Steeping or weltering may mean:

  1. Soaking in liquid until saturated with a soluble ingredient, as in, for example, the steeping of tea. In the case of herbal tea, it is referred to as decoction, and may also be called maceration.
  2. Soaking to remove an ingredient; Example: salt from smoked ham or salted cod.

One example is the steeping of maize, part of the milling process. As described by the US Corn Refiners Association, harvested kernels of maize are cleaned and then steeped in water at a temperature of 50 degrees C for 30 to 40 hours. In the process their moisture content rises from 15% to 45% and their volume more than doubles. The gluten bonds in the maize are weakened and starch is released.

The maize is then ground to break free the germ and other components, and the water used (steepwater), which has absorbed various nutrients, is recycled for use in animal feeds.


Corn steeping. .

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