- Milling is the agro-processing end of the grain industry. Milling grain involves breaking the grain open so that the bran and endosperm are separated, and then processed for further uses.
- White maize and wheat flour milling are the core business in milling, while associated business are baking, pasta, wet milling (see next heading), animal feeds and malting (barley and sorghum). Other grains like rice can also be milled (see www.saricemills.co.za).
- The milling industry plays a vital role in ensuring food security: it produces maize meal, a staple food for the majority of the South African population.
The maize kernel is processed by the Wet and Dry Milling Industries.
- Wet milling is a process carried out in water during which pure starch is obtained from maize. After the steeping process of 36 hours the kernel can easily be separated into its various components, namely the husk, starch, gluten and the germ.
- From the starch, food technologists create foodstuffs such as puddings, gravies, sauces and pie fillings. The starch pastes from maize can be allowed to cool, thicken and congeal into a gel that provides starch-based puddings, salad creams and some adhesives. The starch paste also has industrial uses for paper coating and sizing, textile sizing, the manufacture of corrugated boards and adhesives.
- The gluten and the germ that are obtained from the wet milling process are used in the manufacture of maize oil and animal feed supplements. The maize oil can be used in cooking, where its high smoke point makes it valuable frying oil. It is also a key ingredient in some margarine. Maize oil is also used as one source of bio-diesel. Other industrial uses for maize oil include soap, salve, paint, rust proofing for metal surfaces, inks, textiles, and insecticides. It is sometimes used as a carrier for drug molecules in pharmaceutical preparations.
- During the dry milling process the maize kernels are refined to maize meal. Products that are derived from here are samp; maize grits; maize rice; and unsifted, sifted, coarse, super and special maize meal.
Sources: A Profile of the South African Maize Market Value Chain at www.dalrrd.gov.za.
Wheat is delivered to milling companies who mill the wheat into wheat flour, meal and bran that are used in three different ways:
- The wheat flour can be used in the baking industry to manufacture perishable products such as pan loaves, rolls, buns, confectionery products and other products such as frozen dough and par baked products.
- Wheat based goods products such as biscuits, pasta, crackers and breakfast cereals can also be manufactured from the wheat flour.
- The animal feed manufacturing industry also uses the wheat meal and bran to manufacture farm feeds and pet foods.
Source: A Profile of the South African Wheat Market Value Chain at www.dalrrd.gov.za
National strategy and government contact
Milling features prominently in the government’s Agri-parks strategy (see separate chapter). It has also seen initiatives from provincial investment bodies like the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA).
- Find the Food Safety and Quality Assurance pages under the “Branches” option at www.dalrrd.gov.za, website of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).
- Read about the required fortification mixes for wheat flour and maize meal at https://foodfacts.org.za/food-fortification.
- The National Chamber of Milling (NCM) Tel: 012 663 1660 www.grainmilling.org.za The National Chamber of Milling promotes, encourages and assists in the common interest of the milling industry in South Africa. It is a trade association which represents the interests of the South African wheat flour and maize milling industry.
- Cereal Science and Technology – SA (CST – SA) www.cerealsa.co.za
- Find details of numerous organisations in the “Grain & oilseeds” chapter.
Training and research
- The Animal Feeds Manufacturing Association (AFMA) has embarked on a process to establish a training feed mill at the University of Pretoria (UP) at Onderstepoort.
- SA Grain Milling Academy (SAGMA) Tel: 012 663 1660 www.sagma.co.za The Grain Milling Federation offers theoretical training through correspondence courses for wheat and maize milling technology. It administers the practical trade test for would-be millers, and is also responsible for the advanced course. Tutorial assistance and technical consulting services are part of the Grain Milling Federation’s functions. All course information can be found at www.sagma.co.za.
- Southern African Grain Laboratory (SAGL) Tel: 012 807 4019 www.sagl.co.za The SAGL is a quality analyses laboratory and has ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. They offer a variety of quality analyses on grains and oilseeds. National information is published on the website. They provide ring tests and give laboratory training and are being recognised as the grain analyses reference laboratory in Southern Africa. They are also responsible for a national crop quality survey for wheat and maize. The SAGL provide courses in laboratory training for both wheat (flour) and maize (meal) analyses. They offer a one-day hands-on course for the most imported analyses and a four-day practical course for all the different analyses done for quality control including a lecture on Good Laboratory Practices and Accreditation. Special course requests will be gladly accommodated.
- View the AgriSETA-accredited National Certificate: Grain Milling at www.agriseta.co.za. Another Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) relevant to this chapter is FoodBev. Their chamber relevant to this chapter is the Baking, Cereals, Confectionary and Snacks Chamber one. Visit www.foodbev.co.za.
- The National Chamber of Milling is responsible for identifying and ensuring that research projects relevant to the industry are carried out.
- AFGRI Tel: 011 063 2347 www.afgri.co.za
- African Star Grain & Milling Tel: 011 038 5000 www.asgm.co.za
- Bakhresa SA Tel: 031 275 2000 http://bakhresa.com
- Brenner Mills Tel: 0861 100 201 www.brenmill.co.za
- Champagne Valley Stonemill Tel: 036 468 1017 http://champagnevalleystonemill.co.za GMO-free flour
- Circle Milling Tel: 018 771 4703
- Citrusdal Rollermeule Tel: 022 921 2434
- Drakensberg Milling Tel: 036 488 1067 / 1941
- Durban Grits Tel: 031 502 2689 www.durbangrits.co.za
- e-Milling/Eendag Meule Tel: 056 515 1309 www.emilling.co.za and www.eendagmeule.co.za
- Empangeni Milling Tel: 035 792 9127
- Godrich Flour Mills Tel: 013 932 0155 http://godrichmills.co.za
- Eureka Mills Tel: 028 722 1887 www.eurekamills.co.za
- Gritco Tel: 051 853 1713 www.grainco.co.za
- Group 35 Foods Tel: 022 461 2500 http://group35foods.co.za
- GWK Farm Foods Tel: 053 298 8200 www.gwk.co.za
- Impilo Products Tel: 012 940 8665 www.impiloproducts.co.za
- Ingogo Mills Group/Sutha Tel: 034 341 1002 https://sutha.co.za
- Isiswe Mills Tel: 013 246 2443
- Just Flour Tel: 031 500 9812 www.justflour.co.za
- Lesotho Milling Co (Pty) Ltd Tel: 051 933 4486 Tel: +266 22 430 622 http://lesco.co.za
- Lethabo Milling Tel: 057 651 4010 www.lethabomilling.co.za
- Khula Maize Meal Tel: 013 246 2443/4 www.khulamm.co.za
- Kromdraai Best Milling Tel: 058 813 1567 Part of VKB Milling
- M&J da Costa Brothers Tel: 011 819 1006 www.manjoh.co.za
- Noordfed Tel: 018 632 5037 www.nwk.co.za
- NTK Tel: 015 491 9002 See VKB Milling
- OVK Clocolan Roller Mills Tel: 051 943 9102 OVK Tweespruit Roller Mills Tel: 051 963 0001 www.ovk.co.za
- Paramount Milling Tel: 043 731 2444 www.paramountmills.co.za
- Phakathi Milling Tel: 015 303 3002/3 www.phakathimilling.co.za
- Pioneer Foods Tel: 021 807 5800 / 8 (Paarl) www.sasko.co.za and www.pioneerfoods.co.za
- Premier Foods Tel: 011 565 4300 (Isando) Tel: 031 250 4400 (Durban) Tel: 056 216 4600 (Kroonstad) Tel: 012 849 0500 (Pretoria) Tel: +268 2518 4044 (Manzini) Tel: 021 448 4681 (Salt River) Tel: 016 455 1010 (Vereeniging) Tel: 043 745 1919 (East London) www.premierfmcg.com
- Pride Milling Company Tel: 012 663 5215 (Centurion) Tel: 017 683 0050 (Leslie) Tel: 087 285 2182 (Ogies) Tel: 011 814 8254 (Nigel) Terl: 017 688 0041 (Devon Mill) www.pridemilling.co.za
- Progress Mills Tel: 015 297 3452 (Polokwane) Tel: 013 235 2058 (Lydenburg) www.progressmilling.co.za
- RC Mission Mill Tel: 054 461 1085 http://rcmissionmill.co.za/
- RCL Foods Tel: 012 308 3247 www.rclfoods.com
- SA Rice Mills Tel: 011 976 4723 www.saricemills.co.za
- Salvage & Stockfeed Parcels Tel: 060 729 3114 www.salvageandstockfeed.co.za/milling
- TAU Mills Tel: 018 581 2180 https://taumeule.co.za
- Thuso Mills Tel: 056 515 1071 www.thuso.co.za
- Tiger Milling Tel: 011 462 8393 (Randburg) Tel: 057 573 9300 (Henneman) Tel: 0800 201 924 (Bellville) Tel: 021 948 0834 (Bellville) Tel: 021 948 0790 (Bellville) Tel: 033 397 0226 (Pietermaritzburg) Tel: 013 261 2310 (Marble Hall) Tel: 015 297 3565 (Polokwane) www.tigerbrands.co.za
- TWK Agri Tel: 017 826 2147/8 www.twkagri.com
- Vaal Milling Company Tel: 016 423 5395
- Vlakpoort Roller Mills Tel: 017 753 1955
- VKB Milling Tel: 058 358 8111/229 Tel: 058 813 1960 (Frankfort) Tel: 015 491 4284 (Potgietersrus) Tel: 015 491 9000 (Thohoyandou) www.vkb.co.za
- Western Cape Milling Tel: 021 951 2011 www.wcmilling.co.za
- Westra Industries Tel: 053 441 2231
Websites and publications
In addition to the websites listed in this chapter, the following will also be of interest:
- Animal Feed Manufacturers Association – www.afma.co.za
- Grain South Africa – www.grainsa.co.za
- SA Grain Information Service – www.sagis.org.za
- South African Grain Laboratory – www.sagl.co.za
- Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) – www.dalrrd.gov.za
- National Agricultural Marketing Council – www.namc.co.za
International websites will include:
- International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) – www.iaom.info
- International Association of Operative Millers – Mideast Africa (IAOM-MEA), www.iaom-mea.com
- International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), www.cimmyt.org
- International Centre for Agricultural for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), www.icarda.org
- An international grain and grain-processing information site, www.world-grain.com
Find the latest annual A Profile of the South African Maize Market Value Chain and A Profile of the South African Maize Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages at www.dalrrd.gov.za.
The SADC Secretariat and German Development Corporation‘s Profiling of the Regional Agro-Processing Value Chains in the SADC Region (March 2019) includes a look at wheat and maize.
For maize related research documents and projects, contact the Maize Trust at 012 807 3958. For wheat related research documents and projects, contact the Winter Cereal Trust. Visit www.wintercerealtrust.co.za or call 012 007 1200.
Find the miller’s preference list of preferred wheat cultivars list on the ARC-Small Grains (ARC-SG) web pages at www.arc.agric.za.
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