MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Eight participants from four countries, including Canada, Korea, Sri Lanka and the United States, completed the IAOM-KSU Introduction to Flour Milling course, Aug. 13-17, at the International Grains Program Institute at Kansas State University.

The course is a combination of lectures taught by KSU staff, a visit to the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center and hands-on training in the Hal Ross Flour Mill, Shellenberger Baking Lab and the Shellenberger Milling Lab.

“Participants received a well-rounded education on the milling industry, as we covered the milling process starting with growing wheat and ending with the baked products,” said Shawn Thiele, flour milling and grain processing curriculum manager at the IGP Institute. “This allows participants to understand the whole process of producing flour.”

Topics covered included an overview of the U.S. milling industry; wheat production, supply and demand; wheat classes, uses and basic wheat chemistry; wheat cleaning and conditioning; gradual reduction process overview; milling math; principles of mill flow sheets; overview of the general process and major milling equipment; flour and dough testing practices and methods; flour functionality and much more.

The course is suited for anyone involved in the milling industry, including but not limited to new mill employees, human resources staff, ingredient procurement managers and feed and flour sales representatives.

“The most enjoyable part was the hands-on component,” said Scott Osborne, vice-president of innovation at Mennel Milling. “I believe you learn in four ways: reading, watching, doing and teaching. I now had the chance to do, which is what made it useful to me — the chance to do hands-on activities.”