Australia’s future grain gurus in good hands

Monday 24 June, 2019

Australia’s future agricultural experts are getting priceless hands-on experience of how grain quality affects the quality of bread and noodles, thanks to AEGIC Sydney.

Every year, University of Sydney agriculture students make a pilgrimage to North Ryde, Sydney, to visit AEGIC’s Pilot Mill, Pilot Bakery and grain research laboratories to learn about the importance of grain quality.

AEGIC is the ideal place for students to connect their knowledge of agricultural science and crop management back to end-products like noodles and bread, according to University of Sydney Associate Professor of Precision Agriculture Brett Whelan.

Prof Whelan said having the opportunity to experience the intricacies of grain quality was an eye-opening experience for students.

“Understanding the processes involved in milling flour for end-products that meet market requirements is very important for agricultural students,” he said.

“Being able to measure and understand the specific quality attributes that allow producers to target such a wide variety of export markets is crucial. The hands-on experience in baking and noodle-making in this unique facility is a great way of completing the link from crop to end-product.”

The students spend half a day at the AEGIC Sydney laboratories, where they are introduced to the measurement, processing and end-products relating to grains and pulses. The students have an opportunity to tour the commercial-scale Pilot Mill, bake bread and make noodles; and learn about the measurement of flour quality and the nutritional properties of food.

This year, some students decided to take on the record for the longest noodle, managing to produce a noodle sheet that ran the full length of the pilot bakery with nothing more than a cutting board and a hand-cranked kitchen pasta machine. 16 metres! Very impressive!

AEGIC Sydney also regularly hosts Food Science students from UNSW, and has Honours, Masters and PhD students undertaking studies with AEGIC.

The Pilot Mill regularly hosts training courses in wheat quality and commercial baking for grains industry participants.

The 16 metre long noodle 😱🍜