Special milling calibrations from Central Laboratories and a new near infrared (NIR) scanner have enabled Allied Mills to speed up flour quality checking.
Quality control is a big task for major flour supplier Allied Mills, part of Associated British Foods. The company's laboratory tests hundreds of samples a week.
In order to deal efficiently with this large sample throughput, the company has introduced NIR spectroscopy scanning using special milling calibrations.
The flour calibration operation enables the labs to determine moisture, protein, water absorption, starch damage, ash, colour grade, as well as trending gluten strength all within a couple of minutes.
"The instrument was installed in our Manchester mill in January 2004 and has given us the ability to use NIR for wholegrain wheat," says Allied's technical services manager Joyce Smith.
The Specman Milling calibrations came from Central Laboratories and were developed in conjunction with partners Allied Technical Centre specifically for the cereals, milling and baking industries.
"At Central Laboratories, we have one of the largest calibration databases in the world, numbering several tens of thousands of samples, covering the widest possible range of materials with seasonal and geographical variations," says Chris Woodley, NIR support manager. The robust nature and reliability of the calibrations means they have also been given UKAS approval.
Contact: Central Laboratories, Tel: 01295 222700