Freezing Technology, Meat Packing, Robotics and More: Anuga FoodTec to Showcase Food Processing Advances

The countdown for the March 24-27 Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany, otherwise known as the International Supplier Fair for the Food and Drink Industry, is getting short. Held every three years, the event is jointly organized by Koelnmesse GmbH and the German Agriculture Society (DLG).

795 koelnmesse 026With approximately 1,500 exhibitors from around the world (up from 1,320 in 2012) and more than 43,000 visitors expected, this year’s event is poised to be the biggest exhibition ever staged since its inception in 1996. Floor space with product displays in Halls 4 to 10 of fairgrounds has risen by 4,000 square meters to 121,000 square meters.

Freezing Technology will be front and center on the second day of the show, March 25, during a special forum on Food Safety and Food Processing slated to take place in Rheinsaal Section 3 of Congress Centre North.

dlg-logo-4c-2015-2- 14The session will be kicked off at 3:30 PM by Dr. Michael Uwe Dossmann of Frankfurt-based DLG. He will be followed by Dipl.-Ing. Jochen Hottinger of Varel, Germany-headquartered Heinen Freezing GmbH & Co. KG, who will deliver a lecture entitled “Technical Design of Industrial Cooling and Freezing Systems: Status Quo and Possible Enhancements.”

Next up, from 4:05-4:35 PM, will be Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Berghoff of Pullach; Germany-based Linde AG. His topic of discussion is “Advanced Cryogenic Freezing & Cooling Solutions.” Thereafter, from 4:35-5:05 PM, a presentation on “Hygienic Design of Critical Equipment” will be made by Amsterdam-based Karin Blacow of Intralox LLC Europe.

Many other subjects of interest will be examined in detail at sessions during the four-day fair, including: Robots in Food Production; Advances in Bakery Technology; Foreign Matter Detection; Sustainable Processing for Improved Food Security; Advances in Packaging Technology; Advances in Meat Technology.

Meat of the Matter
Quality and hygiene are top priorities in the meat processing industry, and the Anuga FoodTec promises to showcase how large the proportion of automation and measurement engineering is in this important sector. Exhibitors will provide insight into modern meat production, including the advantages of state-of-the-art sensors which not only control production, but also record inline the quality of raw goods and manufacture.

In the Schleswig-Holsteiner city of Böklund one knows what's on the line when it comes to sausages. By the end of the 1930s, Böklunder was the first company in Germany to introduce automated production. Since then the company has prevailed not only as the inventor of sausages in a jar, but it became one of the pioneers of a branch which won recognition relatively late in automation: the meat processing industry.

Meat is not only a hygienically sensitive product. It is above all a product whose anatomical features set limits to far-reaching automation. Solutions are being investigated which deviate from the standards of other branches and open up economical prospects to processing operations.

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Among one of the best examples of this is the work from EDEKA Southwest in Rheinstetten, Germany, one of the most modern meat businesses in Europe. Twenty production lines allow for the smooth processing of 4,000 sides of pork and 1,000 beef quarters around the clock on a daily basis. In order for a factory of this magnitude to work efficiently, all processes must be IT-supported – from the receipt of goods to dismantling, production, packaging and shipping.

Exact Pictures for Dismantling
Early analysis of meat quality is of central significance for the automated dismantling process in Rheinstetten. A special hardware and software solution, the "Image-Meater" from CSB, classifies the sides of pork fully automatically. Cameras record the carcasses and sort them into different quality levels with the help of the measurement results. In this way the software determines the exact trade value of all parts such as ham, shoulder, pork belly and cutlets – contact-free and perfectly hygienically.

Wireless Data for More Hygiene
It goes without saying that the transmitter and the measurement amplifier must meet high standards. But exacting requirements are also placed on the measuring cable. Foregoing a wire definitely has its appeal – especially in hygienically sensitive areas in which laying cables is very involved. Meanwhile, a whole line of solutions emerges which make the application of wireless technology in the meat industry attractive.

foodtec 12 025 037Nowadays, in addition to the tried and tested cabled devices, cable-free devices are also used to record temperatures, such as the Wtrans-T resistance thermometer with radio measurement transmission from Jumo. With the Wtrans system, the temperatures in cooking and smoking chambers are recorded continually, as well as the core temperature of the product.

Automation Trend Continues
Continuous lines are still used less commonly in the meat industry than in other branches. But the trend towards automation continues, most strongly in processes close to the product, such as packaging. Anuga FoodTec will show how far automation in meat and sausage production has advanced. Next to individual machines, exhibitors will present fully automated production lines. They not only maximize efficiencies, but also guarantee high-quality and safe food.

A Global Affair
Companies from more than 44 countries will be exhibiting at Anuga FoodTec, and the share of non-German firms has increased from 51% to 54% since the last running. The greatest number of foreign exhibitors will come from Italy, Holland, France, Denmark and Switzerland.

For the first time, this year there will be group participation at pavilions flying the flags from Argentina, Denmark and the Czech Republic flags. They will be among national pavilions featuring companies from the USA, China, Taiwan, France, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Additional details about Anuga FoodTec, including registration information, are available by visiting: www.anugafoodtec.com.