Thanks to a patent-pending milling technique, a new whole-wheat flour combines the nutritional benefits of whole grains with the taste, texture and finished baked qualities of refined flour. In August, ConAgra Food Ingredients, Omaha, NE, introduced its Ultragrain white whole-wheat flour to consumer kudos in USA Today and industry praise at the International Baking Industry Exposition.

Compared with other whole-grain flours, Ultragrain has lighter flour color, softer smoother texture and reduced visibility of bran specks. Dave Colo, president of ConAgra Food Ingredients, told Sosland Publishing that the company had been working on this product for 2½ years. The project involved not only new milling techniques but also Platte Wheat, a new proprietary hard white wheat variety developed through conventional breeding techniques to be sweeter in flavor. ConAgra contracts with Midwestern farmers to grow the wheat.

“The result is a natural, whole-grain product,” said Don L. Brown, vice-president, marketing. He described a nutritional study done in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture comparing the new flour to the conventional whole-wheat product that found all nutritional properties intact, including fiber content. “And the particle size distribution in Ultragrain white wheat flour is similar to that of conventional refined flour.”

Applications run the gamut of baked foods, from breads and bagels to pasta and pizza dough, even pastries, according to Mr. Colo. “Ultragrain provides whole-grain nutrition without changing the texture or sacrificing the taste of the foods,” he said.