Millers are responsible for the processing of different types of grain, particularly wheat and maize.
The wheat milling process consists of three stages, each with its specific type of machinery. The breaking, scraping and reduction processes take place during these stages. The process of maize milling is much the same as that of wheat, but not as many production stages are required. To ensure that the correct standard and quality are maintained, millers are required to test the products.
In addition millers supervise the work of mill workers. Today the milling process is highly mechanised. The task of millers consists chiefly of setting milling machines and supervising their operation. It is important that millers obey all the relevant health regulations. This will ensure a food product of the highest quality.
The wheat milling process consists of :
- Control process: roller-mills with grooved rollers that rotate at different speeds and directions are used to crack the wheat-kernel open to remove as much of the bran from the endosperm (the flour) as possible
- Scraping process: here the pieces of bran that cling to the endosperm are removed
- Reduction process: the semolina in the endosperm is refined by means of smooth roller- mills and the remaining pieces of bran and seed are removed. The endosperm is then graded by sifting machines. If it is still not fine enough, the process is repeated
The procedure of maize-milling is basically the same as described above, except that the machines are set differently because the kernels are much bigger than wheat-kernels. The final products of maize milling are mealie-meal, samp, mealie rice and grits.
Millers usually work indoors in the machine rooms of commercial grain mills. Working conditions are, of necessity, clean. The machines usually make a lot of noise and ear-guards are worn. Millers work a maximum of 46 hours per week from Monday to Saturday, in shifts not exceeding 8 hours per day.
Milling companies throughout the country.
- visit a mill in your area and ask permission to observe millers at work
- try to obtain vacation work in a milling company
- make an appointment to speak to a miller about this type of career