Canadian International Grains Institute


Working with the Value Chain

Cigi (Canadian International Grains Institute) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1972 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We work with the grain and field crop value chain throughout Canada and internationally to drive the development and utilization of Canadian agricultural products. More than 42,000 people representing grain, oilseed, pulse and special crops industries from 115 countries have participated in Cigi programs and seminars.

  • Promoting Canadian grain to global processors
  • Providing Canadian and international participants with training in Canadian grain and field crop production, marketing, distribution and processing
  • Providing Canadian industry participants with training to build knowledge of market characteristics and requirements
  • Identifying unique end uses for Canadian grain and field crops through applied research
  • Operating facilities used to provide practical, commercially oriented knowledge to support a competitive Canadian grain and field crop value chain

Our Facilities

Cigi’s commodity-based technology facilities provide access to a large variety of processing equipment in one location. Our facilities are designed to optimize the value of Canadian field crops to customers.

Analytical Services


Cigi’s Analytical Services area conducts a wide range of analytical and rheological tests on Canadian wheat, flour, semolina, barley, pulses and special crops. The data is used to assess and compare the quality attributes that are key to the production of various end-products, including bread and other baked products, pasta, couscous and noodles. A distinct advantage in the testing process is the ability to analyze samples milled to specification in Cigi’s pilot mill, and pulse processing and specialty milling facilities.

Supporting both commercial and research interests, Analytical Services provides assistance to customers in the milling and secondary processing industries, as well as researchers and plant breeders. Analytical Services staff are also actively involved in training, customer support and applied research activities.

Applied Research

  • Conduct analytical and rheological evaluations of Canadian grains, pulses and special crops.
  • Participate in the evaluation of new wheat varieties.

Laboratory Equipment

Cigi’s Analytical Services laboratory contains equipment commonly used in quality control labs in commercial operations, such as flour mills, ensuring accurate, relevant testing processes and analyses.

Testing Capabilities

  • Wheat: ash content, falling number, moisture, particle size index (hardness), protein content, starch content, stirring number, yellow pigment (durum wheat).
  • Flour: amylograph, ash content, colour, wet gluten, falling number, moisture, pasting properties (RVA), protein content, starch damage.
  • Semolina: ash content, colour, wet gluten and gluten index, falling number, granulation, moisture, protein content, yellow pigment.
  • Dough: alveograph, consistograph, extensograph, farinograph, mixolab.
  • End-products: colour, sensory properties, texture.
  • Barley: ash content, beta-glucan content, falling number, moisture, pasting properties (RVA), protein content, stirring number.
  • Pulses and special crops: cooking quality, hydration capacity, protein content, starch content, pasting properties (RVA), water absosrption capacity, particle size, foaming capacity, emulsification capacity.
  • Other grain crops: beta-glucan content, starch content.
Assesses properties of extensibility and elasticity in doughs made from flour or semolina.
Determines the effect of alpha-amylase on the viscosity of flour pastes.
Determines the moisture content and test weight of wheat samples.
Assesses the rheological properties of flour doughs.
Assesses properties of extensibility and elasticity in flour doughs.
Falling Number
Measures the effect of alpha-amylase activity in wheat, flour, semolina or barley.
Assesses the rheological properties of flour doughs.
Measures the rheological properties of gluten.
Separates gluten from a dough sample for measurement of gluten quantity (wet gluten content) and quality (gluten index).
Determines protein content of wheat, flour, semolina, barley, pulses and special crops.
Measures particle size by laser diffraction.
Minolta Chromameter
Measures flour, semolina and end-product colour in terms of L* (brightness), a*(redness-greenness) and b*(yellowness-blueness).
Determines the rheological properties of flour doughs.
Rapid ViscoAnalyzer (RVA)
Determines flour/starch pasting properties. Can also determine the effect of sprout damage in wheat by determining the stirring number value.
TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer
Measures the textural properties of food products (cooked pasta and noodles, breads and other baked products, etc.).
Determines the level of starch damage in flour.
Miscellaneous equipment
Allows for measurement of beta-glucan content, starch content, starch damage and yellow pigment content.
See also Laboratory Methods (PDF DOWNLOAD)

Pilot Mill


Cigi’s milling technology area provides a comprehensive range of milling services and expertise to assist customer countries, commercial millers, producers and plant breeders in understanding the milling qualities and attributes of all Canadian wheat classes as well as specialty grains. Focusing on the commercial application of Canadian wheat, milling staff bring considerable commercial experience and technical knowledge to their roles in order to provide the highest quality support.

Pilot Flour Mill

With a production capacity of 12 tonnes per 24 hours, the Cigi pilot flour/durum mill provides maximum flexibility, efficiency, yield and product quality using the smallest industrial units available.

Key Features

  • Incorporates lights out technology enabling the mill to be operated without the presence of on-site operative millers. Mill can be monitored via laptop computer and modem.
  • Swing mill allows for quick changeover from common wheat to durum milling.
  • Fully equipped wheat cleaning and tempering facility.
  • Flour streams can be combined as needed to produce various flour grades.
  • Basic flour blending and homogenizing system with online additive powder feeder.
  • Customized programmable logic control (PLC) and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) systems provide the process monitoring and control functions for the mill.
  • Automatic roll gap setting enabling millers to store settings for various wheat formulations.
Pilot Mill Equipment
The mill utilizes equipment manufactured by Buhler Inc. and includes:
Intake blower
Automatic diverter valves
Infestation destroyers
Disc separator
Mixing screws
Four Newtronic roll stands
Rolls heating system
Electronic scales
Moisture addition unit
Laboratory Mill Equipment
The laboratory mill undertakes small-scale milling of samples (usually one to five kilograms) of various wheats and specialty grains such as de-hulled buckwheat and barley. The equipment includes:
Buhler common wheat lab mill
Dockage tester
Buhler durum wheat lab mill
Flour blender
Hosokawa Pin Mill (2 kg/hr)
Jacobson Hammer Mill (100kg/hr)
Bran finisher
Skiold Stone Mill (100 kg/hr)
Moisture tester
SPX Speck Expert
Hosokawa Air Jet Sieve

Pilot and Test Bakery


The Baking Technology area is Cigi’s link to international and domestic markets using Canadian-grown grains to produce a wide range of baked products. Baking Technology staff combine commercial experience with technical and scientific expertise to provide support to customers using Canadian grains.

Pilot Bakery

Cigi’s pilot bakery can simulate practices used in large and small commercial bakeries throughout the world. The use of a variety of mixers, molders, baking pans and ovens allows for flexibility in evaluating baking performance. Products prepared in the pilot bakery make use of all classes of Canadian wheat as well as other Canadian field crops.

8-shelf reel oven, 128-loaf capacity
Pan breads, general purpose baking
Four-deck deck oven, 27-sheet pan capacity, steam injection
French, hearth, rye and artisan breads
High-temperature traveling oven, single loaf in line
Pita breads, pocket breads, flat breads, crackers
Rack oven, single revolving rack
General purpose baking
Horizontal bar mixer, tilting bowl, glycol jacketed, two-speed, 50-kg capacity
Larger bakeries
Single-arm slow-speed mixer, revolving bowl, two-speed, 30-kg capacity
In-store and small bakeries
Spiral mixers (2): revolving bowl, two-speed, 30-kg capacity; and 50-kg capacity
In-store and small- to medium-sized bakeries
Dough break, adjustable roll gap and roll speed
Small bakeries in tropical countries
Planetary bowl mixer, three-speed, 40-liter capacity
Flour confectionery items such as cakes, sponges, muffins, cookies
Pressure vacuum high-speed mixer, tilting bowl, 10 kg capacity
Applicable to the Chorleywood Bread Process
Other Equipment
Automated bagel dividing and forming line
Industrial and retail bread molders
Two way sheeter (pita, pizza, pie crusts, etc.)
Hot press tortilla press
Bun divider/rounder
Bread slicer
Single rack proofer/retarder
French roll molder
Large single rack final proofer

Test Bakery

Baking Technology’s small-scale test bakery extends Cigi’s capability to develop and implement technology-intensive programs and investigative studies. Equipped with specialized equipment for small-scale baking, the facility’s controlled conditions enable staff to undertake a wider range of technical evaluations to support marketing efforts and respond to customer requests. Several bread baking methods are in place as well as methods for cakes, cookies and Arabic pocket bread.

Laboratory pin mixer complete with mixing software
Laboratory sheeter, molder and oven
Scoring table
Tex-Vol (laser-based volume determination)
C-Cell (camera-based scanning and measurement of bread slice characteristics)

Noodle and Asian Products Facility


This area evaluates Canadian wheats for their suitability in various Asian noodles, steamed breads, dumplings and other steamed end-products. Staff also provide assistance to customers, producers and plant breeders in understanding the noodle and steamed bread processing qualities and attributes of Canadian wheats. While focusing on wheat, technical activities in this area also include the evaluation of barley, oat, buckwheat, and pulses for the processing of noodles and other Asian food products.

Pilot Noodle Facility

The facility contains a complete pilot-sized noodle production line that allows for simulating processing of all major types of noodles under commercial practices. Manufactured by Ohtake Noodle Machine MFG. Co., Ltd. of Japan, the pilot noodle line has unique processing capabilities for the production of fresh, dried, steamed, boiled, frozen, steamed and deep fried, and steamed and hot air dried noodles. The production line has a minimum capacity of 2 kg of flour per process to a maximum of 100 kg per hour. Noodle properties are evaluated using both sensory and instrumental methods. The facility is equipped with a Minolta Chroma Meter CR-400/410 for colour assessment, TA-XTPlus Texture Analyzer from Texture Technologies for texture evaluation, and digital imaging system for determining speckiness of noodle sheets.

Major Pilot Noodle Equipment
Vertical and horizontal noodle dough mixers
Dough can be mixed under both ambient and reduced pressure conditions with speed control in commercial style noodle dough crumb mixers
Unique commercial sized sheeting rolls
A heating system for rolls in the sheeting process can simulate roll temperatures in noodle factories in different countries. The speed of each pass can be set automatically or be adjusted individually. Dough can be sheeted continuously, or rested after the second, fourth, or sixth pass before further sheeting. The number of sheeting passes can be extended up to nine in a continuous process by using additional sheeting rolls.
Programmable noodle drier
Can dry up to 50 kg of noodles at one time. The drying temperature, relative humidity, and time can be pre-set, based on noodle type and size. There are seven drying programs available by using additional sheeting rolls.
Multi-functional tunnel steamer
Used to produce steamed noodles of various moisture contents, as well as steamed and deep fried noodles. During steaming process, noodles can be showered with water to produce high moisture noodles which require no boiling but stir-frying only.
Deep-fryer with continuous moving baskets
The frying oil temperature is controlled by two sets of independent heaters, one for inlet and another for outlet. Frying can be adjusted as well.

Steamed Bun Equipment

The facility contains a RHEON CONRNUCOPIA steamed bun processing machine. The machine makes three kinds of product shapes: spherical molding, continuous cylindrical extrusion and bar shape molding. The machine produces a variety of steamed buns with/without fillings. It has an adjustable encruster for making a variety of sizes and end-product shapes.

Laboratory-Scale Noodle Equipment

The laboratory-scale noodle machine, also made by Ohtake of Japan, enables the evaluation of noodle processing properties using a small quantity of flour (minimum 200 g). This small noodle machine has only one pair of sheeting rolls, but has temperature, gap setting, and speed control systems, with an attached noodle length cutter.

Pilot Pasta Plant


This Cigi area responds to the technical and information needs of pasta processors, durum and common wheat producers, marketers, plant breeders and industry researchers. Working in a state-of-the-art pilot pasta plant, experienced staff use their expertise to demonstrate to Canadian and international representatives the quality and application of Canadian wheats in pasta and couscous production, with a particular emphasis on Canada Western Amber Durum wheat.

Pilot Pasta Plant

Cigi’s pilot pasta plant is a unique facility with the capacity to produce pasta to commercial standards and the versatility to accommodate relatively small semolina sample sizes (50 kg). This combination makes the pasta plant a valuable resource for both pasta processors and industry researchers. Using technologically advanced equipment, the pilot plant is able to simulate formulations, drying conditions and products familiar to pasta plants around the world. Its primary focus is on long and short dried goods. On a smaller scale the section also processes and evaluates samples of couscous.

The pilot pasta plant works closely with Cigi’s pilot flour mill which is able to produce durum semolinas and flours to customer specifications for testing and research purposes.

Pilot Pasta Plant Equipment
Buhler Polymatik mixer/press
Static Dryer
Range of long and short good dies
TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer
Minolta Chromameter
Laboratory Pasta Equipment
Namad Laboratory Pasta Extruder
Capacity 2 – 5 kg
Variable speed mixing and extrusion
Extruder temperature control
Can do both long and short goods

Extrusion Plant


Cigi houses a research grade twin screw cooking extruder used for investigative work in the production and evaluation of various extruded products such as healthy snack foods, breakfast cereals and aquafeed using cereal grains, pulses and special crops. The equipment extrudes and cooks the product at the same time, replicating the process used in commercial production.

Extrusion Plant Equipment
Clextral lab-scale twin screw cooking extruder:
Co-Rotating Screws
Screw Diameter 25mm
Screw Length 1000mm
Capacity 50kg/hr
10 temperature zones

Pulse Processing Facility


Cigi’s pulse processing area supports the Canadian pulse industry through the testing of peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas to determine their processing and end-use characteristics. Pulses are evaluated on a pilot scale to reflect commercial processes and on a laboratory scale for research purposes. Staff use their expertise to provide training and technical information to customers and to provide Canadian plant breeders with information on new varieties. The facility is also used for collaborative projects with customers and researchers.

Pulse Processing Equipment

Cigi’s Pulse Processing facility is designed for versatility in the scale of processing that can be carried out. Pilot-scale dehulling and splitting equipment allows for processing of a large quantity of pulses with minimum breakage. Laboratory-scale equipment is used to process small quantities for research purposes. Milling equipment is used to further process pulses into flour and fractions.

Pilot Dehulling & Splitting Equipment
Buhler pilot-scale equipment has a capacity of 100-200 kg/hour and consists of:
Dehuller and splitter
Aspiration channel
Intermediate separator
Pneumatic air handling system
Laboratory Dehulling & Splitting Equipment
SK Engineering Laboratory Equipment
(3-5 kg per batch) consisting of:
Schule Verticle Shelling and Pearling Machine (3-5 kg per batch).
Heating unit
Tempering bin
Husk aspirator
Satake Pearler (50 g per batch)
Milling & Fractionation Equipment
Jacobson Hammer Mill (100kg/hr)
Skiold Stone Mill (100 kg/hr)
Hosokawa Pin Mill (2 kg/hr)
Hosokawa Air Classifier (200g-500g/hr)

Pulse Testing Capabilities

Whole & Split Pulses
Determination of cooking time
Measurement of hydration rate and capacity
Measurement of protein, starch and colour
Pulse Flours & Fractions
Determining the suitability of flours and fractions in food products
Measurement of protein, starch, ash, particle size, colour, pasting properties, starch damage, water/fat holding capacity, foaming capacity, emulsification capacity

Board of Directors

Cigi is governed by a board of directors representing a cross section of the Canadian grain industry including farmers, marketers, exporters and regulators.

Murdoch MacKay
Canadian Grain Commission
Henry Van Ankum
Vice Chair
Alma, Ontario
Jim Wilson
Darlingford, Manitoba
Kevin Bender
Bentley, Alberta
Randy Johner
Estevan, Saskatchewan
Brent Watchorn
Executive Vice President, Marketing
Richardson International Limited
Lawrence Yakielashek
General Manager
FarmLink Marketing Solutions


A multi-disciplinary Cigi staff team combine industry knowledge and experience with specialized training to offer a unique variety of capabilities in house. Click here for a list of staff.


Cigi is funded by farmers through the Western Wheat and Barley Check-off (15¢/tonne of wheat), the Government of Canada (AAFC), and industry partners.

Cigi Market Support Activities

Cigi works on behalf of the entire value chain and solicits the input of our industry partners and stakeholders to guide our market support programs and activities. This ensures that Cigi leverages its technical expertise and market knowledge in the best interest of the value chain as a whole.

For more information on Cigi’s program schedule for 2016-17 please click on the handout to the right.

Wheat and Durum Market Analysis

Cereals Canada and Cigi commissioned LMC International to conduct a comprehensive analysis of marketing opportunities for Canadian wheat and durum. The objectives of this commission were:

  • conduct an independent study
  • examine trends in global wheat and durum demand
  • inform research strategies
  • inform market development strategies

A synopsis of this analysis can be viewed by clicking on the report to the right.
This report is a starting point in the development of strategic market development and research priority setting processes for the industry — an initial step on a strategic path forward.

Funding for this project was generously provided by Manitoba’s Grain Innovation Hub / Growing Forward 2.