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Master of Agribusiness

An Analysis of Factors Influencing Wheat Flour Yield

David Mog, Wichita, Kan., defended his thesis, “An Analysis of Factors Influencing Wheat Flour Yield,” on September 29, 2011.  He is the Plant Superintendent for Cereal Food Processors in Wichita, Kan. He will graduate from Kansas State University in December with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB). 

Wheat is the largest input cost in flour milling, making up more than 80% of the cost. Managing yield is critical to a flour mill’s success and the ability to convert the highest percent of the kernel to flour is key to profitability. There are many variables that may affect milling efficiency.

For his Master of Agribusiness thesis project, Mog collected data from two commercial milling units of similar size to quantify the influence of several variables on flour mill efficiency.

“The objective was to determine what grain characteristics and environment factors have the greatest effect on flour yield and analyze how those factors influence mill profitability,” Mog said.

Factors that were analyzed included grain characteristics such as moisture content and kernel weight, environmental conditions such as temperature and/or humidity in the mill, and shift downtime.

Sean Fox, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Mog’s thesis advisor, said, "The analysis indicates that both ambient temperature and the occurrence of downtime have significant effects on flour yield, and suggests investments that can enhance milling efficiency."

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness (www.mab.ksu.edu) is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness sector and are located in 40 states within the United States and in 25 countries. 

“This thesis project allowed me to use some of the skills I developed from the MAB program to evaluate some factors affecting wheat flour yield.  I was excited to be able to prioritize a few of the factors by their effect on profit and go to work on improving the efficiency of the mill.  I look forward to the future implementation of the conclusions drawn from this thesis project,” Mog said.

The full thesis publication can be found online on K-State’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/12452.