Cereals have always been known as essential elements as human food resource and in the country of the Mediterranean diet where the culture of pasta and breast plays a big role, wheat plays the part of the lion. This cereal is part of the family of Graminacee and to the Triticum type, of which we can find different species, two of which have a great importance from their marketing point of view, in other words soft grain (Triticum Aestivum), that has soft and crumbly grains and hard grain (Triticum Durum) characterized by hard and glassy grains.
From the milling of soft grain, farmed in the center north of Italy, it is obtained soft and white flours used for the production of bread, pizza and cakes, whereas from the from the milling of wheat of hard grain, farmed in the center south of Italy, it is obtained yellow rough grain flour that is used mainly for the preparation of pasta.
For the production of these flours the Italian mills don’t mill exclusively the national grains ( exception for the grain is certified as Italian), but they collect also other grain both EU or non EU.
The purchase of grains is necessary when the mill is not able to find Italian grains with precise technological traits, this is the case for Manitoba grain (cultivated in Canada) or for North Spring (cultivated in USA) particularly recommended for the production of strong flours with a high content of gluten and high W index value ( this is the alveograph index that represents the strength of a certain type of flour).
“Good flours are obtained from good grains”, this is why mills know that stocking a good raw material is a crucial step, that affects all the following productions.
It is of vital importance to choose the best grains, both national and foreign, so that the legal requirement and the needs of the market are always met.
Technically, once wheat arrives at the mill, its transport conditions – by ship or by truck -must be verified. The person in charge of unloading the goods must make sure of the adequate health conditions of the transport and the possible usage of fumigants and pesticides must be reported and later on a sample of the goods must be taken and analyzed by the quality check laboratory both on a sanitary and on a market point of view (for a technical in depth analysis please read table 1, 2).
Once all these preliminary checks are overcome, wheat is suitable to be unloaded and hince it can start its transformation process.
The following phases of accepting the raw material are crucial and this is why the quality control must be coordinated with the production responsible to verify that the implemented system constantly meets a proper standard level.
Every day flour going out from the mill undergoes this complex process, which is necessary to grant final consumer that high level of food quality that identifies healthy and safe products and the technological quality that defines their destination of use. As a matter of fact a certain type of flour that proves to be excellent to make cookies is more than likely not used to make panettone, as much as a very strong flour that produces rigid dough mixes cannot be used when making pizza.
Only through dedication, research, professionalism and the collaboration among different roles within a company, quality thought as the right balance between food safety and technological value can be reached.
“ Quality is mandatory because this is what makes the difference, between a product that is checked and one that is not checked.”

Fonte: dott.ssa Alessia Pagotto – tecnologa alimentare

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