KENYA- AIT East Africa, a supplier of ingredient solutions for the wheat-flour-bread sector has conducted a successful milling and bakery workshop to offer insights into how millers and bakers can optimize their processes to produce high-quality products at the least cost possible.
The workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, held on 9th March 2023, brought together key industry players from the country including millers, quality assurance professionals, and bakers
Some topics covered at the workshop included flour blend optimization, soft wheat utilization, and solutions for the baking sector including dough stability, water absorption, and prevention of bread faults.
A quick wheat update was also provided as a preamble to the workshop by Marvin Jaeger, AIT Regional Manager Africa, and the Middle East.
Jaeger noted that global consumption was higher than production which will put a strain on existing stocks and send prices higher.
He further noted that the uncertainty around the black sea grain corridor after March 19 may further strain supplies and escalate prices as Ukraine, a key wheat supplier, relies on this corridor to supply its wheat to the world markets.
Joy Mwangi, Senior Laboratory Technician at Ait Africa noted that while prices of wheat were skyrocketing, cash-strapped consumers are not willing to pay more for their flour or baked goods, leaving millers and bakers with either small margins or none at all.
To protect profit margins without compromising on quality, Joy advised millers to optimize their flour blending processes while bakers were advised to enhance their flour improvement procedures.
Hard wheat being one of the greatest drivers of the final cost of flour, Asanda Hewana, Research and Development Manager at AIT Ingredients South Africa revealed that with technology from Ait, it was possible for millers and bakers to achieve 100% substitution with soft wheat.
During the presentation, South African Agri Enviro Solutions (AES), a laboratory solutions provider, was present at the event and gave a presentation about the place of laboratories in quality assurance in the food industry.
Joining in from France, Managing Director of the Food Ingredients Division at Invivo Laurent Bonnard noted that AIT was ramping up its activities in Kenya to help players in the milling and bakery industry to “better balance their portfolio of suppliers.”
“We are here to grow your business,” Bonnard said adding that at AIT “customer satisfaction is at the very center of our operations.”
Jane Mungai, Ait EA bakery specialist, and Susan Njoroge, Ait EA sales manager gave the attendees tips for the attainment of bread volume and good crumb structure, which are associated with good quality of the resultant bread.
They highlighted common bread faults during commercial and domestic baking processes and presented solutions to curb these faults.
Purity Munyao, Ait EA sales manager in charge of the bakery sector, also took the attendees through Ait offerings for use in confectionery production. These products include Ait’s improver, softeners, concentrates and premixes.
AIT also had an array of test products displayed for demonstration and tasting. The attendees had an opportunity to conduct a sensory analysis of the products, and AIT got to showcase what solutions the ingredients provider offers the industry.
AIT EA has been operating in Kenya for the last one and a half years, offering ingredients for the optimization of operations of milling and baking companies in the country and region.
Having been in the market for a short period, the workshop was also an opportunity for the company to increase its visibility in the region’s milling and baking industry.
Moreover, the Kenyan subsidiary has bakery experts who offer training courses within their bakehouse or directly in the client’s production units.
The Kenyan subsidiary is one of 6 AIT subsidiaries with Research and Development Centers globally: others are in South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, France, and Spain.
Commissioned in August 2021, the Kenyan subsidiary was established to serve the Eastern Africa region, centralizing sales, technical support, administration, and storage activities for the region.
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