The Canadian International Grain Institute (Cigi) occupies several floors of 303 Main Street in Winnipeg. Here’s a quick virtual tour.
The Pilot Flour Mill
On the 11th floor is a Buhler commercial flour mill, scaled down and outfitted with the latest technology that allows it to provide a full commercial evaluation of the milling characteristics of any wheat variety using just one tonne of flour. Other evaluation mills, like the one at Kansas State University, require at least nine tonnes of flour to operate. The mill is used to train millers from around the world.
Noodle and Asian Products Facility
Also occupying the 11th floor is a pilot-sized Ohtake Noodle machine built in Japan. This commercial noodle manufacturing equipment can produce noodles under a variety of different production conditions.
“We can recreate noodle production anywhere in the world,” says Earl Geddes, executive director of Cigi. “We can heat and cool the rolls in the noodle line to the exact temperature or circumstances of a production facility in a specific country. This allows us to demonstrate to processors from different countries how to use Canadian wheat and maximise the value of the flour when they are making noodles.”
In addition to Asian noodles, the facility also evaluates Canadian wheat in dumplings and steamed end products as well as the use of other field crops in Asian food products such as barley and pulses.
Pilot and test bakery
A full commercial bakery next to the flour mill can reproduce the baking techniques used in any country around the world, which allows Cigi to simulate baking practices and processes adopted in various markets, showcasing the baking performance of Canadian wheat classes or specialty crops in various baking applications.
The test bakery benchmarks flour quality on a smaller scale, performing tests on internationally recognized methods and procedures producing uniform, small scale production bakes useful for wheat breeders and life science companies that want to compare new varieties and their baking characteristics.
Pulse processing facility
The 12th floor houses pulse processing equipment including de-hulling and splitting equipment and four different types of milling machines: a stone mill, hammer mill, pin mill and roller mill. Its aim is to find different uses for pulse flours.
The extrusion plant houses a research grade, twin screw cooking extruder that is used to produce and evaluate a variety of extruded products, such as healthy snack foods, breakfast cereals and fish food made from cereal grains, pulses and special crops. The machine can manipulate a number of processing conditions, such as product temperatures, feed rates and moistures.
Pilot Pasta Plant
Cigi’s unique and technologically advanced pasta facility contains a commercial Polymatik press and a batch pasta dryer, which have the capacity to produce pasta to commercial standards and the versatility to accommodate small semolina sample sizes, making it a valuable resource for pasta processors and researchers.
The equipment can simulate formulations, drying conditions and products from pasta plants around the world.
Analytical Services Laboratory
In the lab, Cigi can duplicate the technical processes in flour mills, bakeries and noodle plants in over sixty different countries. It also has a team of people trained in sensory evaluation. “We can do sensory evaluation on the differences between say a Japanese, Malaysian or Thai noodle,” says Geddes. “It’s a unique service which is very appealing to many of our international customers.”
Cigi’s unique and versatile facilities also offer training programs to millers, bakers and processors worldwide. †