THE Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) pilot mill in Sydney is at the centre of efforts to increase awareness of the importance of wheat and flour quality for bread and noodles in Asia.
AEGIC general manager research and technical services, Ken Quail, said understanding how grain quality affects end-products was crucial for Australia to effectively meet customer needs in key Asian markets.
“This applies to everyone in the wheat industry – especially grain traders, food manufacturers, wheat breeders and flour millers,” Dr Quail said.
“Australian wheat is valued for a wide range of products both internationally and domestically, especially Asian noodles and baked products.
“By providing education on the unique quality attributes of our wheat and how these attributes result in products that consumers want to eat, AEGIC is helping the Australian industry to deliver the best possible product to customers, thus improving the long-term value of Australian wheat.”
A recent education session at AEGIC’s commercial-scale pilot mill in Sydney was attended by senior grain traders, wheat breeders, food manufacturers and flour millers from around Australia.
Over two days, the participants – many of whom already had long experience in the Australian wheat industry – increased their understanding of how differences in wheat quality affect the flour milling process and how this relates to noodle and bread quality.
Dr Quail said having access to AEGIC’s four-storey flour mill was extremely valuable for attendees, and provided opportunities for hands-on learning.
“The training also includes practical baking and noodle making sessions, and lectures on wheat varieties, quality testing, and export markets.”
ADM Trading Australia senior trading manager, Darryl Borlase, said the training helped him understand the wheat milling process.
“In my current role as a wheat trader and Wheat Quality Australia council member, the course has provided me with a better understanding of the types of flour produced and the technical aspects of quality measurement,” Mr Borlase said.
“The course also provided excellent information on end-product use and what Australian wheat is used for in our export markets. I have no hesitation in recommending the course to anybody who has dialogue or interaction with customers that are using Australian wheat.”
Cargill Australia senior wheat trader, Sam Napier, said the AEGIC Pilot Mill offered a valuable experience.
“The course gave me a greater understanding of the end-customer, and also specific requirements between customer segments,” he said.
Laucke Flour Mills sales manager trade, Matthew Platt, said the course was useful for those who worked in the industry but did not have a background in milling, as it showed mill flow and the different flour streams produced.
“The course had a good balance of both theory and practical finishing off day 2 with both Noodle and Bread making which was enjoyed by all.”
Dr Quail said AEGIC’s training strengthened industry capacity and established strong linkages between AEGIC and industry partners.