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Milling industry at the crossroads of technological transformation and sustainability

29 September 20235 min reading

All industries, including the flour and milling products sector, are undergoing global technological transformations. In today’s globalized and digitally interconnected world, the integration of technology into production processes has become a key factor in the competitiveness of any industry. To attain higher production efficiency and sustainability, the flour and milling industry must significantly adapt and innovate with technology.


Prof. Dr. Mustafa Bayram
Head of Department of Food Technology at Gaziantep University
TABADER Chairman of the Board


As technology progresses rapidly, businesses must adapt faster than ever before. Especially with the advent of artificial intelligence, the pace of change will be swift; those who can’t keep up risk being left behind in the industry. Indeed, while artificial intelligence holds vast potential, it can accomplish in seconds what would take thousands of people to do.

The flour milling industry has been profoundly impacted by technological advancements. The 19th century saw pivotal changes in the industry, with the invention of the water-powered mill and the later adoption of the automated roller mill, leading to notable improvements in efficiency and quality. Computer-controlled milling machines brought a revolution to the industry, enhancing efficiency, cutting down on waste, and elevating product quality. Recently, the industry has been gravitating towards greener solutions like energy-efficient mills and waste reduction systems, considerably lessening its environmental footprint.

All industries, including the flour and milling products sector, are undergoing global technological transformations. In today’s globalized and digitally interconnected world, the integration of technology into production processes has become a key factor in the competitiveness of any industry. For better efficiency and sustainability, the flour and milling industry must deeply embrace technological innovation. Right now, this sector lags behind other food industries in terms of machine technology and digital evolution.

Conversely, the flour and milling industry has consistently driven global economic growth, offering jobs and aiding the expansion of various sectors. However, the success of the flour and milling products industry has also resulted in a number of environmental and societal risks and challenges. These challenges are interlinked and their impacts are felt globally, affecting the quality of life and well-being of individuals and society as a whole. The rapid technological transformation of the flour and milling products industry has brought with it the potential to address these risks and challenges. 

As another example of how technology is transforming the grain sector, blockchain technology is a key enabler. This technology allows companies to track and trace grains from production to the end consumer. This transparency ensures that consumers receive high-quality grains from sustainable sources, which is becoming increasingly critical for consumers globally. But alongside the proliferation of technology in the grain sector, new global risks have also emerged. Climate change is one of the most significant risks threatening the grain sector. Droughts, floods and extreme weather events have become more common, leading to lower yields and less food security.

RISKS AWAITING MILLERS

The flour milling industry has been in existence for several centuries and has undergone substantial transformations over the years thanks to advancements in technology. The global flour milling market is projected to grow significantly over the next few years due to the growing demand for nutritious and healthy foods. However, this growth is not immune to global risks that could potentially derail the industry and significantly impact the global economy. 

Despite advances in technology, the flour milling industry faces significant global risks that could potentially affect its growth and stability. One of the most significant risks is climate change, which has the potential to disrupt global food production and supply chains. Climate change has led to erratic weather patterns, causing droughts, floods and extreme weather events that can destroy crops and disrupt supply chains, leading to higher food prices. In addition, geopolitical tensions such as trade wars and political unrest disrupt global supply chains, affecting the stability of the sector and leading to price volatility and increased costs.

GLOBAL TRENDS IN THE FOOD SECTOR

Along with the change in the world population, an aging consumer group awaits the sector. Thus, new products for the elderly need to be produced. In addition, the demand for sectoral products for babies will be quite high. It is also necessary to develop fast-consuming foods due to the increase in the number of employees and time problems for preparing meals. For this reason, the flour and milling sector needs to focus more on R&D studies and produce innovative and future-oriented foods. In particular, new products that are frozen, suitable for microwaves, suitable for 3D printers and can be prepared with robots should take place in the sector within a short time. There’s an emerging trend towards personalized meals and menus, driven by artificial intelligence and cloud technologies. This new personalized food system also demands innovative culinary solutions.

There have been many outbreaks before the pandemic, and the most recent Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the food supply sector. At the same time, the recent drought triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war has also hit the grain and pulses sector hard. The food system is like a house of cards, hard to build but easy to destroy. The most recent problems have destroyed this house of cards. This destruction has destroyed other areas like dominoes and has sucked everything in like a vortex.

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