Flour, valuable product produced by milling the cereal is the first nutrient that modern people is consumed.
It is discovered around 9000 B.C. that wheat can be grinded by millstones. Who can imagine that the granules which human body cannot digest will have changed the destiny of human? If wheat had not been milled, there would have been neither cake, etc. nor bread. The first civilizations milled wheat was the Romans. In history, the first flour mills known are in Anatolia. In 1879, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, the first steam miller was built in London. In 1930’s, fortification with iron, niacin, thiamin and riboflavin has begun for some flours. In 1940’s, flour mills have begun to enrich the flour. Finally, in 1990’s, folic acid has been added to the list.
During industrial revolution a very significant problem appeared: storage and preservation of flour. The long distances that the flour was transported and the relatively slow transportation system of that time decreased the shelf life of flour. The reason behind the limited shelf life of flour is the fatty acids in the wheat seed. The fatty acids instantly go into the reaction with oxygen. This process begins when the seed is milled and the more the fatty acids are oxidized the more the taste of flour goes bitter. This process continues for 6 or 9 months depending on the climate. At the end of the 19th century, this time period was too short for industrial production and after that transportation. The best solution was to remove the core because vitamins, micronutrients and amino acids were not well known. If flour is produced from the seed whose core is removed, the oxidation of fatty acids is out of the question. This situation made the flour, which is produced from the coreless wheat seed, a standard.
Most of the components including the nutritional value of wheat are present in bran and germ. Bran, insoluble fibers (important of our digestion system), includes one or few essential amino acids, incomplete protein and some trace amounts of B vitamins, and iron. The germ is the most nutritious part of the wheat kernel containing protein; vitamin E; almost all of the B vitamins, including folic acid; carotenes and other antioxidants; and omega-3 fatty acids. The endosperm (which is the largest part of the wheat kernel) consists of carbohydrates, incomplete protein and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.