MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Back-to-back flour milling courses were hosted at the IGP Institute to bring different milling perspectives shared through training to create a dynamic learning environment.

Kicking off the training was the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) and Kansas State University’s (KSU) basic milling principles 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 utilize 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 Hal 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,” said 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, U.S., 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,” Muniz said. “I’ve been in the trucking industry for 25 years and I didn’t know this business was so huge and spread worldwide. I now have an understanding of where everything comes from. It really opened my eyes to something I had barely any knowledge of.”

Participants of the IAOM-KSU Advanced Milling course examine purifier stocks while working on a purifier optimization exercise.

IGP also hosted an IAOM-KSU advanced milling offering that included topics on techniques and tools used for analyzing 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,” said 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 optimize mill processes through sampling and testing to maximize efficiencies in a given mill. Students were able to utilize 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 from participants promoted excellent class discussion and provided different views of milling,” Thiele said.