Chicago will be the international food and beverage equipment and technology industry’s kind of town next week – complete with “razzmatazz and all that jazz,” as the Windy City hosts PROCESS EXPO. Taking place under one roof at McCormick Place from September 15-18 will be three co-located shows featuring over 1,000 exhibiting companies and 21,000 industry professionals who come in search of the latest processing and packaging innovations for the ever-evolving prepared foods, bakery, snack, dairy and beverage sectors.
The exposition is put on by the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA), a global trade association serving suppliers in the food and beverage industries. Its membership is organized in vertical industry councils that focus on specific needs and concerns that are unique to producers of prepared foods, baked goods, meat, seafood, poultry, beverage and dairy products.
The prepared foods sector attracts the largest number of attendees and exhibitors who show a wide and diverse range of products. Attendees from some of the most prominent frozen food companies in North America will on the scene looking for manufacturing solutions and supply chain links. Among them will be representatives from Amy’s Kitchen, Bellisio Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Heinz NA, High Liner Foods, Kellogg, Keystone Foods, Little Lady Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, Nestle USA, OSI Group, Pinnacle Foods, Rich Products Corp., Ruiz Food Products, Schwan’s, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Windsor Foods.
What American city says meat like Chicago? For years it has been the site of some of the nation’s best meat, poultry and seafood-focused trade shows – and 2015 is no different. PROCESS EXPO promises to again showcase a highly impressive group of equipment makers catering to those segments and others. High-tech machinery manufacturers as well as small, specialized suppliers that provide custom-made solutions for increasingly demanding business needs will be display their product lines.
Among them, the West Sacramento, California-based crew from TOMRA Sorting Solutions will spotlight cutting-edge IQF sorting technology and equipment. Visitors to Booth #2034 on Level 3 of the East Hall will be able to find out more about its Halo, Nimbus, Sentinel II and Blizzard sorting machines, and see the QVision meat analysis machine in action.
TOMRA’s innovative systems help processors meet exacting food safety regulations and ensure efficient production line operation, optimizing throughput and yield while minimizing downtime and labor costs. Utilizing a variety of sensors, which go far beyond the common use of color cameras, the sorters can detect the smallest defect or foreign material. Near Infra-Red (NIR) spectroscopy enables an analysis of the molecular structure of a product while x-rays, fluorescent lighting and lasers measure the elemental composition of objects. The internal composition and surface structure of raw materials can also be analyzed to determine good or bad produce.
The Chesterton, Indiana-headquartered Urschel Laboratories, Inc. crew will be on the scene in Booth #6705 on the third level of the North Hall with an array of precision, high capacity food cutting equipment.
The new Sprint 2 Dicer builds on the popularity of the DiversaCut Sprint. It offers food processors an alternative to the company’s Model G Dicer, and additional benefits compared to the DiversaCut Sprint. The Sprint 2 uniformly dices, strip cuts, granulates, or slices a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, baked goods and meats.
Urschel’s belt-fed E TranSlicer Cutter specializes in the cutting of different types of elongated products. The machine yields a wide range of crinkle slices, flat slices, or julienne strips through use of interchangeable slicing wheels. Hinged and sliding machine panels offer full access to all key areas of the machine for maintenance and wash-down procedures.
Also on display will be the Affinity Dicer, which is the largest dicer Urschel manufactures. It specializes in the cutting of cheese and difficult-to-cut meat products such as soft meats, cold temperature applications, or meats with high fat content. The machine accepts a large in-feed product size of up to 10″ (254 mm) in largest single product dimension.
Personnel from the Sandusky, Ohio division of JBT Corporation will be available at Booth #3426 on the third level of the East Hall. The company’s range of equipment includes portioning, coating, cooking, frying and filtration equipment, in addition to freezing, chilling and proofing systems, brine preparation, injection, maceration and tenderization units, product handling and vacuum loading systems, massaging, TVI meat portioning, in-container sterilization and pasteurization equipment, plus a full line of automatic guided vehicle systems.
The San Jose, California-based OctoFrost team of Malmo, Sweden-headquartered IQF Frost AB will be found at Booth 882 on the third level of the East Hall. The company high-performance freezers, built for food safety, maximum yield and high sustainability, feature patented technology of bedplates and fluidization which increases quality and yield of fresh-frozen products.
Its OctoFrost IQF model, which is especially adept for freezing fruits, vegetables, cheese, seafood, meat and poultry, features a mono-block design and affords easy interior access for reliable and swift cleaning. The kit has been equipped with air knives that blow high pressure air in the coil during production, which will help keep the coil free from product particles, prevent it from building up snow and optimize run time between defrost. More spray nozzles for warm water have been installed to decrease down time and speed up the cleaning process.
The OctoFrost’s octagonal design and aerodynamics is optimized for high capacity per hour, yet is sustainable with usually more than 10% less energy consumption than similar products on the market. A dry air infusion system has been installed in the operating panel, lights and motors, eliminating the challenge that many food producers face of condensation, due to the variation of temperature in the freezer. Additionally, the freezer has been reinforced with stronger fins in the coil and an anti-slip shockproof floor.
Members of the Atlanta, Georgia-based arm of Haarby, Denmark-headquartered Cabinplant Inc. will hold forth at Booth 2028 on the third level in the East Hall. Among the company’s wide range of equipment is a multi batcher that is said to reduce “giveaway” by four times compared to other machines on the market. Its accurate weighing technology ensures that portions are packed in an optimal combination, thus enabling fish, meat and poultry manufacturers to deliver portions that meet legal requirements.
The multi batcher is designed to make a portion out of four weighed partial portions instead of merely having one weighing hopper. The machine automatically combines the partial portions to provide optimal and best possible batch weight, and is designed to make the cleaning process quicker and easier. It is available in two sizes, and has capacity to handle even the largest mackerels and portion sizes from 10 to 30 kilos.
That’s Not All, Folks…
Among other exhibitors with equipment and systems of interest to frozen food producers are: Ashworth Bros., Inc, #1634; Baader North America Corp., Booth #6542; Berg Chilling Systems, #6110; Bridge Machine Company, Inc, #1438; CES/Food Logistik, USA, #2719; GEA Group, #2802; GEA Heat Exchanges, #6387; General Machinery Corp., #3641; Grote, 2816; Hollymatic Corp, #3402; I.J. White Systems, #3207; KM Packaging, #3816.
Also: Lubriplate, #2414; M&M Refrigeration, #3811; Mayekawa (Mycom), #707; Metl-Span, #6853; Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed, #6403; Meyer Industries, #2025; Multivac, #3012; Praxair, #6714; Provisur Technologies and Formax, #1629; Reiser, #2044 and 2960; Rheon USA, #3223; RMF, RMF Freezers and Challenge-RMF, #1013 and 1014; Sairem, #6558; Vanmark, #2629; Wire Belt of America, #2716.
Educational Sessions Galore
Additionally, PROCESS EXPO has scheduled a myriad of innovative educational programs during the four-day event. Three of them, organized by the McLean, Virginia-headquartered American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), are offered free of charge for all registered attendees.
The first topic, “Systems-Based Approach for Control and Prevention of Listeria monocytogenes in Frozen Food Production Environments,” will be broken into two consecutive parts beginning at 1 PM on Tuesday, September 15, and concluding at 3:30 PM on the same day. These two presentations will be offered by Dr. Kelly Stevens, QRO technology leader for General Mills, and Dr. Donna Garren, AFFI’s senior vice president for regulatory and technical affairs.
The second topic, “FSMA: How will it impact your business and how should you prepare?” will be addressed on Wednesday, September 16 at 10 AM. Focusing on how FSMA will affect food processors in the frozen food category, it will be presented by Dr. Robert Brackett , director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).
These sessions are just a small part of the PROCESS EXPO University program, which includes more than 35 hours of education addressing a wide variety of timely issues that cover all major segments of the food and beverage industry. The presentations will be made by experts from 15 of North America’s top university food science programs.