NZ history of milling
Milling processes have been refined since Roman times. During the 1840s and 1850s, windmills and watermills repaced the steel handmill, producing a much finer product. Most of the common machines of the present-day mill were developed by 1900. Nowadays, nearly all New Zealand wheat is milled by the roller-mill process. The grain is cleaned and then fed between a series of rollers which shear, scrape and then crush the particles. It is the aim of the miller to remove the outer layers of the wheat grain and to obtain the greatest possible amount of the whitish interior of the grain, the endosperm.
Flour from different wheat strains can be divided into soft, hard and very hard depending on its milling properties and protein quality. Soft flours are difficult to mill by conventional means and have low protein content making them ideal for cakes and many biscuits. Bread making requires harder wheats and most of the wheats grown in New Zealand are in this class. Finally, spaghetti and other pasta use an especially hard wheat, Durum, in their manufacture.