Ensuring the safety of our raw materials
From open fields to the mill
At all times it needs to be remembered that wheat is a food ingredient used to make a whole range of food stuffs. It is therefore essential that wheat supplied to millers meets their requirements as well as any contract specifications. Upon delivery, various tests are carried out to determine moisture content, protein content and quality, impurities, specific weight and enzyme activity associated with grain germination. The specific variety of wheat may also be checked. Besides, as the crop is grown in open fields, care has to be taken to ensure that no agrochemicals nor contaminants can come through to affect flour.
The grain chain adopts a rigorous hazard control (HACCP) system which focuses on wheat as, logically, if there is no concern with wheat then any problem with flour will also be avoided. The whole grain chain is therefore vigilant in checking for the presence of agrochemicals and contaminants, for which maximum levels are set for food at EU level, and ensuring that they do not enter the human food chain.
Flour millers inspect all wheat deliveries for physical signs of any food safety hazard. Consignments which do not conform are rejected. Besides, flour millers have sophisticated systems for cleaning grain and removing impurities prior to milling as well as ensuring that the resulting flour remains free of contaminants. Mills are subject to inspection by independent auditors.
Monitoring and studies
The European Flour Millers are regularly sharing the results of their internal monitoring with the services of the European Commission.
When required, they are used to participate to scientific reports prepared by the Academic and independant bodies and submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to assess the occurence of contaminants in cereals and cereal products. These reports are subsequently used to carry out a risk assessment before possible legislation by the European Commission.