designed to produce the target quality of wheat flour utilizing the mill machinery with higher yield and less cost of production. Quality control will be the enable and measures to ensure this target achievement. The quality department and lab facility should be as much as possible closed and nearby the mill, providing the service of sampling, inspections, analysis, and reporting, with reliable quality plan and system. Also, the lab should be equipped with the essential instruments used in analysis and assessment of wheat quality and flour. The millers need to control on both raw materials and manufacture in order to produce a good flour baking quality, and continuous uniformity.

The wheat flour quality is determined by its suitability for a specific final product. Flour quality characteristics are affected not merely by wheat suitability for specific final product, which can be determined by some wheat quality characteristics classified as direct factors, but by the type of processing equipment and the suitability of this kind of wheat for milling process all classified as indirect factors.

Flour quality control is a puzzle in which each piece corresponds to the information given by one testing method. A lot of methods are available on the market for controlling flour quality. It is important to use appropriate standard methods and procedures in the flour quality testing laboratory. Commonly used standard methods used in the food industry that are most applicable to a milling quality control laboratory are published by the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) and the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC).

The quality control laboratory is an important part of the flour milling industry. The objectives of the quality control laboratory at a flour mill are to monitor uniformity throughout the mill run; ensure uniformity between flour lots or shipments; ensure that the flour meets the customer’s specifications; and verify that the flour has desirable characteristics for a product.

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