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Inactivated flours from Bowman's new plant.

Inactivated Flours from Bowmans New Plant

Manufacturers and cereal processors, Jas Bowman & Sons Ltd have announced the completion of a major new plant that will not only provide additional facilities for the manufacture of inactivated flour at their Whitley Bridge mill in Yorkshire but will also significantly increase the scope of their product range.

Seen as a response to the increasing sophistication required of natural ingredients by food manufacturers, Bowman's new plant, designed and built locally in Yorkshire, will introduce improved and higher standards of manufacture for the industry.

Inactivated flours have many applications in all aspects of batter and coating technology, and have a wide range of uses for soups, gravies and sauces through to bakery mixes, wafer flours and processed meat business.

The new plant at Bowmans, with internal hygiene a priority of design, is constructed entirely of stainless steel, and is thus able to produce flours with lower bacterial counts. With processors becoming wary of complex ingredient declarations, particularly on ready meals packaging, the availability of a range of inactivated flours, naturally processed and targeted at specific applications, presents an attractive range of options to the development technologist.

In addition to the high microbiological standards reached, this new plant gives improvements to product colour and viscosity control, by minimizing contact with directly heated surfaces and employing rapid cooling techniques after cooking. Valuable to the food industry is a micro-agglomeration section, incorporated within the process, that enables low dusting characteristics to be achieved, when required. A further additional feature of the new plant is the facility for on-line drying to close tolerances, giving a choice of product moisture to customers with specialists requirements, such as manufacturers of bakery premixes, where a long shelf-life is expected.

As originators of inactivated flour, back in 1963, Bowmans see this development at Whitley Bridge as a logical extension of their comprehensive Trident product range, which complements existing capacity at their Ickleford mill at Hitchen in Hertfordshire.

Inactivated Flours in

the food industry

The Trident range of inactivated flours has been subjected to a thermal process without the use of chemical additives, which means they need only be declared as 'wheat flour' on packaging and yet can still emulate some of the properties of highly chemically modified ingredients.

Thermal modification can be either of the wheat or of the previously milled flour; the exact process will determine the precise rheological characteristics of the final flour.

With the addition of inactivated flour to pastry or biscuit dough, a preshortened effect can be introduced, which allows a reduction in the quantity of fat used without affecting product quality. The dough is also much more resistant to toughening, allowing easier use of remix material. A reduction in shrinkage allows better control of product dimensions, which is highly desirable with modern packaging systems.

A range of inactivated flours designed for enrobing batter applications is also available. It is important to control the viscosity of enrobing batters at a fixed solid/liquid ratio, to control the pick-up but in modern food systems other quality factors are often required, which call for close control of several parameters in the flour to achieve both better processing and optimum finished product quality.

Of particular value to the manufacturer of soups, sauces and gravies is the elimination of enzymic activity brought about by the high intensity thermal treatment used to inactivate the flours, thus controlling the rate of starch breakdown during the heating of flour/water slurries, which, if not controlled, can lead to large variations in the thickness of the cooked slurry. Control of this hot paste viscosity is vital in many products where stringently controlled processing and product quality requirements exist.

The ultimate level of thermal cook achievable within the Bowman plant produces a fully gelatinized flour for specific use in those food systems where total solubilization of the starch would normally call for extensive cooking by the customer. Ceragel is the name of their product designed to fill this niche. Their method of treatment gives it unique baking properties when compared to other similar products.

PHOTO : Part of Bowman's new plant
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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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