Wheat flour can be classified based on a number of factors. Different countries have different grading classifications.

Features used to classify flour:

(1) ash content

(2) color

(3) gluten and protein content

(4) contaminants (insects, etc)

(5) additives, such as folate


Ash content is the non-combustible (mineral) content of a sample, based on the weight of the sample before and after combustion. A lower ash content is more desirable.


A white color was considered desirable. To achieve this the flour may be bleached. Dark colored flour may be used for dark-colored bread.


Pastry may have a flaky crust, which is favored by a lower gluten content.


Basic Types


top patent, pastry

highest quality

first baker's, all-purpose

general use

first clears

dark colored, high gluten

second clears

low grade


Additional types include:

(1) high gluten

(2) whole wheat

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