For the first time, flour treatment specialist Mühlenchemie has invited industry and mill representatives from Francophone Africa to learn about the latest possibilities for flour treatment and enrichment. Eighty attendees from seven countries met at a three-day symposium in Douala, Cameroon.
After opening remarks by Engelbert Nama, managing director, Ingrecam, and Mühlenchemie's agent for more than 10 years, participants listened to presentations by users and representatives of public institutions. In addition the attendees gained valuable information through practical exercises and demonstrations. Some of these were held by representatives of partner companies like La Pasta, Chopin, and Brabender. Flour enrichment with essential vitamins and minerals was another focus of the symposium. Experts from Mühlenchemie, Helen Keller International and the Flour Fortification Initiative showed how the body can be efficiently supplied with sufficient nutrients through flour enrichment, to prevent deficiencies and illness.
"In Francophone Africa, the requirements on flour production continue to grow. Buyers expect consistent quality, but production must also remain economical," said Lennart Kutschinski, managing director, Mühlenchemie. "This makes flour standardisation and improvement more and more important. To provide it, we've bundled our expertise from over 120 countries to make knowledge packages available to millers and bakers in the region," said Kutschinski.
Mühlenchemie's choice of a venue for the event was no accident. As Kutschinski put it, "The flour market in Cameroon is representative of Francophone Africa as a whole. Flour is a basic ingredient for the people there, and goes into the pasta and bread that people eat everyday. With twelve mills, the country has the third largest capacity in the region, and is the largest grain importer in Francophone Africa. This market dynamic gives rise to wide fluctuations in flour quality, which the processing companies must then compensate for." For this reason and due to the positive response, Mühlenchemie, which has had a presence in Cameroon since 1998, plans to repeat the symposium in another country in Francophone Africa.