December 22, 2016

22/12/2016: OCRIM’s 6th technical conference “wheat, flour and…

On the 26 October this year, Milling and Grain magazine attended OCRIM’s 6th technical conference “Wheat, Flour and…” at its headquarters located in Cremona, home to violin extraordinaire Antonio Stradivari and arguably one of Northern Italy’s most picturesque historical cities.

The annual event was aimed at clients, local residents, and friends in the worlds of industry, academia and politics.

The day began with more than one hundred millers and industry professionals from around the globe greeting one another over a tantalising, Ocrim-style Italian breakfast buffet.

With just one bite it was definitive that when it came to the finest of foods, we were in the finest of hands. Indeed, having celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, Ocrim is a family-run global leader in specialised milling plants, feed mills and general cereals processing in over 150 countries.
 

www.ocrim.com

From the outset, Ocrim has specialised in turnkey projects and offers an oversight of the entire process, for example from plant construction to specialist staff training and continual client-specific after-sales assistance.

Walking the Italian Way, we were ushered along a red carpet into the conference room, which happened to be the first International School of Milling Technology founded by Ocrim in 1965.

Known throughout the world for its excellence and considered one of the company’s flagships, the school organises training courses for the milling sector run by Ocrim staff as well as lecturers and experts from the American headquarters of the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM).

The audience were warmly welcomed by Ocrim’s CEO Alberto Antolini, who credited the company’s Italian DNA and remarked upon the importance Ocrim places on the knowledge and culture of the origins of food “Origin is key – original products, training and skills.” He bridged Italian originality with the success of the company’s future “We have a strong cultural background and we are future-centric.”

Stefano Mazzini, Ocrim’s Commercial Director further welcomed guests, to what he described as a “special conference”.

Ocrim’s vision was to connect continents, by presenting the second half of its conference via video in both Italy and one of the world’s fastest growing economic countries boasting an average annual GDP growth rate of more than 10% for the last decade, Ethiopia.

Stone mills and alternative flours
The morning’s debate on ‘Stone mills and alternative flours: nutritional pros and cons and food trends’ was chaired by Lorenzo Cavalli, President of the Italian association of milling industry technicians and boasted the following panel of industry experts:

• Marco Galli, Technological manager in Ocrim
• Alberto Figna, Owner of Molini Agugiaro & Figna of Parma
• Filippo Drago, Owner of Molini Del Ponte
• Simona Digiuni, Nutrition and biogenetics University of Parma
• Marco Tesini, Nutritionist specialised in food science, Bologna

The opening speech was given by Stefano Ravaglia, Head of research and development at Società Italiana Sementi, a leading supplier of seeds, who reminded the audience of the importance of correct breeding and the need for dynamism “given the challenges of mother nature.”

He assured us that SIS are constantly researching the genetics of wheat such as its specific protein content and what the ramifications of gluten free wheat are, concluding, “In modern breeding, we haven’t lost anything.”

Lorenzo linked this to the influence of consumers within the industry, stating that “consumers are more and more demanding, asking for healthy, top quality food.”

He then steered the grounds for the lively debate that was to follow, to the fact that today we have two ways of milling flour– stone ground and industrial.

Questions were put forward such as: although stone milling produces significantly less flour per hour than roller milling, does the flour taste better? Similarly, another key question emerged: which is healthier – whole meal or refined white flour?

Without confirming either method as superior, Marco Galli commented on the common misconception that suggests because industrial flour goes through a number of different stages, it is being mistreated, whereas in stone milling, there is only “one path” so it is better.

He corrected this by saying that “In industrial milling, wheat has time to cool down between stages which is not possible in a stone mill.”

He further highlighted the potential dangers of repeating what our ancestors did because of the many risks wheat has and how they can be avoided thanks to modern machinery such as the use of industrial optical screening.


Read the full article HERE.
 

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.


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