ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA — Mühlenchemie has opened an applications laboratory in St. Petersburg to offer Russian millers a wide range of support and baking and rheology technology, as well as a place to hold training sessions for mill employees.

The lab has a falling number measuring device, farinograph, extensograph and alveograph. Customers can either send their samples in, or use the laboratory equipment to test flour themselves. In this way the specific conditions that influence a particular mill’s products can be simulated in order to test the methods needed to achieve the right kind of flour. To give first-hand advice, four technologists for bakery and flour technology will work at the facility to offer assistance and advice to millers.

“In a country like Russia, the demands made on the producers of flours are continually growing. People expect flours to have a reliably uniform quality and yet the costs of production and the final retail price have to stay affordable,” said Lennart Kutschinski, managing director of Mühlenchemie. “Flour standardization and improvement are therefore increasingly important aspects from the competitive point of view.”

In conjunction with the representative offices in Moscow and Novosibirsk, the laboratory will form the core of Mühlenchemie’s activities in Russia. It will be one of the most modern research facilities for bakery issues in the country. Mühlenchemie has teamed with potent partners to equip the applications laboratory. The analysis equipment comes from Brabender, Perten, Chopin and other well-known manufacturers.

“We wish to be as close to where our customers work as possible. And that means not just having qualified employees nearby, but also the appropriate equipment at hand. That is the reason we are setting up a new applications laboratory with a dough rheology department and trial bakery in St. Petersburg,” said Kutschinski.

The company is offering teaching sessions about raw materials and dough rheology in the new baking laboratories. Here employees from mills all over Russia can come to learn about how flour improvers work in theory and in practice.

“As the amount of available time and manpower diminish, it is increasingly important to concentrate know-how and to offer millers and bakers complete knowledge packs,” Kutschinski explains.

Mühlenchemie, based in Ahrensburg, is one of the world’s most famous companies in the field of flour treatment. Its core competence is finding ways to standardize, improve and fortify flours — from classic flour improvers to concentrates for ready-mixed flours. Every year Mühlenchemie standardizes more than 50 million tonnes of wheat. The company was founded in 1923. In 1990 it became part of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe and is a partner to over 1,000 mills in more than 100 countries.