Millers: Students from the Swiss School of Milling visited the newly expanded FlourWorld Museum in December. Photos courtesy of Mühlenchemie.
HAMBURG, GERMANY — Students from the Swiss School of Milling visited Mühlenchemie and the FlourWorld Museum in December for the opening of its conference center and Germany’s first Iceman exhibition, entitled “Ötzis Einkorn.”

The visit gave the future millers a unique opportunity to delve deep into the history of cereal growing.

The museum recently added a unique conference center with rooms for seminars and other events highlighting the milling profession in its historical context. The first to use this opportunity of combining scientific lectures on flour improvement and flour fortification with cultural exchange at the FlourWorld Museum were students from the Swiss School of Milling.

The subject of the unique exhibition is the history of man’s most important staple food. The heart of the collection is the “Sackotheque,” with over 3,500 flour sacks from mills in 140 countries. The motifs on the sacks tell of the tradition and history of flour and the myths surrounding it. Each of the motifs reveals historical developments, traditions and identities.

Whereas the subject of the ground floor is the flour sacks themselves and their motifs, the upper floor is concerned with the history of flour in its cultural context.

The title “Flour.Power.Life.” conveys the huge significance flour has had for the history of mankind — for it became the essential staple food of populations and the basis of every state structure larger than that of a tribal society.

Muhlenchemie iceman
The museum recently added a replica of Ötzi the Iceman, who's mummified remains were found to contain cultivated grains.
“Ötzi the Iceman” greeted the students from the Swiss School of Milling and thus opened the multimedia exhibition. The mummified body found in the glacier ice of the Ötztal Alps is perfectly preserved.

An examination of the remains of the Iceman’s fur coat revealed two grains of cultivated einkorn. Einkorn is considered to be the oldest cultivated grain variety.

The replica of “Ötzi” is unique in Germany. It was developed in close cooperation with the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano. The figure was based on a CAT scan of the skeleton of the mummified body. The fur clothing, shoes and copper axe were made according to the original artefacts.

The subjects of the various rooms are the Neolithic Revolution and the role played by agriculture in the development of the first advanced civilizations. Although wild grasses had been collected and eaten for thousands of years, it was not until about 10,000 years ago that they were first deliberately sown.

For the young millers, the visit to Wittenburg opened up a new view of their profession and its importance.

“Our international students were especially impressed by the unique exhibits on the cultural history of cereals,” said Michael Weber, principal of the Swiss School of Milling, summarizing the day spent in Wittenburg, and thanked Mühlenchemie for the invitation and its hospitality. “We are leaving the FlourWorld Museum with a host of pleasant, interesting and educational impressions.”