Grain Craft, the largest independent flour miller in the nation, hosted a grand opening event for their new GCIQ (Grain Craft Innovation & Quality) Lab. The event was held on Friday, October 1, 2021 and included the company’s “Upstream Innovation” video premier, lab tours and a reception. The GCIQ Lab is located at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas.
In alignment with the company’s Core Value of Excellence and commitment to upstream innovation, the GCIQ Lab was established to support improvement in wheat quality, flour quality and flour consistency, along with an ongoing exploration of innovation opportunities. The name GCIQ was selected to encompass the lab’s functionality in all these areas.
“We are pleased to officially celebrate this meaningful investment in our capabilities,” said Nick Weigel, Grain Craft VP of Quality, Regulatory and Technical Services. “The GCIQ lab reflects our commitment to upstream innovation and the advancement of critical wheat value chain connections.”
The GCIQ Lab features three lab spaces including a wheat lab, flour lab and bake lab. Each is strategically equipped to work in sync and inform timely decisions related to day-to-day performance testing, new crop harvest evaluations, GC preferred variety selections, and progressive research initiatives. These research efforts are focused on driving innovation in areas such as new wheat variety development, soil health management, and flour functionality.
“The GCIQ Lab is a highly functioning hub for Grain Craft,” said Reuben McLean, Sr. Director of Quality and Regulatory for Grain Craft. “While the lab is a space focused on quality and product performance, it also allows us frequent interaction with wheat breeders, growers and extension experts to collaborate on long-term quality and yield improvement.”
The lab is located within the Kansas Wheat Commission’s Wheat Innovation Center. This farmer-owned, wheat research facility was opened in 2012. It is the result of the Kansas Wheat Commission’s vision for advancing technology in new wheat variety development. The $15 million Center includes 15,000 square feet of research laboratories, 22,750 square feet of greenhouses and 10,000 square feet of office space.
Throughout the years, Grain Craft has strongly supported the Kansas Wheat Commission’s wheat quality research efforts and has a longstanding relationship with both the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas State University. The company has worked with each through collaborative partnerships, special funding, and ongoing data analysis assistance.