Several businesses benefit from NAMILCO’s ‘Noodles Seminar’ – millers call for waiving of VAT on noodles as done for bread

SEVERAL representatives of various businesses benefited greatly when the National Milling Company of Guyana Inc. (NAMILCO) hosted, last week, their informative ‘Noodles Seminar’ at Cara Lodge Hotel, Quamina Street, Georgetown.The six-hour seminar was an initiative by the company to educate local millers and restaurant operators on the types of noodles, wheat and flour classes, selection, classification, quality, and starch and protein functions, among other related issues.

The seminar aimed at ensuring that participants learn about wheat and flour quality to enable them to understand their end product, and ‘trouble shoot’ on certain issues.

VAT ON CHOWMEIN

At the seminar, some concerned millers argued against the application of VAT on chowmein and not bread, and urged NAMILCO’s Managing Director, Bert Sukhai to represent them at the relevant levels.

While Sukhai promised to look into the matter, he welcomed the participants to the event, and expressed the hope that they would find the event beneficial. He also urged them to have an open mind to new ideas, in a changing world and tastes, with the aim of keeping themselves dynamic and not static.

He highlighted the dangers of manufactures waiting for outsiders to make positive changes, and urged millers to capitalise on the Diaspora (branding and quality) even as they acknowledge the importance of food safety and regulations.

Presenting at the forum, Dr Gary Hou, a Wheat Foods Specialist, spoke on U.S. wheat classes and flour quality, explaining the importance of the ‘kernel of wheat’ and its importance in human diets.

He deliberated on the functions of starch and proteins and educated the gathering on the dietary fibre level in bran and explained that germ has a high fat content which can affect the shelf-life of products.
He also touched on the selection of wheat for milling, noting that this process requires backward planning, even as he explained that additives used to enhance natural aging process are bleaching, maturing, malting and enriching.

On the issue of flour treatment (maturing), he said the process of naturally or chemically aging flour (used for hard wheat flour), strengthens dough forming properties, improves gas retention of gluten, volume and chemicals.

Before the seminar concluded, participants were elated to receive vital information also on South American and Asian noodle classification, formulation and processing, and techniques of drying, steaming and preparing noodles.

Officiating at the seminar too was Marcelo Mitre Dieste, Technical Specialist of U.S. Wheat Associates Inc.
Companies represented at this forum were Edward B. Beharry and Company, Lam’s Trading, Too Sweet Entity, Imran Bacchus, Mohamed Manufacturing (Peppy’s), Crown Chowmein, Alisa Manufacturing and R.P Enterprise, New Thriving Chinese Restaurant, Kamboat Restaurant, and others.

Source: Guyana Chronicle by Alex Wayne