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Northern Corps Institute hosts durum milling course

Eleven participants from Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S. attended the Northern Crops Institute/International Grains Program Durum Wheat Milling Short Course this week at Northern Crops Institute on the NDSU campus.

The course was designed to give participants a better understanding of the durum milling process and add insight into milling performance and semolina quality. Most of the participants also are attending the April 9-11 Pasta Production and Technology course.

The course was co-sponsored with the International Grains Program at Kansas State University and coordinated by John Crabtree, Northern Crops Institute assistant director. 

“Combining the milling expertise of IGP’s Mark Fowler and NCI’s flour mill that can process both durum wheat and hard red spring wheat provides a very strong milling program for our course attendees. This partnership makes for a unique educational course,” said Mark Weber, director of the Northern Crops Institute.

The lead instructor was Mark Fowler, International Grains Program associate director and milling specialist.

“This course focuses on the advanced principles of durum milling, covering the specifics of durum milling and how durum milling may be different than the milling of other classes of wheat,” Fowler said. “Through lectures and demonstrations, we are covering the principles of durum milling, the impact of durum quality of semolina extractions, and how semolina quality can impact pasta manufacturing. The durum course is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with NCI and share my expertise as a technical miller.”

The Northern Crops Institute’s pilot-scale mill was converted in 2009 from a durum mill into a swing mill to give the region the capability to mill pilot-scale or test-scale quantities of durum or bread wheat. The mill is capable of milling bread flour, durum semolina and whole-wheat flour. Flour milling capacity of the mill is 200-300 pounds per hour, a larger quantity than a laboratory scale mill can produce.

Additional course speakers were Elias Elias, NDSU University Distinguished Professor of plant sciences; David Hahn Northern Crops Institute director of technical services and business development; Frank Manthey, NDSU professor of plant sciences; Andrew Swenson, NDSU Extension Service; and Simon Tiedge and Franz Signer, Buhler Inc. 

Highlights included handling and blending, equipment, plant maintenance and hands-on experience in the institute’s pilot-scale durum mill and pasta extrusion laboratory.

Course topics included objectives of durum wheat milling, durum wheat variety development, durum wheat selection, durum wheat cleaning, durum wheat tempering, durum mill flow sheet analysis, grinding and sifting, purification, air utilization, product quality control and plant management. 

The International Grains Program is part of the Department of Grain Science and Industry at the Kansas State University. The program is designed to educate foreign business leaders and government officials about U.S. grains and oilseeds through technical training and assistance programs in grain storage and handling, milling, marketing and processing. The program supports marketing activities by national farmer commodity organizations.

Northern Crops Institute is the international center for meeting and learning about crops produced in the four-state region of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Situated on the NDSU campus, it exists as a forum to bring together customers, commodity traders, technical experts, processors and producers from all points of the globe for discussion, education and technical service programs.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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North Dakota State University
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