I purchased some broken durum wheat (also called lapsi or daliya in India) to make upma and was shocked to find that it contained ash.
It seemed silly that someone would deliberately mix ash into broken wheat, and this site says it's not mixed in the flour, but is just a measure of the percentage of non-starch parts the wheat has. But as per this website:
The ash content of white pan bread flour has increased over the years from 0.45% in the 1950s to the current level of 0.50-0.55%. This has undoubtedly resulted from negotiations where the miller has agreed to the flour buyer’s price but only if he can raise the ash content of the flour a couple of points (0.02%).
How can anyone raise the ash content at will? This almost sounds like someone is adding 0.87g ash per 100g of wheat, but I reasoned it speaks of the amount of residue produced by the milling process. Am I right? I was just concerned about "ash", since when I tried washing the broken wheat, I had to wash it more than double the number of times I wash brown rice (that's at least 7 times for brown rice), for the water to finally become clear (I hope it isn't necessary to wash it so many times). Everytime I poured in water to wash it, the water turned a whitish grey, which made me think it was ash :-)