When wheat arrives at a mill, it is tested for its quality (to ensure it meets the specification that the miller purchased) and for any food safety issues. A range of tests will be conducted at onsite laboratories.
The amount and quality of the protein, the HFN (Hagberg Falling Number), the SKCS number (Single Kernel Characterisation System) and the moisture content all have impacts on the functionality of the end product. Therefore, it is important for the miller understand the characteristics of wheat taken in at the mill so that the correct grist can be made to ensure the customer receives flour which is fit for the purpose intended.
The UK Flour Millers mill intake laboratory scheme helps to establish and maintain common standards of wheat testing at flour mills. It requires millers to follow established procedures in their laboratories, use referenced testing methods and to reach a standard of proficiency, independently assessed by Campden BRI on the basis of monthly tests.
Testing proficiency is assessed for all participants in the UK Flour Millers scheme. Those who wish to may also choose to apply for accreditation, which entails undergoing independent verification, via third party audit (such as ISO), that the processes required under the scheme are observed. Laboratories that fail to meet the minimum standard can lose their accreditation to the scheme.
For more information on the audit and accreditation scheme you can download our information booklet.