Overview of Milling Principles

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$495 for members
$795 for non-members.  

Course Description: This course will teach students the foundational principles of milling and introduce them to the steps in the milling process. The lectures will cover basic wheat chemistry, flour extracting for maximum profitability and grain quality.  Students will also gain an understanding of wheat cleaning systems, conditioning and blending wheat, roller mills, purification and the gradual reduction process.

Course Goals: This course is meant to enhance the basic knowledge and skills of all those involved in the milling process. Upon completion of this course, students will understand the differences in the various classes of wheat grown in the United States, define milling terminology and differentiate between milling calculations used to evaluate milling efficiencies. Students will also be able to identify and distinguish the basic principles and purpose of the primary equipment used in the milling process.

Target Audience: This course is designed for shift millers, milling engineers, operation managers, production managers, head millers and shift managers.


Mark Fowler  Kansas State University See Bio

Mark Fowler is the Associate Director of the IGP Institute as well as the Flour Milling and Grain Processing Curriculum Manager. Mark’s expertise includes technical flour milling, plant operations management and food and employee safety program development. Mark received both his B.S. in Milling Science and Management and his M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. Prior to joining the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University, Mark developed an interest in the international milling business working for Seaboard Corporation as the Overseas Milling Technologist. He worked on projects in several developing countries including Ecuador, Guyana and Haiti. Mark also served as the Technical Director of the Africa Division within Seaboard’s Overseas Group in Durban, South Africa. His work in Africa extended from Angola, Nigeria, Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia to the Congo. Before his employment at Seaboard, Mark gained extensive milling experience working for Cargill in both Los Angeles and Wichita, KS.

Chris Miller, PhD  EnGrain LLC See Bio

Dr. Miller is the Senior Director of Research Innovation and Quality at Engrain LLC. He is responsible for the Engrain Innovation Lab and oversees product development, product improvement and customer innovation. Prior to his position at Engrain, he was a faculty member in the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University, including serving as the Buhler Chair for Industrial Milling Instruction. His areas of specialization include wheat flour milling, processing specialty grains, grain cleaning systems and cereal grain biochemistry with an interest in wheat and sorghum. Dr. Miller has a Bachelor of Science in milling science, a Master of Science in grain science and a Doctorate in biochemistry from Kansas State University. Prior to returning to K-State to pursue additional education, he worked for Quaker Oats in the oat flour business unit.

The Course of Study

Week 1Details

Lecture 1 – Wheat Classes and Uses and Basic Wheat Chemistry, Part I and II
Lecture 1 will discuss the science behind US wheat including its classifications, its physical components and its chemical structure. Knowing those contents will help students gain a better understanding of how the general quality of wheat can be determined by each of its classifications. They will also learn the different uses of US wheat from its classification.
Lecturer: Mark Fowler

Lecture 2 – Calculating Flour Extraction to Maximize Mill Profitability
This lecture will focus on the fundamentals of flour extraction and how to apply the use of different extraction calculations to optimize understanding of mill performance and maximize the profits.  Students will learn the importance of measuring processing efficiency at each stage of the milling process and how to apply the appropriate extraction calculation. The value of communicating the impact of mill performance from each stage of the process from wheat receiving through shipment to the customer will also be explained.
Lecturer: Mark Fowler

Week 2Details

Lecture 3 – Impact of Grade and Quality Characteristics on Flour Extraction
Lecture 3 will help students develop a greater understanding of grain quality and its impact on flour extraction.  This lesson will introduce the characteristics that define quality wheat and discuss the relationship and importance of distinguishing between wheat price and the value of wheat purchased. The primary learning objective is to understand the difference between purchasing the “cheapest wheat” and purchasing the wheat that will be the most profitable for the company.
Lecturer: Mark Fowler

Lecture 4 – Introduction to Cleaning
This lecture will introduce students to the basic procedures of cleaning in the milling industry. By focusing on the priorities of grain cleaning for food production, students will gain a better understanding of the key operating principles for all the equipment involved in a wheat cleaning system.
Lecturer: Dr. Chris Miller

Week 3Details

Lecture 5 – Conditioning & Blending
Lecture 5 will describe the importance of moisture control in the wheat flour milling process and will outline a basic wheat tempering system. Students will also learn to use the moisture addition formula for calculating moisture addition in tempering.
Lecturer: Dr. Chris Miller

Lecture 6 – Part I Roller Mills
This lecture will teach students the important components of the roller mill. It will discuss the roller mill design features for the break system. Students will learn the terminology, definition and impact of design factors such as spiral, corrugations, roll speed and differential as well.
Lecturer: Dr. Chris Miller

Lecture 7 – Part II Roller Mills 
Lecture 7 will expand on the discussion of the roller mill design features by describing what features are important in the reduction system. Students will also gain an understanding of the roller mill adjustment capabilities.
Lecturer: Dr. Chris Miller

Week 4Details

Lecture 8 – The Basic Principles of Sifting
This lecture will explain the features and terminology of the free-swinging sifter and particle size separation in the milling process. It will cover the basic principles of the sifter flow including sieve design and selection and the function of sieve cleaners.  An overview of common bolting cloth materials and their different purposes and advantages will also be presented.
Lecturer: Dr. Chris Miller

Lecture 9: The Basic Principle of Purification
Lecture 9 introduces the principles of endosperm purification in the milling process, the component parts of a milling purifier and examines the importance of purification for various wheat types. This lecture will cover the working principles of the purifier and provide an understanding of purifier balance as well as the advantages and disadvantages of including a purifier in the process.
Lecturer: Mark Fowler

Week 5Details

Lecture 10 – Gradual Reduction Process
This lecture will summarize key concepts from the previous lectures to explain the gradual reduction process used in the modern four milling system. Students will see how the roller mill, sifter and purifier design parameters are adjusted to accomplish the goal of reducing the tempered wheat kernel to the following separate components: bran, germ and endosperm (flour).
Lecturer: Dr. Chris Miller

Lecture 11 – Flour Quality and Functionality
Lecture 11 will explore the principle tests and terminology used to measure the physical, chemical and functional properties of wheat and flour. Students will also learn how “quality” is defined by customers.
Lecturer: Mark Fowler