As you may have guessed, bleaching is the process of turning flour that intense white color. Similar to what bleach does to your clothes.
Naturally, flour has yellow tinted molecules called carotenoids, which give a slightly cream color to the crop. Carotenoids are the same pigment molecules found in bright orange carrots.
Historically, consumers didn’t like this yellow colored flour. They preferred the perfectly white kind. Luckily, over many months of storage, flour will turn from yellow to white as it’s exposed to oxygen in the air.
The only problem is, flour millers don’t want to hold onto their product for several months or even up to a year. It’s expensive and requires a lot of space.
Millers wanted to find a way to get their flour on the market immediately and see a quick return in profit and chemical bleaching of flour was introduced.
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