In just nine months, Maralong Milling brought an idea into reality with the official opening of Queensland’s largest and most modern chana dahl mill earlier this month.
The number three mill at the Maralong Milling facility near Westbrook, Toowoomba represents a significant expansion in the company’s capability to meet the growing demand for gluten-free food ingredients.
The commissioning of the new chana dahl mill at Maralong is the result of a collaborative partnership between three Queensland companies, Maralong Milling, PB Agrifood and Blue Ribbon Group, an investment totaling over $2 million to date.
Blue Ribbon Group owner and Maralong Milling co-owner, Stephen Donnelly said chana dahl is the name of dehulled and split chickpeas suitable for use in a wide range of traditional and modern foods.
“The new number three mill at Maralong Milling produces two grades of chana dahl – retail grade and milling grade,” he said.
“The premium retail grade is used directly as an ingredient while the milling grade is used to produce besan flour.
“Chana dahl maintains its nutritional integrity and has a long shelf-life but besan flour at its best when it is freshly milled, making our milling grade chana dahl a high demand product for flour mills in Asia and the Indian subcontinent.”
The chana dahl milling process occurs across four factory levels and includes grading, hydration, dehulling, splitting each grain into two cotyledons and colour sorting.
The mill runs at six tonnes per hour and the two grades of chana dahl are packaged into bags under the Blue Ribbon label, ready for export. A direct loading component is planned to further improve the efficiency of the facility.
“Prior to the installation of this new mill, Maralong had milled chickpeas into besan flour however the existing equipment could not achieve the high standards required for retail chana dahl,” said Maralong Milling co-owner and owner of PB Agrifood, Peter Brodie.
“An oil-additive is used at the final stage to add a gloss and polish to the retail chana dahl, making it very attractive to the consumer.”
In opening the new mill, Toowoomba Regional Council mayor Cr Paul Antonio welcomed the initiative of the partnership and their investment in Queensland’s agricultural and food industries.
“Agriculture continues to play a significant role in the development of the Toowoomba region,” he said. “About 50 per cent of the product shipped from Brisbane Port moves through Toowoomba, making logistics and infrastructure projects such as the Wellcamp Airport, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and the proposed inland rail line essential to continued development in the region.”
In welcoming international customers and representatives from all stops along the supply chain, from growers and researchers to bankers and shipping authorities, Cr Antonio noted that half the world’s population lives within a 12-hour flight from the Wellcamp Airport, a fact that adds to his optimism for growth in the region’s agricultural sector.
Maralong Milling co-owner and director Ron Plant said that the business began in 2000, founded by grain traders Peter Brodie and John Philp, as a dedicated soybean milling facility.
The company has since grown and moved to the current facility at Westbrook as they expanded into milling other gluten free grains and pulses, including sorghum, mungbean, faba bean and chickpea.
Now with a 10 t/hr capacity the facility is the largest specialty miller of alternative flours in Australia.
“Our facility is 100 per cent gluten free with the three mills also being completely separate lines, allowing us to produce food ingredients of the highest quality,” said Mr Plant.
“The multigrain blends that we create to order for bakeries in Australia and New Zealand can include components that represent as little as five per cent of the total blend.”
The pulse processing equipment was sourced from local and overseas suppliers.
Maralong engaged local contractors to complete the engineering, construction and installation works, supervised by Maralong’s operations manager, Michael McCallum.
More information: www.maralong.com.au