AIB International Tip Of The Week: Stopping Hidden Danger In Its Tracks: Prevention Series

Hidden Danger: There are several areas in the flour milling process where moisture can generate mold growth and provide an area for insect development. Higher moisture areas may also provide an environment for Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli. Areas where this may occur are in elevator bins and flour bins where temperature differentials between the bin itself and the outside air temperature allows water to condense in the headspace of the bin. This combined with the grain or flour dust provides an environment for mold growth and insect development, such as flat grain beetles or psocids. 

Water that is added to wheat at the Technovator/mixer and fed into the tempering bins also provides an environment for mold development. The milling process itself creates conditions, such as at first break, where the release of moisture from the tempered wheat going through the first grinding process allows moisture from the product to be released, providing an opportunity for mold growth and development.  

Mold can also be an issue in milling equipment located by a window where the temper differential caused by the equipment’s location next to the window, allows condensate to form creating an environment for mold development. Condensate issues due to temperature variations are often a result of large temperature changes that occur due to a change in seasons.

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