From Field to Fork
We mainly obtain our organically cultivated grain from regional farmers and from the Dutch Organic Grain Pool during the harvest months July and August. But what happens next? What does an organic production process entail? How do we make our tasty cereals, crispy flakes and crunchy mueslis?
The grain arrives in bulk consignments or in bags, usually still containing remnants of straw, coarse weed stalks, grit, and empty and damaged husks. We extract all these things with a pre-cleaner, which resembles a large vacuum cleaner. On arrival, the grain can still contain approximately 18 to 20% moisture.
To store grain so that it does not spoil, the moisture content may not be higher than 16%. If necessary, we air-dry our grain after pre-cleaning. In order to retain the germination capacity, the drying temperature may not be hotter than 40 degrees Celsius.
After drying, we store the grain in silos. To avoid inadvertently mixing batches, each type of grain is assigned its own dedicated silo as much as possible. We keep the grain at the right temperature by regularly aerating the silos. We carefully monitor the temperature every day during and immediately after the harvest and once a week thereafter.
4. Hulling Oats and Barley
Most types of grain do not have to be hulled or we can by them pre-hulled. This does not apply to oats and barley so we have to hull them before further processing. Oat seeds are loose, but barley seeds cling to the husk, which means they have to hulled using different methods. We put oat husks in a kind of centrifuge, in which the seeds are released. We grind barley husks together under a peeling roller, which releases the seeds. We are able to do this without damaging the bran or the kernel so that the nutritional value is largely preserved.
To make sure the grain is completely pure, we filter it ‘clean’. We remove any last remnants of dirt on the basis of weight: straw and chaff are lighter than grain, but grit and sand are heavier. We pass the grain through different sieves to make sure it is absolutely clean. Once this has been done, the grain is ready to be crushed into flakes or sold as whole grain in shops.
6. Soaking & Crushing
Before we crush the grain, we soak it for 24 hours. On the next day, we place the grain on a conveyor for pre-heating. We do this for a number of reasons: it makes the grain soft and pliant, specific enzymes that could give the kernel a bitter taste are deactivated and it binds starch granules so that the cereal flakes do not fall apart after they have formed. We then crush the grain into flakes with a roller, and allow them to cool and evaporate moisture.
7. Mixing Muesli
We also make different mueslis from our organic cereal flakes by mixing them with nuts and/or fruit. Before being sent to the packing line, we store muesli mixes in big-bags or in silo bins. Click here to view our assortment of mueslis ranging from 4 and 7 grain flakes and nut muesli to different types of crispy mueslis and crunchies, all made from locally grown cereals.
Our products are packed fully automatically. They are weighed off and packed in biodegradable foil bags which are printed with the product name, bar code and use-by date. At the grouping table at the end of the packing line, we put the bags into larger boxes which are also printed with the product name and use-by date.