Northern Crops Institute’s course focuses on wheat, flour quality
Eleven participants from Canada, Guatemala, Senegal and the United States are attending the Rheology of Wheat and Flour Quality course this week at Northern Crops Institute, where they will learn about all aspects of quality analysis from kernel quality, milling, rheology analysis and baking evaluation.
Each participant will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the rheological instruments. They are focusing on tests for gluten content, falling number, flour color, ash content, moisture, starch damage and speck count. Equipment training includes the Buhler lab mill, Alveograph, Mixolab, RVA, Farinograph, Extensograph, TA-XT Plus, and C-Cell Technology.
Hands-on baking sessions help participants understand the impact of flour quality on baked products and baking performance, and how to perform tests to evaluate the baked product¹s quality.
“The underlying theme of this course is customer service as it relates to the baking industry,” says John Crabtree, Northern Corps Institute assistant director and coordinator of educational programs. “Baking professionals need to understand the differences in wheat and flour quality, and how those differences can affect baking performance. Six classes of wheat are produced in the U.S., and these six classes have different end-use properties. If a customer is asking about the performance of a particular flour, our course participants will be prepared to troubleshoot their ingredients with their customers through scientific methods.”
Course topics include an overview of the U.S. wheat classes; factors that define wheat and flour quality; impact of milling on wheat flour quality; impact of protein and starch on end product quality; characterization of mixing, fermentation and baking processes; and functional ingredients in flour and flour-based products.
Speakers for the course were the Northern Crops Institute’s Rachel Carlson, food technologist; Natsuki Fujiwara, food technologist; David Hahn, director of technical services and business development; Alyssa Hicks, milling specialist; and Robert Meyer of Dakota Specialty Milling.
Northern Crops Institute, located on the campus of NDSU, supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops. It is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.