NIGER MILLS COMPANY LIMITED, CALABAR - Niger Mills Co. Ltd was incorporated on 30th September, 1967  with Head Office at Ikot Eka Edem, Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar. The construction of the factory started in 1972 and was completed and commissioned by the Late Brig. General U. J. Esuene in 1974.

    Niger mills is engaged in the production and sales of ;
     Golden Penny Flour,
     Golden penny Semovita,
     Golden Penny Wheat Offals and
     Golden penny Whole wheat special


There are six(6) major departments ably manned by well trained, experience and versatile young men and woman still hungry for success. Namely,
     Production Department
     Admin/ Personnel Department
     Quality Control Department
     Human Resources Department
     Marketing/Sales Department
     Electrical/Mechanical Department


     Pecker test
     PH test           
     Ash content determination   
     Granulation / Sieve test   
     Moisture and protein content determination / analysis   
     Colour test           
     Wet gluten determination       
     Starch damage test       
     Baking test           
     Microbial analysis of food (Flour)   


AIM: To check the presence or absence of Ascorbic acid in flour.
MATERIALS: Spatula, glass slice and Ascorbic acid.

Take a desirable quantity of flour sample and place on a flat glass slide.
ii. Use a spatula to make a flat view of the flour sample.
iii. Cut off the edges of the flour sample with the big spatula.
iv. Dip the flour sample into water for 1 minute and then bring it out.    
v. Spread Ascorbic acid reagent on the surface of the flour sample and observe changes.

When sports occur, it indicates the presence of ascorbic acid. Scanty sports indicates low ascorbic acid, crowded sports indicate high ascorbic acid and moderate sports indicates normal ascorbic acid.

AIM: To determine the level of acidity and alkalinity of the flour.
MATERIAL: PH Scale or indicator, 10 grams of flour sample and wheat sample, measuring cylinder, beaker, stirrer and weighing balance.

Weigh 10 grams of the flour sample and wheat sample and put in their respective bakers. 
Measure 90ml of distilled water and pour into the beaker containing the sample and stir to dissolve.
Put on the PH machine and insert the electrode into the sample. The machine starts reading.
Allow the values to be stable and then take flour reading.
At the end of the test, cover the Ph indicator with Potassium Chlorate until it is used again.

AIM: to determine the extent of inorganic material (Bran) in the flour.
MATERIALS: Crucibles, 5g of each sample (flour and semovita), forceps, dessicator, electric furnace, weighing balance, tray and spatula.

Weigh 5gram of each sample with the aid of a weighing balance using a crucible.
Check and allow the temperature of the furnace both above and below to be at 6000c (Stable temperature). 
Place the crucible containing the various samples into the furnace and allow for 3 hours.
At the expiration of the 3 hours, bring out the crucible from the furnace and put in the dessicator to cool for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from the dessicator and weigh.

The ash content is read and calculated as follows:
                    Initial reading      Final reading

Ash + Container) - (Enpty Crusible) x 100
             5 Grams                                         1
Ash content is determined by high temperature incineration in an electric moffle furnace.

When a sample is incinerated in an ash oven, the high temperature dries out the moisture and burns away all the organic materials (starch, protein and oil) leaving only the ash. The residue (ash) is composed of the non combustible inorganic minerals that are concentrated in the bran. Ash content results for wheat or flour ash are expressed as a percentage of the initial sample weight e.g. wheat ash of 1.58% or flour ash of 0.52%, target 0.62, maximum 0.65.


AIM: To determine the particle size and finest of the flour and wheat.
MATERIALS: Samples, weighing balance, brush, cubic, granulation machines and spatula.        

- Weigh 100 grams of each sample and pour into their respective sample plates.
  Clean the granulation sieves with a brush properly.
  Place the granulation sieves from the highest (500µm) to the smallest (150µm).
  Pour the samples into the sieve containing the cubic (4 each).
  Place the sieve on the granulation machine and press the start  button. The sample sieves for 10 minutes.
  At the expiration of 10minutes, the machine beeps and stops automatically.
  Bring out the sieve and weigh the content of each sieve on the weighing balance and take down your reading.

AIM: To determine the percentage of water in the flour.
MATERIAL: Inframatic machine, discard plastic plate, brushes, spatula.

Use a brush to clean the machine to avoid inaccurate result.
Collect samples from the mill and cover immediately to avoid loss of water.      
Pour the sample (wheat or flour) into the chamber and compress it together.
Enter the icon either wheat or wheat flour on the machine and press the enter key.
The machine starts working until it beeps and displays the result.

Moisture is also an indicator of gram storability. Wheat or flour with high moisture content (greater than 14.5%) attracts mold, bacterial, and insects all of which cause deterioration during storage.


AIM: To test for the colour of the flour and to determine if the flour is specky or dirty.
MATERIAL: Colour grader machine, beaker, stirrer, curvette, distilled water, measuring cylinder, wash bottle, 30g of flour sample, timer.

     Weigh 30 gram of each sample (flour) with a weighing machine and put in a beaker.   
     Pour 50m/s of distilled water into the beaker and set the timer at 1min. 30 seconds then press the start button.
     Stir the mixture for 45 seconds.
     Put the sample which have been stirred into the colour graders curvette and make sure its between the dark lines.
     Put the curvette into the machines lever and pull down.
     Adjust the knobs until the 2nd pointer is at zero.
     Take the reading on the first pointer.
     After taking the readings, remove immediately and press     stop on the timer.


AIM: To determine the elasticity and extensibility of the dough.
MATERIALS: Weighing balance, flour sample, saline water.

     Weigh 10 grams of the sample with the aid of a weighing balance.
     Put the weighed sample into the washing beaker in the glutomatic
     pour calibrated gluten or saline solution (2.5ml) into the sample
    spreading evenly and place back into the machine.
     Start the machine and allow to wash till it gets to 300ml.
     When washing is complete, remove and dry with palm until it
    get sticky ie forms gluten.
     weigh in a weighing balance and record your readings
     Multiply the result by 10

Wet gluten content is determined by washing a ground wheat sample with a salt solution to remove the starch and other soluble from the sample. The residue remaining after washing is the wet gluten.

This is a protein that is found in food. They are sticky substances that are produced from wheat, it is responsible for the elasticity and extensibility of the dough. It helps the dough to rise and keep its shape and texture.

Globulins: These are the active proteins they are water and salt soluble proteins.
They are called active protein because they help in the break down of starch and other enzymatic activities.

Albumin: They are also active proteins they are water and salt soluble proteins.

Glutenin and Gladin: These are the main components that make up gluten; they are storage proteins which consist of 80% and 90% of the gluten.


Amount of water added: The more the water, the more gluten and
 the chavier the dough.
The amount of mixing and kneading: Kneading helps the bonded
 gluten molecules from into long elastic strands or shelts that helps in
rising of the dough. Yeast gives off gasses and helps in the rising.

Protein quality can be damaged or affected if grains is over heated during drying particularly if the moisture content is high. The protein can be denatured, making the grain unsuitable for bread mixing.

AIM: To determine the level of starch that was damaged during the course of milling.
MATERIAL: SD matic machine, Boric Acid, Potassium Iodide, thiosulphate solution, reaction bottle, mixing container, measuring cylinder, weighing balance, spatula, one gram of flour sample.

 Measure 120ml of distilled water with the aid of a measuring cylinder and pour into a mixing bottle / container.
Weigh 3 grams of boric acid and add
Weigh 3 grams of potassium iodide and also add.
Add one drop of thiosulphate solution and shake all the components thoroughly until it dissolves.
Pour the mixture into the reaction bottle of the SD matic machine.
Turn on the SD matic machine and click on the test icon and the following parameters will appear;

Flour sample
Flour moisture
Protein content
Key in the correct figures according to the sample being used.
Click on desk key and then click on test and the sample will start running.
When the temperature gets to 350c, introduce the flour sample. It mixes and at stage three (3) it changes to yellow     colour. At stage (5) machine drags the flour sample inside     and the colour changes to blue – black.
At the end, the machine beeps and stops on its own     displaying the result on the screen.
Record your readings and result.


AIM: to determine the flour performance on baking.
MATERIALS: flour, sugar, yeast, butter, water, salt, weighing balance, measuring cylinder.        

Baking test is important because it determines how well the flour performs in terms of bread volume, oven spring and how well the dough kicks. 
    Temperature: Yeast is sensitive to temperature. At 750c yeast
    grows best.
    Time: The longer the yeast is allowed to work, the more gas is
    created in the right environment, yeast doubles and doubles again.
    Bread is ready for the oven when it is doubled in volume.
    Quality of yeast: The quality of yeast in the recipe makes a
    difference in cool environment; you make increase in the yeast
    slightly and in a very worm environment, reduce the yeast.
     Quantity of water: Dough must be soft and flexible in order to
    rise property. If the dough is stiff, it is difficult for the expanding
    gases to lift the dough and create volume. After your dough is
    kneaded, it should be soft and nearly sticky. A softer dough will
    rise much more quickly than a stir dough.
Production of Carbondioxide: Carbondioxide is generated by the yeast as a result of the breakdown of fermentable sugars in the dough. The evolution of carbondioxide causes expansion of the dough as it is trapped within the protein matrix of the dough.            
Causes dough maturation: This is accomplished by the chemical reaction of yeast produced alcohols and acids on protein of the flour and by the physical stretching of the protein by carbondioxide
gas. This results in the light, airy physical structure dissociated with yeast leavened products.
Development of Fermentable Flavor: yeast imparts the characteristics flavor of bread and other yeast leavened products.
During dough fermentation, yeast produce many secondary metabolites such as ketons, higher alcohols, organic acids aldehydes and esters. Some of those alcohols for example, escape during baking; others react with each other or within compounds found in the dough to form new and more complex flavor compounds.


Used to test the viability of yeast. Dry yeast is mixed with a small amount of warm water and sugar and if the yeast is viable, a layer of foam is developed by the action of yeast.
Allows for better absorption of water and helps the gluten and starches to align.
During fermentation, yeast converts glucose and other carbohydrates to glucose and other carbohydrate to carbondioxide gas which makes dough to rise and alcohol which gives the baked flavor.   

AIM: To determine the extent of bacteria and fungi contamination or
load in bread flour.  
MATERIALS: Lactose broth, plate count agar, malt extract agar, clean
and sterile glass wares (test tubes, Agar bottles, pipette), autoclave,
incubator, Bunsen burner.

Preparation: Prepare the medium as specified by the manufacturers on the label. In one plate, a suspension of 20m/s of an agar (PCA) Plate Count Agar or (MEA) malt extract agar is
Needed, e.g. Dissolve 50g into 1000ml of distilled water
=    50    x    (number of plates x 20)  
After preparation, dispense into a conical flask and cap Homogenize the agar in a hot water bath at 400c for one minute so as to break down the fat. Sterilize the agar in an autoclave for 18 minutes.

     prepare lactose both using standard preparation method and sterilize using an autoclave.
     Measure 90ml of lactose broth and pour into a conical flask and 9ml of the lactose broth into 2 (two) small test tubes for a three (3)
    fold serial dilution.
     Weigh 10gram of the bread flour sample and put into the conical flask containing the 90ml broth (lactose stock).
     Allow the flour to settle in the broth.
     Sterilize the plate (Petri dish) with the use of an autoclave and dry using an oven.
     Sterilize the pipette and dry with an oven.
     Use a Bunsen burner to sterilize the mouth of the pipette.
     Pipette one (1)ml of the stock (lactose broth containing the sample) into the 1st sample plate 10-1 (Petri dish) and 1ml into the first sample
    bottle (test tube).

     From the first sample bottle, pipette 1ml into the second (2nd) sample bottle and 1ml into the second Petri dish 10-2
     From the second bottle, pipette 1ml of the lactose broth into the 3rd sample plate 10-3.
     Pour your prepared and sterilized agar into the plates (Petri dish).
     Plate count agar for bacterial and malt extract agar for fungi.
     Allow to solidity.
     After solidification, invert.
     Incubate for 48hrs for bacterial and 72hrs for fungi
     Count the colonies formed

Counting of colonies
Milling sample (PCA 103)

10 x 1 + 100 x 1 + 1000 x 4
         10  + 100  + 4000         =    4110

        3                   3        =    1,370

1000        =    1.37x103 Cfu/g

In Niger Mills, great importance has always been attached to hygiene. The food hygiene general regulation 1970s require that people handling food must keep themselves and the working environment clean. In terms of environment hygiene, the company has been able to maintain its environmental hygiene up to 75% as all the products during processing, packaging and storage are well protected and kept safety to avoid microbial contamination and it is a monthly exercise.

Pest control involves the detection of infection at their early stage and the rapid use of suitable pesticides to eliminate them. Rodents, birds, mites and pest that attack stored wheat and wheat production. Thus, only pesticides approved and labeled for use in food manufacturing premises are used. Gaseous fumigants like phosphine (evolved from metallic phosphide preparation) and metriybromide are used to treat silos and it is only applied by certified operators.

SIWES has introduced me to practical experience in my field of endeavor and has offered me the opportunity to measure my performance with demands of the professionals practice.
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