Bran is the hard outer layer of various grains. Along with the germ, it is an integral part of whole grains. It is produced separately as a byproduct of milling in the production of refined grains. When the bran is removed from grains, the grain loses a portion of its nutritional value. Bran is present in all cereal grains, including rice, corn, wheat and oats. Bran is particularly rich in dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Bran also contains significant quantities of starch, protein, vitamins and dietary minerals.
Because of Bran’s significant nutritional benefits, it is increasingly desirable to add bran back into flour used for the production of bakery products. By adding bran to various white breads and other bakery products, its nutritional value can be significantly improved, providing additional dietary fiber and protein to consumable bakery products.
In order to add bran to existing products the particle size of bran must be reduced to the same particle size as the flour. Depending on the flour type and end use, this means grinding the bran down to between 180 and 212 microns. This particle size is required to achieve the same texture and therefore the same sensation (mouth feel) when consumed. Bran is very hard to mill, and to achieve the appropriate particle size a Mikro Pulverizer® Hammer & Screen Mill can be used to achieve the required grind. The Mikro Pulverizer® Hammer & Screen Mill provides the most efficient means of reducing bran to the correct particle size. The large grinding surface area of the Mikro Pulverizer® Hammer & Screen Mill can produce the finest particle size distribution while consuming the lowest horsepower per pound of material processed. The high energy input required for the milling application will also generate heat which must be addressed through the use of conditioned air or the introduction of additional ambient air to aid in cooling of the product. Since all organic products present a potential explosion hazard, the Mikro Pulverizer® Hammer & Screen Mill is incorporated into a system designed to provide safe and efficient processing of this material.
After milling the bran, it can be mixed with the flour in specific ratios for the desired nutritional benefit. The Nauta Conical Screw Mixer is an ideal technology for homogenizing large batches of flour and bran in a low shear, energy efficient system. Hosokawa’s mixers can thoroughly blend large batches of product, up to 20,000 pounds with short mixing times and low energy consumption.
To find out more about the Mikro Pulverizer® Hammer & Screen Mill for this and other Food applications please contact one of our Product Specialists.