FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, U.S. — Twelve participants from Colombia and the U.S. attended the Rheology of Wheat and Flour Quality Short Course from June 12-14 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI).

This course was designed to teach participants about the importance of wheat and flour quality, and how differences in quality can affect milling and baking performance. The hands-on laboratory experiences focused on learning to operate rheological instruments that measure wheat and flour quality, and how to analyze, interpret, and apply the results effectively.

John Crabtree, NCI assistant director, coordinates the NCI short courses. 

“We developed this course in response to feedback from the milling and baking industries that indicated a need for their personnel to have more training on the latest rheological equipment,” he said. “This knowledge will help them explain to their customers the differences in quality and how to adjust for those variations.

“This year’s course included much more hands-on training in running the rheological instruments and in interpreting the analytical tests. We want to thank C.W. Brabender Instruments Company, who sent their personnel to assist in the equipment training.”

Each participant had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the rheological instruments. They focused on tests for gluten content, falling number, flour color, ash content, moisture, starch damage, speck count, protein and starch. Equipment training included the Buhler lab mill, Alveograph, Mixolab, RVA, Amylograph, Farnograph, Extensograph, TA-XT Plus, and C-Cell Technology.

Lectures touched on all aspects of quality analysis from kernel quality, milling, rheology analysis, and baking evaluation.