SAUDI ARABIA – The International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) held the IAOM Mideast & Africa Regional Forum 2023, where ‘the essentials of grain storage’ was a main highlight.

IAOM, founded in 1896, remains instrumental in providing opportunities for millers and other players in the grains industry to network and devise ways of improving the grains industry in the Middle East and Africa region for more than a century.

The 2023 IAOM MEA regional forum themed ‘Milling operation for ultimate efficiency’, had a record attendance with 165 participants, with 61 companies and organizations, and 18 countries represented.

The forum was held over three days, Feb 6-8, with discussions focusing on grain storage, milling technology, and quality control.

“Wheat Handling and Safe Grain Storage,” was the focus of the forum’s first day, where different presenters led discussions on the essentials of grain storage and ways of conserving grain while maintaining good quality.

Food loss is one of the most formidable barriers to food security in the region and this loss occurs post-harvest.

Therefore, proper handling and storage of grain is an essential part of the conversation when it comes to tackling food security concerns.

At the forum, grain storage experts emphasized that grain is a living organism and is bound to undergo biochemical processes during storage.

Challenges like heat generation, condensation, and pest control hamper the effectiveness of grain storage solutions, and appropriate aeration and storage management knowledge is key for safe storage.

Best milling practices and finished product handling
Appropriate milling practices have to follow proper grain storage, to ensure the safety and good quality of finished products.

Experts insisted that understanding the design of a mill flow is a prerequisite for operating a milling plant on the second day of the forum, where milling technology and best milling practices were the focus areas.

In line with the theme for the forum, one of the presentations, “Key Milling Equipment and Operation” provided insights into the best milling practices to achieve top efficiency.

These insights included utilizing the break release as well as the sample table to keep the milling process in the best balance at all times and taking care of the sieves and the grinding rolls.

Discussions on “Finished Product Handling and Quality Control” occupied the last day of the forum, where the importance of safety elements, such as a control sifter, magnet, and impact machines in a modern flour handling plant, was highlighted.

The last day also highlighted the importance of quality analysis, especially starch gelatinization and enzymatic activity, to ensure the quality and safety of intermediate and finished products in the milling industry.

Flour correction solutions, utilizing enzymes, were also featured in the discussions on the third day.
Later this year, IAOM will hold the 33rd IAOM MEA Conference & Expo 2023 in Cairo, Egypt.

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