Being one of the rare institutions in Africa and Middle East, which train expert millers in milling and wheat/flour quality control, Moroccan Milling Training Institute (IFIM) is aiming to be the training center both for milling industry and the entire grain industry in addition to be one of a kind for 20 years.
Founded by Moroccan Milling Training Institute (FNM), Office of Vocational Training and Employment Promotion (OFPPT) and National Corn Growers’ Association (NCGA), IFIM trained over 370 mill technicians, by a curriculum designed by industry professionals, to meet the highest requirements of the milling industry in technology, health, nutrition and quality. IFIM Director Mahjoub Sahaba states that there was almost no local capacity on the market at that time and he adds: “Today, we have reached “Marocaniser” mill chef.”
The mills have evolved from artisanal to modern production in time and they started to offer diversified products through the mill chefs. Thus, the milling industry changed a lot. IFIM also supports these developments by setting up a training offer adapted to this new context. Upgrading the mill chefs to manage a number of parameters, namely the yield control, flour quality, client support and after-sale warranty, Mahjoub Sahaba mentions that these would have never been possible without the financial support of Professional millers and partners.
US Wheat Associates, a major player in the founding of this institute; France Export Cereales which is a leading partner of The School of Bakery; The Canadian International Grain Institute (Cigi) with which IFIM is currently developing a program to strengthen its expertise in milling technology, durum wheat, pulses and product upgrade; last but not least, the technology suppliers in the industry, which Bühler, Eurogerm Morocco and the French SERA which offered, free of charge, an automatic solution to manage the IFIM mill can be considered among these supporters of IFIM.
Providing support for the industrial sector through technical services and training thanks to its proven training system, IFIM reflects its desire to be a part of this chain in addition to its contribution to the industry. A bakery and pastry school established in consultation with The National Federation of Bakers - Confectioners of Morocco (FNBP) and a pasta training center with Moroccan Association of Pasta Industries and Couscous (AMIPAC) can be considered as examples for these projects. IFIM has also organized practical workshops to introduce the value of legume flour. As a first in Moroccan history, it coincides with the International Year of Pulses as announced by United Nations.
MODERN PILOT PLANT
With a modern plant located on a land of 12.000 m2, IFIM provides a pilot plant with a capacity of 15 tons/day, a test mill, a laboratory to be used for grain analyses, a computer laboratory with internet connection, a library, meeting room, cafeteria and playfields. Stating that the process unit of IFIM is a model of a commercial mill, with a capacity limited to 15 tons/day along with training workshops, Sahaba says: “In this unit which is based on well-structured and appropriate machines, the wheat is received and routed top re-cleaning stage. It is eliminated from impurities like stones, dust and others. Then comes the stage of cleaning which allows keeping only the pure grains of wheat. The latter is thus moistened to facilitate separation stage before being ground. The grinding phase comprises two main steps: milling and the converting process which allows obtaining the end-flour. Please recall in this context that IFIM has a mixed mill allowing the grinding of soft and durum wheat.”
THE GEM OF IFIM: PROFESSIONAL LABORATORY
IFIM Director Mahjoub Sahaba says that IFIM previously had just one laboratory dedicated to the different needs of training and he adds: “Following the various regulatory requirements for sanitary quality of foods, the control of this data has become paramount for all sectors. With this idea, the Professional laboratory of IFIM has been established for remunerations for milling and cereal industries. The laboratory is accredited ISO 17 025 and has been recognized by the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA). The laboratory is also open for end products such as bakery products, pasta and couscous. Thanks to these services, IFIM will be a training and research center for grain industry by establishing the bridge between various links in the sector.”
TRAINING AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
Due to its importance in milling industry, IFIM has always shared its expertise whether at national or international level. A lot of training seminars were organized for Moroccans and foreigners. Sahaba says: “This is also the 10th year we receive millers coming from African countries like Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Congo for trainings in wheat milling, wheat processing and quality assessment methods.”