We will try to reveal the types, types, and varieties of flour without going into the jungle of botany and breeding.
Flour is a product of grain processing by milling. Depending on the milling process and the type of grain, there are different types, kinds, and grades of flour.
Type of flour
The type of flour is determined by the crop from which it is produced. There are a huge number of types of flour: wheat, rye, oat, soy, pea, corn, buckwheat, barley, and rice; there are also mixtures of grains from different crops, such as rye-wheat.
Type of flour
The type of flour determines its purpose. Different types of flour are used for different purposes. Durum wheat flour is used to make pasta, and rice flour is often used for breading in oriental cuisine. It does not crumble during frying and, for example, fish breaded in rice flour does not burn. Oat flour is used for baking cookies and making infant formula. In Moldova, corn flour is used to make mamalyga, a very thick porridge that is eaten with butter or milk or baked, as the Italians do with their polenta. Buckwheat flour is widely used in baking pancakes and infant formulas.
Flour grade determines the quality and directly depends on the flour yield, i.e. the amount of flour obtained from a certain amount of grain. The yield of finished flour from grain is expressed as a percentage, and the lower the percentage, the higher the flour grade. And it is not at all clear why the lowest grade flour is more expensive than the highest grade.
There are five main grades of wheat flour: high-grade, first-grade, second-grade, and wallpaper.
Higher-grade wheat flour
This is a type of wheat flour made from soft wheat varieties, produced by one or two graded milling. Higher-grade flour consists of finely ground particles of endosperm, mainly its inner layers. It contains almost no bran and is white in color with a faint creamy tint. The particle size is mostly 30-40 microns.
First-grade wheat flour
This is a type of wheat flour made from soft wheat varieties, produced by one or two graded milling. First-grade flour consists of finely ground particles of the entire endosperm and 2-3% (by weight of flour) of the ground hulls and aleurone layer. Flour particles are less uniform in size than in higher-grade flour. Their size is mostly 40-60 microns. The color of the flour is white with a yellowish tinge compared to high-grade flour. It contains less starch and more proteins, so more gluten is washed out of this flour than from higher-grade flour.
Second-grade wheat flour
This is a type of wheat flour made from soft wheat varieties, produced by two or three grades of milling, with a small amount of bran (the hull of the grain, which is sold as fiber in the dietary sections of supermarkets) added. The color of this flour is yellowish or grayish.
Spelled flour (whole wheat)
It is made from all types of soft wheat. Hulled flour is obtained by single-grain milling, grinding the entire grain, so it contains both the endosperm and the peripheral parts of the grain. The hulls are not sifted out during its production. The flour is larger and the particles are not uniform in size. Their size ranges from 30 to 600 microns and more. The color of the flour is white with a yellowish or grayish tint and clearly visible crushed hulls. Its chemical composition is close to that of grain. Bran in wallpaper flour is at least twice as much as in 2nd-grade flour. Such flour contains only a small amount of gluten (more on that later), but it contains all the nutrients of the grain and contains many vitamins, macro- and microelements, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.