The course was held at the International Grains Program (IGP) Conference Center and Hal Ross Flour Mill. This was the fourth course this year in the series of resident milling courses offered by KSU and IAOM.
The exploration of the milling process was led by Jeff Gwirtz, associate professor, KSU grain science and industry. He covered topics such as flow design, mill balance and product distribution, equipment adjustments and maintenance, and troubleshooting. Gwirtz was assisted by Mark Fowler, IGP associate director and milling specialist.
Instruction included classroom lectures and hands-on labs in the Hal Ross Flour Mill and Shellenberger Hall Ross table-top mill.
Course participant, Dori Abboud, head miller for Crown Flour Mills in Beirut, Lebanon, says that Gwirtz’s instruction on break releases, purifier adjustments and lab tests will help him better meet the challenges he faces.
“I enjoy launching new products that meet the customers’ needs, however maintaining the consistency and quality of our finished products is always a challenge. Moreover keeping the production costs down is another challenge,” he said.
Abboud’s fellow participant Keith Koehler, Mennel Milling Company assistant miller from Bucyrus, Ohio, U.S., also found the instruction of Gwirtz and Fowler to be helpful.
“I greatly enjoyed my time in Manhattan, both in and out, of the classroom. My instructors and classmates have helped me achieve an understanding of milling equipment and processes, which I have had little previous knowledge of. This will help me in my future milling endeavors,” he said.
For Koehler, the most beneficial topic was mill balance and product distribution.
“My biggest challenge is to run as much wheat through the mill without compromising the extraction rate or flour quality and not cause any chokes,” Koehler said. “I gained more knowledge to help maintain an even load throughout the mill and to better identify the underlying cause of spout chokes.”
This class is just one example of the many partnership courses offered through IGP. In addition to flour milling and grain processing, IGP offers standard short courses in grain marketing and risk management, and feed manufacturing and grain management.