LA ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA — Nearly 100 people attended the 35th Annual International Association of Operative Millers’ (IAOM) Latin America District meeting Nov. 19-20, in La Antigua, Guatemala. The meeting of milling professionals expanded to two days, with a full-day workshop that focused on wheat-related issues and technical presentations.

The workshop was presented by Dr. Jeff Gwirtz, and covered topics such as wheat structure and composition, wheat classes and uses, calculating flour extraction to maximize mill profitability, wheat grading systems and the effects of wheat quality on milling extraction and flour quality and milling wheat of different classes, hardness and origins.

"The district was interested in providing a forum for the discussion of purely technical issues related to processing wheat,” said Melinda Farris, IAOM executive vice-president. “The one-day workshop gave us the opportunity to put greater emphasis on this particular aspect of milling. The attendees were very engaged, and there was a good exchange of information.”

The second day featured a lineup of speakers from across the industry, who spoke on how to define flour quality, important practices in grain storage, trends in the Latin American baking industry, and flour fortification in the region. In the traditional What’s New session, industry partners shared their latest innovations in products and services.

The two-day meeting was sponsored by Buhler Inc., Buhler, S.A. de C.V., Fundiciones Balaguer SA, Engrain, Great Western Manufacturing, Ocrim SPA, SuperBrix, Tapco Inc. and Vortex Valves Latin America.

Plans are to once again organize the next meeting in conjunction with the Latin-American Industrial Millers Association’s (ALIM) meeting in 2012. The dates and venue are to be determined.

The district elected a new slate of officers including: Erwin G. Mier Halkyer, director and Juan Pablo Galvez, secretary/treasurer. Several positions are still vacant.

The district thanked outgoing officers David Tullo, Gerry Richardson, Marco Fava and Tirso Tovar Calderon for their service.