There was considerable complaint last season, on the part of wheat raisers in sections tributary to Minneapolis, on account of the rigid standard of grading adopted by the millers of that city. It was asserted that the differentiation of prices between the grades was unjustly great and out of proportion to the actual difference of value. In order to ascertain whether this was the case or not, the Farmers' Association of Blue Earth County, Minn., decided to have samples of each grade analyzed by a competent chemist in order to determine their relative value. Accordingly specimens were secured, certified to by the agent of the Millers' Association of Minneapolis, and sent to the University of Minnesota for analysis. The analysis was conducted by Prof. Wm. A. Noyes, Ph.D., an experienced chemist, who has recently reported as follows:

"The analyses of wheat given below were undertaken for the purpose of determining whether the millers' grades of wheat correspond to an actual difference in the chemical character of the wheat. For this purpose samples of wheat were secured, which were inspected and certified to by M. W. Trexa on April 13th of this year. The inspection cards contained no statement except the grade of the wheat and the weight per bushel, but the samples were all of Fife, for the purpose of a better comparison. The analyses of the wheat were made during October in this laboratory. In each case the wheat was carefully separated from any foreign substances before analysis. The results of analysis were as follows:

Grade No. 1Grade No. 2Grade No. 3
Weight per bushel59 lb.56½ lb.55 lb.
Grains to weigh 10 grains366 Per ct.474 Per ct.491 Per ct.
Foreign matter (seeds, etc.)0.410.201.57
Albuminoids (nitrogen multiplied by 6¼)13.0613.0013.56
Starch, sugar, fat, etc.70.9871.4070.12

"The analyses require but little comment. The only substances in which there is evident connection between the results of analysis and the grades of wheat are the cellulose, ash, and phosphorus. As regards the last substance, grades two and three seem to have the greatest food value. But it seems quite probable from the results that greater difference would be found between different varieties of wheat of the same kind than is shown here between different grades of the same variety of wheat. However, it does not necessarily follow from this that the different grades of wheat are of nearly equal value to the miller for the purpose of making flour. That is a question which can be best answered by determining accurately the amount and character of the flour which can be made from each grade of wheat. If possible, the investigation will be continued in that direction."

As Prof. Noyes justly remarks, the value of the different grades of wheat can best be determined by a comparison of the results of reducing them to flour, but an intelligent study of the table given above would of itself be sufficient to indicate the justness of the grading. In the first place, even were the percentages of the different components exactly the same in each grade, still the difference in weight would of itself be sufficient to justify a marked difference in price. This requires no proof, for, other things being equal, fifty-nine pounds is worth more than fifty-five pounds. Again, the figures show that No. 3 contained nearly four times as much foreign matter as No. 1. Millers certainly should not be expected to pay for foreign seeds or other substances valueless for their purpose, at the price of wheat. Finally, if the analysis proves anything, it proves that the lower grades contain a decidedly larger percentage of components which it is generally agreed, whether directly or the reverse, ought not to be incorporated with the flour, and are, therefore, of comparatively little value to the miller. This is shown by the relative amounts of cellulose, ash, and phosphorus present.

Cellulose, as every one knows, is the woody, indigestible substance which is found in the bran, and the greater the amount of cellulose, the heavier will be the bran in proportion to the flour producing elements. According to the figures presented, No. 3 contained nearly one-quarter more cellulose than No. 1, while the amount in No. 2 was slightly less than in No. 3. The ash, too, which represents the mineral constituents of the wheat, is directly dependent upon the quantity of bran. Here, too, the lowest grade is shown to yield about one-quarter more than the highest. The larger percentage of phosphorus in the lower grades is suggested by the analyst to indicate their greater food value in this respect. So it would, were we in the habit of boiling our wheat and heating it whole, or of using "whole wheat meal." But, fortunately or unfortunately, the bread reformers have not yet succeeded in inoculating any considerable portion of the community with their doctrines, and hence the actual food value of any sample of wheat must be ascertained, not directly from the composition of the wheat, but from the composition of the flour made therefrom. Now, as already stated, phosphorus, like the other mineral components, is found almost entirely in the bran.

Its presence in greater quantity, therefore, simply adds to the testimony that a larger proportion of the low grade wheat must be rejected than of the higher grade. It should be evident to the complaining farmers that the millers were in the right of the question, on this occasion at least.

It is expected that further analysis will be made, this time of the flour made from the different grades of wheat. If these investigations be properly conducted, we have no doubt that they will simply confirm the evidence of the wheat tests. A chemical analysis alone, however, will not be sufficient. The quantity of flour obtained from a given amount of wheat must also be ascertained and its quality further tested by means best known to millers, as regards "doughing-up," keeping qualities, color, etc. And then the result can be no less than to show what millers already knew - that the best quality of flour, commanding the top prices in the market, cannot be obtained from an inferior quality of wheat. - Milling World.