March 25, 2018

26/03/2018: The development of new technologies for feed and food milling

by Clifford Spencer, Chairman, Milling4Life

A fertile area for the milling industry over the next few decades is the development of new technologies and machines for milling in both the feed and food areas. 


 
Clifford Spencer
Interest in the development of drought-tolerant grains is increasing in several developing countries such as India, China, and some countries of Africa because of water scarcity and increasing populations. In addition, the earmarked funds to scientific research, for purposes of improving and increasing their production and utilisation as food have also been increased. In particular the area of an expanding crop feedstock choice and with that the need for dealing with the processing of these crops previously not considered, and the potential range of new products from these crops is one that the industry can profitably address.
 


My colleague Dr Andrew Ormerod is currently working in this area of research and I saw an email of his about the Fonio grain mill and the inventor’s Rollex Award over 20 years ago. He was asking if Sanoussi Diakite, the inventor was continuing research in relation to developing appropriate technology to process other traditional crops and if there was a network of people in the industry innovating to develop appropriate equipment for post-harvest processing.

Fonio is a staple crop in western Africa and because the fonio grains are so small, it is difficult to remove the brittle outer shell. For hundreds of years, African women have carried out the painstaking task of preparing fonio by pounding and threshing a grain and sand mixture with a pestle and mortar. After one hour of this tedious work, only two kilograms of fonio are available for consumption and 15 litres of precious water are needed to remove the sand. The whole process has been reduced from a one-hour job to a six-minute job. Diakité's solution was a 50kg device that gently abrades the surface of the seed before passing through a rotating mechanism, which removes the husks.

Another crop, millet is one of the most important drought-resistant crops and has resistance to pests and diseases, a short growing season, and good productivity under drought conditions, compared to the current major cereals. As a result, millet grains are now receiving specific attention from these developing countries in terms of utilisation as food as well as from some developed countries in terms of its good potential in the manufacturing of bioethanol and biofilms.


Read the full article, HERE.
 

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


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