Widely used in the food processing industry to extract vegetable oil from grains and seeds, flaking mills are also being extensively used to convert grains into consistent flakes to be used as breakfast cereals as well as to feed livestock. The widespread use of flaking mills can directly be attributed to the growth of the breakfast cereal industry and its need for flakes that are consistently small in size to be consumed easily across age groups.In the pre breakfast cereal era, rolling mills were chiefly used to separate the oil from grains, but as the cereal industry grew in size and volume, the demand for high volume machinery capable of taking heavy loads led to the adoption of flaking mills, twice as efficient as rolling mills as far as flaking of grains and cereals is concerned.
Another industry where the flaking mill finds wide acceptance and use is the oil seed processing industry. The production of canola, corn and sunflower oil requires flaking of oil seeds and cracked soy beans to manufacture high quality oil used for cooking and other purposes. The extraction of oil requires flaking to be done in a very consistent and precise manner to ensure maximum oil is separated from the grain. The higher the efficiency of the flaking mill the greater is the extraction of oil output.
Flaking mill can process a variety of grains and cereals including
- Animal feed grain
- Germ Meal
There are many different types of flaking mills and choosing one depends on the kind of flakes that need to be produced, the end purpose and the grain to be flaked. Flaking is only possible when grains have enough moisture in them which is why flaking mills are fitted with steam chest that allow grains to absorb moisture. Grains are sometimes tempered with additional moisture to ensure high quality flaking. When flaking mills are used to produce extremely high quality thin flakes, grains are also pre-cleaned to remove dust, stones as well as to oversized and undersized grains before being passed through the flaking mill.
Flaking mills are also widely used in the animal husbandry industry for feeding livestock. Dairy cows for instance are fed high quality thin flakes of corn that have been steamed and then passed through the flaking mill which breaks down the hull of the grain and coverts the inner core into tiny flakes for easier chewing.
Grains such as oats, barley and corn have increased food value if steamed and crimped on heavy duty flaking mills which break the hull and roll the grain into the form of heavy flakes or crimped grains. Machines fitted with smooth rolls will produce flaked products while the same machine with fine corrugated rolls will produce crimped grains.