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Healthnotes Index:

Flour

Flour: Main Image

Buying Tips

Purchase flour in bulk for greater savings. Whole-grain flours provide the most nutrition. Organic varieties are available, too.

Varieties

Wheat flour is by far the most common in the United States, but nearly any grain can be made into flour. Even seeds and legumes can be finely ground this way. No matter the variety, flour is generally available in several forms.

Bleached, all-purpose flour

This is a blend of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat, which makes it suitable for all baking and cooking needs. Self-rising all-purpose flour includes baking soda and salt. Bleaching is often done chemically; it also occurs naturally as flour ages.

Refined flour, refined white flour

Refined flour is flour from which the nutritious (and more perishable) bran and germ layers have been removed.

Fortified flour

Fortified flour refers to an all-purpose flour, usually wheat, to which nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, removed during refining, have been added back.

Bolted flour

This is a whole wheat flour that has had about 80 percent of its bran sifted off. It may also be called “unbleached flour” or “reduced bran flour.”

Hammer-milled flour

In this milling process high-velocity steel hammerheads are used to powder whole grains at ultra-high speed. The method generates a great deal of heat and can destroy nutrients.

Roller-milled flour

In this milling process steel rollers or cylinders are used to grind grains at high speed. A great deal of heat is generated, causing nutrients to be destroyed.

Stone-milled (stone-ground) flour

This milling process employs a pair of ridged stones to crush and grind grains slowly, without creating heat that can destroy nutrients. The ground flour is sifted to catch larger particles of bran and germ, which are then ground again and mixed with the rest of the flour to produce a more nutritious flour.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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