On Friday, 28th January, 2011, Dr Grant Campbell gave a talk on 'Breaking with tradition: Flour milling, breadmaking and biorefineries'.
Dr Campbell studied for his PhD here from 1987-91 under the supervision of Chris Rielly and Peter Fryer. One of his examiners at that time was Prof Davidson, who introduced his talk.
Grant introduced cereals as the basis of the global food supply, and recounted some of his PhD work on bubbles in bread and how this has led his current research back up the supply chain to flour milling and sideways into the emergence of cereal biorefineries and their interactions with milling and breadmaking. Creating and controlling the aerated structure is central to breadmaking and the quality of bread, and Grant talked about some of his work on the effect of pressure during mixing and the interactions between bran and bubbles in bread. Breadmaking can be viewed as 'the creation and evolution of the bubble size distribution', while flour milling is concerned with the evolution of the particle size distribution. Grant described the history of flour milling and its key contribution to the social and technical development of Western civilisation, leading to the development of modern roller milling technology. Wheat fractionation via milling is also at the heart of cereal biorefineries, which give rise to food versus fuel issues but also offer synergistic interactions with traditional flour milling and breadmaking. Thus cereal biorefineries have a strategic role to play in the next few transition decades as the world moves to more sustainable bases for meeting its food, chemical and energy needs.