Many grain industry professionals who are new to their organizations or work in supporting roles of their milling companies benefited from attending the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM)–KSU Introduction to Flour Milling course, January 15–19. In attendance for the training were 14 participants who gained a general understanding of the milling process.

“It gives professionals in the milling industry with little or no milling background an excellent understanding of what goes into producing flour, starting with growing wheat and ending with baked products,” says Shawn Thiele, course instructor and IGP’s flour milling and grain processing specialist.

The course focused on topics including wheat classes, uses and basic wheat chemistry; wheat cleaning and conditioning; gradual reduction process; calculating flour extraction to maximize mill profitability; milling flowsheet terminology; specifics in the milling process; flour and dough testing practices and methods; flour functionality; wheat and flour blending; and the impact of grade, quality characteristics, and mill performance on flour extraction.

Course participant, Monty Griffin, senior project manager at Bunge North America in St. Louis, Missouri, says, “It was great to be able to learn what I didn’t understand before about sifting out all of the different particles of kernels.” He adds, “I thought this course was a lot of fun. It was the right amount of material and information, and gave me a greater knowledge of the complexity of what goes behind the process from the beginning to end.”

Through the presentations and hands-on workshops led by KSU faculty and staff, participants learned all aspects of the flour milling process from wheat selection to flour blending and functionality. These hands-on experiences were completed in the Shellenberger Hall Milling Lab and the Hal Ross Flour Mill on the KSU campus.

In addition to courses offered in flour milling and grain processing, the IGP Institute also offers training in feed manufacturing and grain quality management, and grain marketing and risk management. To learn more about these other training opportunities, visit the IGP Institute website at www.ksu.edu/igp.