Hungarian-Australian collaborations in flour milling and test milling over 120 years


In Australia in the early 1890s, the wheat breeder William Farrer and chemist Frederick Guthrie shared a vision of selecting cross-bred wheats for enhanced grain quality. Guthrie was the newly appointed chemist of the Department of Agriculture of the Colony of New South Wales. Their goal to select lines with good milling quality was difficult because Farrer’s plots produced only ounces of grain for testing. In a day when there was no written background to the task, Guthrie set about devising small-scale milling equipment that could produce flour from the many small samples of grain coming from Farrer’s breeding program. Guthrie used two pairs of small rolls manufactured by the Ganz Company of Budapest. The testing procedure was extremely tedious, requiring 13 successive passes of milling and sieving. Guthrie’s test mill and the results have been described in several publications. In addition, his mill has been reconstructed as a one-quarter-scale model as a result of the efforts of Mr Colin Hopkins, a retired chemical engineer. In contrast to this 120-year-old technology, there is now more advanced technology for test milling very small grain samples (only 5 to 10 grams of grain) with the development of a novel laboratory micro-mill, the FQC-2000, manufactured by Inter-Labor, Hungary. These old and new developments have involved collaborations between Hungary and Australia.


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Correspondence to C. W. Wrigley.

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Communicated by J. Matuz

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Wrigley, C.W., Tömösközi, S. & Békés, F. Hungarian-Australian collaborations in flour milling and test milling over 120 years. CEREAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 39, 215–224 (2011).

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  • roller milling
  • milling quality
  • laboratory micro-mill