KENYA- Leading flour treatment specialist Mühlenchemie announced the launch of a new collection of ingredients for the milling and baking industry at a conference held to celebrate 100 years of understanding flour, on 7th September 2023 in Nairobi.

Speaking at the conference, Sven Mattutat, the global head of product management at MC, said the flour ingredients company was launching Powerzym 100, Pastazym Pro 100 and MCcolour 100- three industry-approved solutions to enhance different flour applications.

Powerzym 100 is an all-in-one improver for baking operations, comprising various enzymes and ascorbic acid, meant to optimize the volume and stability of yeast-raised baked products.

According to MC, industrial and market trials show that the improver is perfect for both low and high sugar recipes and the dosage can be adjusted to yield desired results while using different types of flour.

Secondly, Pastazym Pro 100 is an enzymatic ingredient that enhances pasta’s ability to withstand different cooking times and methods.

This solution works well for different cuts and shapes of pasta and in total and partial vacuum conditions as well.

In addition, MCcolour 100 is another pasta improvement solution that enhances the organoleptic qualities of pasta. It is a natural strong brilliant lemon-yellow colorant that is bound to improve the general acceptability of pasta among consumers.

Sven Mattutat provided that the product is suitable for flour with high ash content and that no color is lost during the cooking process.

Of composite flour being the future of milling

At the conference, the place of composite flour in the milling industry was a main agenda, with presentations from David Nolte, head of technical operations and R&D Stern Ingredients East Africa, Sven Mattutat, and Prof Daniel Sila of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

According to Sven, the need for composite flour is inspired by the recent uncertain supplies of wheat globally, especially on the backdrop of the covid 19 pandemic, the Russo-Ukrainian war, and a series of natural calamities that lead to lowered production.

As such, the potentially volatile prices and availability of ‘the white gold’ are prompting millers and farmers to consider composite flour as the future of milling.

In collaboration with MC, Prof. Sila and David Nolte have been conducting trials of different variations of composite flours, and testing their acceptability using blinded tests in the country.

In his presentation, Prof. Sila held that replacement percentages of between 5-10% of non-wheat flours, in this case millet, cassava, and sorghum, resulted in considerably high acceptability, according to the findings of his case study.

Interestingly, replacement of up to 20% wheat flour with cassava flour yielded chapati (unleavened flat bread popular in Kenya) with unprecedentedly high acceptability among the test subjects. 

These findings point to a future where the milling industry is not going to be fully dependent on wheat for products that have traditionally been wheat-based. 

I foresee a very colorful milling industry in the next decade,” Sven remarked in his presentation that he coded ‘Understanding Composite Flour’.

In line with the emerging composite flour optimization trend, the conference also featured a presentation from Dr. Lutz Popper on whether wheat gluten is dispensable. He concluded that despite enzymatic solutions, wheat gluten is a unique product that cannot be fully replaced, especially in baked products that require volume.

A presentation by Anna-Lisa Boje, a pasta technologist at MC, explored the potential of composite flour in pasta production.

Flour with small particles closer to wheat flour is most ideal,” Anna-Lisa remarked, providing that there is potential for utilization of composite flour.

Buhler provides solutions for the future of milling

The MC 100 celebration conference also included presentations from Mathias Grabe, managing director of Buhler East Africa, and Pricilla Bakalian of the African Milling school, the ‘Future of Milling’ and ‘The Millers of the Future’ respectively.

They presented the solutions Buhler is providing to future-proof the milling industry, including digitized milling operations and training for millers in different stages of milling journeys.

What followed was a tour of Stern Ingredients East Africa facility for the conference attendees and then a dinner featuring speeches  by Torsten Wywiol, CEO Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, Binoy Zachariah, sales network partner Kenya, Dr. Mathias Moser, the managing director of the food ingredients division of Stern-Wywiol Gruppe and Peter Steiner, the global head of MC.

In the words of Torsten Wywiol, “One hundred years is quite a respectable age for a company!” and MC’s attainment of this milestone is worth all the celebration it has come with.        

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