Corn Milling 101 Part 4: Product Quality Tests

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The quality of our corn products is very important to us. That’s why we perform extensive quality assurance, laboratory and gluten-free compliance testing during numerous stages of our corn processing.

For Quality Assurance (QA) testing, samples are first taken from the mill and tested every two hours to control output from the mill. Next, line samples are taken to check attributes as the final “package” is being filled – they can be bags, tote sacks, tank trucks or bulk rail cars. Finally, a composite sample of the finished lot is taken.

The QA testing program encompasses a variety of product attributes depending upon the application of the item. These laboratory tests include:

  • Granulation
  • Protein & fat
  • Crude fiber
  • Total dietary fiber
  • Ash
  • Titration for calcium
  • Moisture
  • Color – B value (yellow) & L value (brightness)
  • Viscosity
  • Microbiological testing
  • Mycotoxins

In addition to quality assurance and laboratory testing, gluten-free compliance testing is done on a regular basis. Although corn is naturally gluten-free, weekly tests are performed on Didion products to confirm that wheat is not present in whole corn from the harvest/storage/transport chain. This testing protocol confirms our gluten-free status and certification by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).

By: John Deininger, Quality Assurance Manager at Didion Milling

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We Believe in the Future of Agriculture

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Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.

The National FFA Organization’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

This week marks the 66th annual FFA Week – an opportunity for FFA members, alumni and supporters to promote agricultural education and FFA itself. It’s a chance to share what being a part of FFA really means and the impact it has on members each and every day.

As an agribusiness, Didion appreciates the people that FFA helped build. In fact – they can be found in nearly every area of the company. A few of Didion’s FFA alumni shared their thoughts about how the organization has impacted them:

“I learned so many important things in FFA, including leadership and public speaking.”
– John Deininger, Quality Assurance Manager

“FFA helped me lay the groundwork for my career. It’s so rewarding to help develop the next generation of agriculturalists by supporting local chapters.”
– Brenda Oft, Grain Merchandiser

“FFA was a great way to get involved in the community when I was in high school. I’m still friends with people that I met through the organization.”
– Ann Strelow, Scale Operator

“Through classes, Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) and contest teams FFA introduced me to a variety of careers in agriculture.”
– Garry Gard, Grain Manager

“My involvement in FFA helped shape my personal and professional development. The skills I developed as an FFA member are still helping shape my future as an agri-marketing professional.”
– Katie Dogs, Public Relations Manager

“FFA fostered our interest in agriculture and helped us develop professional skills necessary for owning and running an agribusiness.” “Not only did FFA give us the tools to help make Didion a success, it also allowed us to hire great people.”
– John & Dow Didion, CEO & President

Didion is proud to support several local FFA chapters through sponsorships, scholarships and donations.

By: Garry Gard, Grain Manager at Didion Milling

An Ode to Corn

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Dear corn – yellow number two,
This is our heartfelt love letter to you.

Small and yellow,
Sweet little fellow;
Beloved local grain,
Grown in Green Lake, Columbia or Dane.

This wee kernel has a big job to do,
Destined to be food and fuel for you!
Adding fiber to granola bars,
Or putting gas into your cars.

Some like corn on the side of steak,
Some like corn in their cake.
Corn is perfect battered on a dog,
While at the fair or sitting on a log.

Corn for breakfast, corn for lunch,
Gee, we sure like corn a bunch!
Gluten-free and kosher too,
Is there anything this kernel can’t do?

So lift a glass of your favorite brew,
Made with corn grits just for you!
Let’s celebrate this grand little kernel,
To which we dedicate our love eternal.

By: Katie Dogs, Public Relations Manager at Didion Milling

Let Them Eat Cake

whitecake2It’s a new year and most of us have made resolutions to eat healthier. But it seems like we’ve just survived the holiday eating frenzy when . . . here comes Valentine’s Day, full of heart-shaped goodies.

However there is a simple way to add healthy value to foods without altering the taste – corn bran. It’s a natural and nutritious way to add whole grain appeal to food products and is a great source of fiber.

Corn bran allows for the addition of consistent, high-quality, total dietary fiber. This insoluble fiber is a food-grade, chemical-free, natural product that is light in color with a slightly nutty taste. It’s the perfect fiber additive: a low-fat, low-cost alternative to other grain fiber products.

But can you get that fiber without sacrificing flavor?

The National Corn Growers Association recently posted a great article on the subject via their blog Corn Commentary, called ‘Corn Bran Takes the Cake’.

It touched on the USDA’s research that found replacing 20 percent of flour in a classic white cake recipe with highly ground corn bran provided the optimal balance of fiber and flavor.

It turns out you really can have your cake and eat it too!

By: Jeff Dillon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Didion Milling