Reacting to the movement away from processed foods, some schools are adopting onsite scratch baking. According to the School Nutrition Association’s “School Nutrition Operations Report: The State of School Nutrition 2009,” 74% of school districts prepare at least some bakery items from scratch. Preparing baked goods from whole grains can present taste challenges, but whole-wheat flour products from ConAgra Mills, Omaha, NE; Cargill, Wayzata, MN; and ADM Milling, Shawnee Mission, KS, can help with that.

According to Don Trouba, director of marketing, ConAgra Mills, the company already sells its Ultragrain flour directly to schools that bake from scratch, and he said more schools seem to be interested in participating in the trend.

Cargill recently worked with Osseo School District in northwest Minneapolis, MN, to help the schools incorporate its Horizon Milling WheatSelect white-whole-wheat flour into its scratch baking program. According to Jessica Wellnitz, senior food technologist, Cargill’s Bakery Technology Group, the company is looking into ways to help other school districts formulate for baking with whole grains and finished product manufacturers meet the needs of their school foodservice customers.

ADM Milling’s Kansas Diamond extra fine white-whole-wheat flour can also provide school food service with whole-grain nutrition while minimizing bitter taste and gritty texture. According to Brook Carson, technical service manager, ADM Milling, this flour is available not only to wholesale bakers but also school food service directors through distributors.