Shawn Thiele, IGP Institute associate director, and flour milling and grain processing specialist listens in to a participant's question about the equipment in the Hal Ross Flour Mill
Image credit: IGP KSU

Just as a recipe includes many ingredients to make a final product, the different milling perspectives shared through training creates a dynamic learning environment. The merging of those perspectives happened during the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) and Kansas State University's Basic Milling Principles and Advanced Milling courses held October 7-11 and 14-18, respectively.

IAOM-KSU Basic Milling Principles
Kicking off the training was the IAOM-KSU Basic Milling Principals course held for 18 participants from five countries. Participants studied an array of topics within the umbrella of the milling industry.

They were able to utilise hands-on training as well as classroom lectures to understand the milling process and controls that are influenced by the raw materials and milling systems, including cleaning, conditioning, milling and the finished product. They also expanded their knowledge by training in the Shellenberger Hall Baking Lab and the Hall Ross Flour Mill.

'We opened up a lot of knowledge that wasn't in the textbook that I was reading before my visit — particularly the hands-on approach on milling,' says Adrian Redondo, baking technician for U.S. Wheat Associates in the Philippines and course participant. 'It's really different when you read the textbook and experience it for yourself, it gives you a practical idea of how to go about asking the correct questions to millers.'

For participant Hector Muniz, milling assistant for General Mills, Los Angeles, California, the course gave him a deeper knowledge in the entire milling system, and how his position works to create the final product.

'When I started working at General Mills, I didn't have a concept of milling. I've been in the trucking industry for 25 years and I didn't know this business was so huge and spread worldwide,' Mr Muniz says. 'I now have an understanding of where everything comes from. It really opened my eyes to something I had barely any knowledge of.'

IAOM-KSU Advanced Milling Principles
As an expansion to the basic course, the IAOM-KSU Advanced Milling offering included topics on techniques and tools used for analysing and improving grain processing flows, understanding variables that impact production efficiencies, and enhancing the troubleshooting skills of mill personnel.

'The advanced milling course was a great success with a total of 16 participants from around the United States, Canada, Turkey, Philippines and South Africa,' says Shawn Thiele, IGP Institute associate director, and flour milling and grain processing specialist.

Course participants were exposed to a number of advanced milling techniques including how to optimise mill processes through sampling and testing to maximise efficiencies in a given mill. Studentswere able to utilise classroom lectures to discuss cleaning, conditioning and milling processes and equipment, and apply said knowledge in hands-on exercises.

'In both trainings, the diverse milling knowledge that was brought in from the participants promoted excellent class discussion and provided different views of milling,' says Mr Thiele.

In addition to flour milling and grain processing, the IGP Institute also offers courses in the areas of 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, HERE.

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