Stone Ground vs. Impact Milling
We are often asked “What is impact milling and what’s the difference between stone ground flour and impact milled flour?” It’s a good question and the answer is simple . . . impact milling, we think, produces a flour that is much superior than either commercial roller mills or stone grinding operations.
Impact milling consists of small steel “hammers” rotating at a high speed in an enclosed chamber. The “hammers” strike the whole grain in mid-air with such an impact that the grain is immediately shattered into flour. There is no friction from heat-creating stones or rollers.
Temperature is the key factor here. An impact mill maintains a low temperature of about 15 C in the cooler months and up to about 30 C in the summer. These cool temperatures are important as high heat damages vital nutrients within whole grains.
A kernel of wheat is rich in nutrients! It contains almost the entire vitamin B complex. B vitamins function as co-factors in many metabolic reactions involving the release of energy. In addition, high quality protein, unsaturated fats, insoluble fibre, minerals – especially iron – and carbohydrates are abundant.
With both impact and stone milling, all parts of the wheat berry become flour, including the bran and germ. Bran is an insoluble fibre that passes through the body and helps to “sweep” harmful substances out of the gut. Fibre can play a significant role in preventing heart disease and cancer. The germ is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Folate, Iron and Zinc to name a few. Impact milling preserves these components in the flour allowing us to supply fresh flour with a good stable shelf life to our customers.
Other methods like stone and rollers typically create higher heat than impact milling. This higher heat is created by friction from the stones or rollers that can reduce the effectiveness of the nutrients in whole grain flour along with reducing the shelf life. The flour will therefore become rancid more quickly. It is important to store flour in a cool, dark place. Improper storage will shorten the shelf life any flour regardless of how it was milled.
Impact milling might not seem as nostalgic as stone milling, but it produces an excellent whole grain flour, efficiently and nutritionally . . . simply natural!
Highwood Crossing uses only organically grown grains and no preservatives are added to our flour to extend its shelf life. As well, our grain is never sprayed with chemicals to “speed-up” ripening prior to harvest. No chemicals, no sprays, no GMO’s… ever!
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Alberta Foothills of the Canadian Rockies
High River, Alberta