Thirty-six professionals from seven countries participated in this year’s course which was offered in partnership with the Department of Grain Science and Industry and Wenger Manufacturing, Inc. Sabetha, Kansas, U.S. Now in its seventh consecutive year, course participants also studied innovations in ingredients, technology and applications.
“This course covers the underlying principles of extrusion processing from raw material selection and equipment to post-processing operations, control systems and business strategy,” said Sajid Alavi, course coordinator and associate professor of grain science and industry.
The focus on raw materials was beneficial to course participant Robert King, Nestle Purina Pet Care, Davenport, Iowa, U.S., who said, “The most helpful thing I learned was about the ingredients – their strengths and weaknesses and how to manage around them both.”
King has worked with extruders for over 33 years with Nestle and he says that working with the texturized meats at Wenger Manufacturing will help him when puts his training into practice.
“Now I know why ingredients can become sticky and I can apply that knowledge,” he said.
King’s comments were echoed by fellow course participant Marcelo Argeno, sales manager with SFP Palatability, Descalvado, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“The most helpful part of the course for me was the interactive presentations about the function of the ingredients,” Argento said.
Along with the practical applications of the technology, the group learned about the sensory aspects of extruded products and spent time studying business plans for product development.
Aside from the training, Alavi said one of the greatest benefits is just the opportunity to interact with others in the business.
This sentiment was noted by King who said, “In my job I get plenty of time working on extruder, but I don’t get anything like the classroom discussions we had. I really liked those discussions. They are something that I could use more often.”
This course will be offered again in August 2012 and it is just one example of the trainings offered through IGP. In addition to extrusion, IGP offers trainings in flour milling and grain processing, grain marketing and management, and feed manufacturing and grain management. For more information on IGP trainings, go to: www.grains.ksu.edu/igp. To learn more about the extrusion lab, go to: www.grains.ksu.edu/extrusion.