The Faribon - A small
solution to a large problem

A simple solution has been found for the milling
of small amounts of specialised flours.

By Jane Higgins

So far in this column, we have touched on the relationship between the milling and baking industries and ways to improve the communication gaps that are often present. We have also looked at the benefits of using custom made flours for specific food groups such as pizzas and European breads.
     Of course it is easy to lay out best practice parameters for use of specialised materials; finding the actual suppliers is another matter all together! We have had many queries through our Miller’s Grist column from various bakers all over the country trying to source small amounts of specialised flours - anything from organic whole wheat to non-gluten to kosher.
     We did a bit of research on this at African Micro Mills and have found a possible solution to this large problem – in the form of something quite tiny. The Faribon is a mini mill no larger than a bar fridge that can easily be placed on a kitchen table or small bakery worktop. Producing 50-60 kg per hour, it can be used to mill meal or flour from maize, wheat, beans, peas, barley-oats, rice, sorghum and millet. The plant can also be used for milling various spices.
     ‘Faribon’ is the Italian word for ‘family’. This mill is aptly named as the original intention was for European families to use it to produce fresh flours for use in delicious bread and pasta dishes. This was the brain child of the Italian company named Omas. Although they specialise in 5 ton to 50 tons per hour milling plants, they are extremely passionate about milling - the Faribon was the ‘weekend’ project of one of their mill designers! We at African Micro Mills are very excited to collaborate with other passionate companies and we look forward to our partnership with Omas in Southern Africa.
     The Faribon is simple to use and its functionality could certainly be broadened in Southern Africa to include novelty bread bakeries, restaurants, pizza makers, farm kitchens and niche markets such as organic, Kosher or Halaal. It would also be ideal for mills and silos to use as a test mill for incoming grain - in terms of milling wheat samples prior to conducting falling number and mixograph tests.
     Essentially, the Faribon is a modern take on the old stone mill. Although much simpler to use, this mini mill still retains all of the goodness of the proteins found in the aleuronic layer of cereals such as maize or wheat. (In modern milling, much of this protein is often lost with the bran). The end result then, is a flour that may not be as white as, for example cake flour, but will boast superb baking qualities, taste and health properties.
     The Faribon is available in single and three phase for domestic and industrial use. It also comes with five different sieve meshes from 1000 micron to 212 micron, allowing for flexible particle sizing and consistency.
     Retailing at under R20 000 delivered any-where in South Africa, the Faribon is a great little solution that is well within the reach of individuals and small businesses – in terms of functionality, ease of use and of course, affordability. With the cost of most cereals being less than 50% of the cost of flour, producing your own ingredients can be quite profitable too!
As always, we look forward to hearing from you. If you are interested in finding out more about the Faribon, or have any comments or queries to make then please do get in touch with us at African Micro Mills (through our website or via this column at

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