What is meant by refined products?
Refined products are food products that have been subjected to numerous and repeated processes to improve and increase the flavour and adapt them for consumption in terms of easy use and, frequently, time saving in preparation of a meal.
White flour was introduced in the 1950s, as it was considered to be easier to digest, easier to process and more filling. However, this flour is actually less nutritious, as it is stripped completely of the bran and the germ.
The bran is the outer layer of the wheat kernel. The germ is the innermost part and is full of precious substances.
White flour contains almost exclusively starch and proteins in small quantities, and is stripped of virtually all the vitamins, half of the polyunsaturated fatty acids and a large part of the mineral salts during processing.
Is refined flour bad for you? Why is it bad for you?
The more refined products our body absorbs, the higher will be the quantity of insulin the body must produce.
Insulin causes fat to deposit and can cause diabetes, headaches, fatigue, allergies and other illnesses in predisposed people.
That is why eating foods made with whole grain flours is a healthier form of nourishment for the body than a diet high in foods made with refined flours.
We therefore recommend opting for organic whole grain or semi-whole grain flours, as they retain all the nutrients contained in the wheat germ, a precious source of mineral salts, amino acids, vitamins and fibre.
What is meant by the “00”,”0”,”1” and “2” grading of flour in Italy? What is the difference between them?
Flour is obtained by grinding the raw grains and, depending on the level of refining (also simply called sifting), it is possible to obtain different products with different characteristics.
Sifting is the process that gradually obtains flours of different fineness/grain size from the ground grain.
It is the procedure through which the noble part of the grain is separated from the bran, by passing it through sieves with different mesh sizes.
The sifting percentage, also called the grinding yield, is the quantity of flour obtained from grinding the grain.
In other words, it is the percentage of the grain used for the type of flour it is intended to obtain.
As said, depending on the sifting percentage and therefore the level of refining of the grain, soft wheat flour is principally divided into five types:
In the following order, the flours contain bran and germ in increasing quantities.
Type “00” is the most refined flour and is obtained from the innermost part of the wheat grain, while type “2” is the closest to unrefined whole grain flour, which contains all parts of the grain.