Wednesday, May 23rd: Day 5

After another fantastic German breakfast (Kyle recommend the Quark), the gang departed from Detmold to Hamburg (2.5 hr NW) for another action filled day at the Energy Hill and touring Kampffmeyer. Hamburg is the prospering industrial area of Germany including a harbor and multiple production facilities. The Energy Hill was originally a dumping site for Hamburg citizens but as the harbor area grew, more garbage accumulated. With the boom of the chemical processing facilities in Hamburg area, toxic waste was the new resident on the hill. The Energy Hill is a regeneration effort to clean up a toxic waste dump. This effort began in the 1980s, which was mainly spurred by the death of a worker that had fallen into a pool of corrosive chemicals (the old machine he was driving had a new clean look to it due to the severe corrosive nature of the chemicals) and his body was never found. The Energy Hill is quite the engineering feat. Soil was placed on top of an umbrella of non-corrosive plastic material that is used to prevent leaching of the toxic chemicals from further seeping into the ground. This also allows the gas produced from the continued breakdown of the toxic chemicals to be extracted from the Hill and used as a fuel for the local Aurubis Company (copper refinery). Prior to the extraction of the gas from the Hill, no grass or trees would grow on the soil due to the lack of oxygen. Currently, three wind turbines and solar panels built on the Hill provides approximately 3.4 megawatts of electricity per year or about enough electricity for 3000 local households. Funding from the International Building Expo were used to revamp the Hill and has an annual operating cost of $600,000 euros. The wind turbines produce approximately $150,000 euros in energy sold back to the city per year as well. Energy Hill also provided an excellent view of the harbor of Hamburg and many interesting sights could be seen, including old bunkers from WWII converted into clubs, music centers and offices, the world’s second largest copper plant, Aurubis and of course, the massive ships hauling thousands of container ships.

Wind turbine at the Energy Hill.

After the Energy Hill visit, the gang had a nice Portuguese-German style lunch (for 6 Euros, what a deal! And the duck was fabulous!).  We then headed to Kampffmeyer’s Food Innovation Center to tour their Flour Mill and R&D Center. Kampffmeyer is a food ingredient company specializing in the area of flour production, innovation and applications. We started off our visit with a brief presentation about Kampffmeyer. We then began the tours… First we  were shown the test kitchen, multitude of baking equipment, bake quality analysis lab and a pilot scale mixer and extruder Next, we were given an extensive tour of the Flour Mill. This mill is being converted over to a ‘lights-out’ mill, in which only one person is needed to control the entire mill. Currently, 3-4 workers are needed in the morning with 5-6 taking over in the afternoon and 1 person in charge over night. The mill produces 100 million tons of flour, mainly wheat and rye, annually. Flour is packaged for commercial and retail use. After the tour of the mill, we headed back to learn about the other activities taking place at Kampffmeyer. Presentations were given on ‘Clean Label Flour Innovation’ and ‘Whole Grain Innovation’. The basic idea of clean labeling is to reduce the amount of chemicals found in foods. In Germany every food additive is given an E-number. The E-number or chemical name must be included on the ingredient label. Currently, in Germany ‘clean label’ is not defined by legislation but in Article 16 it says that consumers should not be misled. The most notable innovation by Kampffmeyer is their modified starch line, Purafarin. The starch is modified for functionality using thermal processing methods, instead of adding chemicals. Kampffmeyer has done this through extrusion, roller drying and thin layer drying to produce partially or fully gelatinatized starch with varying degrees of cold/hot swell properties. This method has been used to make modified starch from wheat, rye, maize and rice. The use of these modified starches are ideal for producing creamy soups and for utilization in baked goods. The ‘Whole Grains Innovation’ presentation focused on the increasing trend of Germans preferring white breads over the traditional whole wheat and rye breads normally consumed (and way, way, way better than plain old white bread!). Kampffmeyer has worked with wheat breeders to develop the ‘snow’ wheat variety, which when milled performs similarilty to straight white flour, but still maintains the nutritional value. After a very informative afternoon, we headed down to our hotel, the Generator Youth Hostel. A quick stop by the hostel and we were on our way to dinner, so generously hosted by Kampffmeyer at Schones Leben (the beef medallions and North Sea Palice was amazing!).

Aurora flour mill at Kampffmeyer Innovation Center.

Fun facts: about 15% of Hamburg’s energy comes from renewable resources, roughly 1.5 million people reside in Hamburg, and rest areas along the auto-bahn cost 0.7euros to use the bathroom (toilette).

Downtown Hamburg en route to dinner.


One thought on “Wednesday, May 23rd: Day 5

  1. The 0.70 euro bathroom payment does give us coupons that can be used together to pay for food and drinks at the gas station or attached BK or McD’s.

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