White flour: Revealing its extraction rate and why it matters

In the world of baking and culinary arts, flour plays a crucial role in creating a wide variety of delicious treats. Among the different types of flour available, white flour is one of the most commonly used. But have you ever wondered about the extraction rate of white flour and what it actually means? In this article, we will explore the concept of extraction rate, its importance in flour production, and how it affects the properties of white flour.

What is extraction rate?

Extraction rate refers to the amount of whole grain used in the milling process to produce flour. It is expressed as a percentage and represents the amount of flour obtained from the grain. The extraction rate can vary depending on the milling process and the desired quality of the flour. In the context of white flour, the extraction rate typically refers to the percentage of endosperm (the starchy part of the grain) that is retained in the final product.

Understanding white flour and its extraction rate

White flour is made by removing the bran and germ from the grain, leaving the endosperm. This extraction process contributes to the distinctive characteristics of white flour, including its fine texture, light color, and longer shelf life compared to whole grain flours. The extraction rate of white flour is generally high, typically in the range of 70% to 80%.

Importance of extraction rate in white flour production

The extraction rate has important implications for both flour producers and consumers. A higher extraction rate means that more of the grain is retained in the final flour, resulting in higher nutritional content and a more robust flavor profile. On the other hand, a lower extraction rate produces a whiter and finer flour, but with reduced nutritional value.

Flour producers often make extraction rate decisions based on market demands and consumer preferences. Higher extraction rates are generally preferred for whole grain flours because they retain more of the grain’s natural goodness. Conversely, white flours with lower extraction rates are often preferred for certain baking applications where a lighter texture and milder flavor are desired.

Balancing texture, taste and nutrition

Flour producers carefully consider extraction rates based on market demands and consumer preferences. Higher extraction rates are generally preferred for whole grain flours because they retain the bran and germ, which are rich in nutrients. Whole grain flours offer a more robust flavor profile, increased fiber content and potential health benefits. White flour, with its higher extraction rate, is preferred for applications where a lighter texture and milder flavor are desired, such as in pastries, cakes and certain breads.

Making informed choices for your baking adventures

When selecting flour for your baking endeavors, it’s important to be aware of the extraction rate and its implications. Whole-wheat flours with higher extraction rates offer greater nutritional value, while white flours with lower extraction rates provide a refined texture and appearance. Understanding these differences can help you make informed choices that match your culinary preferences and health goals.

Nutrition facts

Nutrient Whole Grain Flour (100g) White Flour (100g)
Calories 340 kcal 364 kcal
Carbohydrates 72 g 76 g
Protein 12 g 10 g
Fat 2 g 1 g
Fiber 10 g 3 g
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.45 mg 0.28 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 5.3 mg 4.1 mg
Iron 3.6 mg 1.2 mg
Magnesium 160 mg 30 mg
Zinc 2.7 mg 0.4 mg

Please note that the values in this table are approximate and may vary depending on the specific brand and processing method. The table serves as a general comparison between whole grain and white flour, highlighting the differences in key nutrients and their respective amounts.

How Extraction Rate Affects White Flour Benefits

  • Nutritional value: The extraction rate directly affects the nutritional value of white flour. Higher extraction rates, such as those found in whole wheat flours, retain more of the bran and germ, which are rich in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By understanding how extraction rate affects nutritional value, readers can prioritize flours that offer greater health benefits.
  • Dietary fiber: Whole grain flours with higher extraction rates contain more fiber, which plays an important role in digestive health, weight management, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Learning about extraction rates allows readers to choose flours that contribute to a fiber-rich diet.
  • Taste and texture: The extraction rate affects the flavor and texture of white flour-based products. Lower extraction rates, commonly associated with refined white flours, result in a lighter texture and milder flavor, which may be desirable for certain baked goods. By understanding the relationship between extraction rate and sensory attributes, readers can select the right flour to achieve their desired culinary results.
  • Versatility in baking: Different extraction rates offer versatility in baking applications. Whole-wheat flours with higher extraction rates offer a more robust flavor profile and are well suited for savory breads, rustic pastries and healthy baked goods. White flours with lower extraction rates, on the other hand, are ideal for delicate cakes, pastries and recipes where a finer texture is desired.
  • Longer shelf life: Higher extraction white flours tend to have a longer shelf life than whole wheat flours. This increased shelf life can be beneficial for those who value pantry longevity and storage convenience.

The bottom line

Understanding the extraction rate of white flour sheds light on the milling process and its impact on the final product. The extraction rate determines the percentage of endosperm retained in the flour, which affects its texture, color, flavor and nutritional composition. Whether you choose high-extraction whole grain flours or finely milled white flours, knowing the extraction rate allows you to make informed choices when it comes to your culinary creations.
The next time you embark on a baking adventure or explore different types of flour, take a moment to consider the extraction rate and the characteristics it imparts. Remember, each flour has its own unique qualities, and understanding the extraction rate can open up a world of possibilities in baking and cooking.


What is the extraction rate of white flour?

The extraction rate of white flour refers to the percentage of the whole grain that remains in the flour after the milling process. It represents the percentage of endosperm, the starchy part of the grain, that remains in the final product. Typically, the extraction rate for white flour is between 70% and 80%. The extraction process removes the bran and germ from the grain, resulting in a flour with a fine texture and light color. White flour with a higher extraction rate tends to have a longer shelf life compared to whole grain flours, but may have a reduced nutritional content due to the removal of the bran and germ.

What is the extraction rate of flour?

Extraction rates vary depending on the type of flour produced. A whole grain flour, which contains all of the germ, bran, and endosperm, can have an extraction rate of close to 100%, while white all-purpose flours generally have extraction rates of around 70%.

What is rate of extraction?

Extraction rate (ER) is the amount of white flour that is extracted from a given weight of clean and conditioned wheat. It’s expressed as a percentage of the wheat entering the first break rolls in a roller milling system.

How is flour extraction rate significant to flour quality?

Resultes indicated that, by increasing the extraction rate, the amount of protein, fat, fiber, ash, wet gluten, water absorption and the color of the flours all increased but the moisture content, sedimentation value and falling number decreased.

How is flour extracted?

In modern milling of refined flours the wheat kernels are cleaned and tempered by the addition or removal of moisture and then split open by a pair of rolls. The finest particles, called break flour, are sieved out and bagged.

What flour has an extraction of 85%?

Traditional industrial “roller milled” white flour only extracts 72% to 75% of the kernel volume in the process of removing all the bran and the germ elements. In contrast, by directly sifting our fine “Unifine” milled whole grain flour, our “EX-85” flour retains at least 85% of the kernel.

How do you calculate extraction yield?

Most scientific papers have stated the formula for extraction yield calculation like this, The yield of extract (extractable components) expressed on dry weight basis of pulp was calculated from the following equation: Yield (g/100 g) = (W1 × 100)/W2 where W1 is the weight of the extract residue obtained after solvent …

What is wheat extraction?

A measure of the percentage of the grain that is made into flour during the milling process. Flour with a higher extraction rate has more of the bran, germ and outer layers of the endosperm in it. Whole wheat flour is 100% extraction, white flour around 72%.

What is the importance of extraction ratio?

Extraction ratio is a measure in renal physiology, primarily used to calculate renal plasma flow in order to evaluate renal function. It measures the percentage of the compound entering the kidney that was excreted into the final urine.