Monday, 12 March 2012

March 8 - Grain

After arriving late into Winnepeg, Canada last night, and a few hours sleep, we stepped outside our hotel and the view was incredible. Thick snow everywhere and icy footpaths and roads. Very attractive but also very cold at -18 degrees. A little uncomfortable to begin with, especially for the Queenslanders travelling with us - but once equipped with the right clothing (gloves, scarves, beanies) we soon adjusted.
These photos show snow in the hotel carpark, a fully enclosed bus stop and snow outside our hotel. 
Today we were based in the Canadian Wheat Board offices in downtown Winnepeg where we were given an overview of roles and a tour around the facility. These people are doing amazing work on grain sampling and grading. They also product test and innovate, plus quality test end product, their aim being to satisfy the customer base.
In the lab they were testing elasticity of wheat samples to see how the different proteins and growing conditions of the wheat influences dough elasticity. A disc of dough is placed in a machine, air is injected in to blow the dough like bubble gum. The size the ball gets to and its popping point are measured to assist in this grading.
This facility also has top class milling equipment plus all kinds of processing machines to make bread, noodles and snacks from not only wheat but all manner of cereals, pulses and specialty seeds.
They work very closely with large processors, millers and bread makers to assist and encourage sales of Canadian grains and pulses. This photo shows specialty noodles.
We also spent time with the grain grading department who gave a rundown on the different Canadian grain categories.
This photo is overlooking Winnepeg. We then drove about 60km to Steinbach where we were kindly hosted by Wally & Ruth Doerksen. Wally is a Nuffield Scholar and key person in selecting Canadian scholars to participate in the Nuffield program.

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