Bran is the tough outer casing of a cereal grain that protects it while it is still attached to the parent plant. When grains are milled, the bran is crushed and ground into small particles along with the germ and the endosperm to produce wholemeal flour. The bran and, to a lesser extent, the germ are what gives wholemeal flour a light brown colour. The bran and germ are removed from white flour by sieving or 'bolting'.

Bran is a source of dietary fibre and also contains vitamins, fatty acids, carbohydrate and protein in various proportions, which vary between different types of grain.

Want to find out more? Look at the chapter on ingredients in the book flour and water.

Back to the glossary.