MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Cargill sponsored eight employees to join Kansas State University (KSU) IGP Institute for an introductory flour milling course Feb. 4-8.

During the IGP-KSU Introduction to Flour Milling course participants were given an overview of the entire milling process to help them understand how wheat impacts the flour milling industry.

The course was conducted through a combination of lectures taught by KSU faculty at the IGP Institute, a visit to the Kanas Wheat Innovation Center, and hands-on training in the Hal Ross Flour Mill and the Shellenberger Hall Baking and Milling Labs.

“This course was customized for Cargill employees,” said Shawn Thiele, flour milling and grain processing curriculum manager and interim associate director at the IGP Institute. “The participants were able to receive extensive amounts of hands-on training with milling U.S. wheat and baking different products to help them grasp a better understanding of the value of quality wheat and why mills request the wheat specifications and consistencies they do.”

The course focused on a variety of topics, including an overview of the U.S. milling industry; wheat classes, uses and basic wheat chemistry; wheat cleaning and conditioning; the milling process and flowsheets; flour functionality; wheat and flour blending; and quality.

Course participants varied in their titles, including product line managers, global wheat analysts, merchant leaders, logistics coordinators, elevator operators and production supervisors.

Course participant, Meredith Kuhlman, hard red winter wheat product line manager for Cargill, explained that she gained the most beneficial information from the hands-on lecture in KSU’s Shellenberger Hall Baking Lab.

“I enjoyed being able to test different wheat varieties with baking,” Kuhlman said.

She added that using the different flour variations between cakes, bread and pastries made more sense after the baking lab concluded.