Oats are taken into the mill at harvest time from a select panel of local growers. The oats are then dried and safely stored until needed. When the oats enter the Milling process, there are five distinct stages to this process:
Cleaning, drying and grading
Dehulling and cleaning
Groats to pinhead
Pinhead to oatlets
Packaging and distribution
1. The oats are brought at harvest into the mill by the growers. They are then cleaned and dried so that they may be safely stored until they are needed. When the oats enter the milling process, they are cleaned, taking off straws, stones and weed seeds and are then sent through a stream of air to remove any dust or light grains that would be unsuitable for milling.
2. The grain is then sorted by size into small grains, medium sized and large size grains. The Oats are then fed into the oat sheller, which cracks the husk off the grain without damaging the kernel. The mixture of kernel and hull is fed into a stream of air which blows off dust and hull. It is then subject to a polishing which removes the dust and hull which has not been properly dislodged.
3. The groats are then cut by feeding them into a cylinder with a large number of holes, the kernel fall through these holes and are cut to produce what is called Pinhead oatmeal. This is the oatmeal which can be used to make traditional porridge.
4. The pinheads are steam cooked at over 100 degrees celsius before being rolled into oatflakes. The flakes are then dried, cooled and stored in containers for packaging.
5. The product is then automatically weighed, dropped in its packet, the packet is then pressed down, folded and sealed. The packets are then packed into cartons ready for distribution to your local store.