Flour Power: Learn about different kinds of flours

Author: 
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS, Food & Nutrition Magazine
08/01/2012

Once upon a time, the typical American pantry included a single canister of flour. Today, supermarkets stock myriad milled options—reflecting increased consumer demand for diversity in the baking aisle. Whether exploring health trends, culinary interests or ethnic cuisines, here is some information your clients can use as they foray into the world of flours.

Flour is the finely-ground, sifted meal of grains, nuts, seeds, legumes or certain vegetables—and each kind of flour has a different nutrition profile and cooking or baking qualities.

Wheat Flours
Traditionally, the most prevalent flours are milled from wheat. Refined wheat flours are, by law, enriched with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and iron, and fortified with folic acid. Whole-wheat flours naturally contain B vitamins and iron, in addition to selenium, potassium and magnesium. They also are good sources of fiber; however, whole-wheat flours may not be enriched with folic acid.
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