AHRENSBURG, GERMANY —  Mühlenchemie and its sister companies DeutscheBack and SternEnzym announced on Feb. 25 that they have enlarged their facilities for applications research. All in all, the three companies from the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe have invested over €6 million ($6,615,519) in enlarging the Technology Centre in Ahrensburg, Germany, near Hamburg.

The Technology Centre in Ahrensburg now comprises laboratories covering an area of 3,000 meters. In the enlarged flour test center and trial bakery, mills, bread factories and manufacturers of pastry goods or pasta can simulate processes and have the effects of enzymes and other active ingredients tested.

“We are now able to reflect all the stages of the production process from the grain to the baked product with the latest technical equipment,” said Lennart Kutschinski, managing director.

This results in individual solutions that can be implemented on the industrial scale within a short time, thus meeting all the requirements of food production in a cost-effective manner. 

The new equipment includes an automatic grinder that enables grain samples to be ground into flour much as in industrial milling; these samples are then tested in the laboratory and the technical trials department. A particle sizer using laser technology permits exact determination of the particle size distribution and thus makes it possible to adjust the automatic grinder precisely. A rotation oven and two shock freezers are available as well as a modern, computer-controlled mixer for preparing the dough, and several multideck ovens. The capacity of the rheological laboratory for conducting analyses has also been enlarged, and the latest Brabender and Chopin instruments and equipment have been acquired. In the vitamin and nutrients laboratory, stability tests and analyses are carried out according to international standards in order to meet the requirements of the Flour Fortification Initiative, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and FFI, GAIN World Health Organization. The enzyme laboratory has been fitted with the latest fermentation equipment for developing and optimizing micro-organisms and processes for the production of enzymes.

One of the features of the flour test center is a pilot plant for pasta products. With a continuous hourly output of 70 kg of pasta and a minimum quantity of only 10 kg- 5 kg of the end product per trial, it enables Mühlenchemie to close the gap between the laboratory scale and commercial production.

The extension is rounded off by a new training room. While seminars are being held there, the room permits a direct view of what is going on in the bakery.