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What’s in Store at PROCESS EXPO

This year’s PROCESS EXPO will be held November 3–6 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The event will feature over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space dedicated to showcasing the latest in food processing technology from hundreds of leading equipment vendors.

Mnet 132111 Processexpo Lead

This article first appeared in the September 2013 issue of Food Manufacturing.

We take a peek at some of the highlights from this year’s upcoming PROCESS EXPO.

This year’s PROCESS EXPO will be held November 3–6 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The event will feature over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space dedicated to showcasing the latest in food processing technology from hundreds of leading equipment vendors. This year the show, put on by the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA), will be collocated with the International Dairy Show, organized by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Both shows have a wealth of valuable information and technology in store for attendees.

While still early in the registration process, David Seckman, President and CEO of FPSA, says attendance is up compared with this point in the planning process for the last show, held in 2011.

This year, PROCESS EXPO will integrate its educational program with the show-floor experience by designating four “campuses” positioned through the exhibit halls. These campuses will feature leaders from industry and universities discussing emerging technology and research relevant to the food processing market.

Seckman says he expects this year’s education sessions and exhibits to have an even greater focus on regulatory requirements as they relate to food safety due to the ongoing rulemaking process associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
“There’s a keen interest in food safety and what’s going to be required in the final regulations,” he says. The educational sessions are geared toward these and other issues that FPSA has identified as key to operating in the current food processing landscape.

“What we tried to do was not only bring in the experts,” Seckman says, “but to have them address the topics that we’ve heard from our members are of most interest.”

Seckman points out that the collocation with IDFA’s show will enhance this year’s PROCESS EXPO education and exhibition spaces. Though the two shows have been organized autonomously, Seckman notes the collocation will greatly benefit both shows by eliminating the need for exhibitors and attendees who may have interest in both shows to choose between attending one or the other.

“Dairy is going to have some of their own education activities as well,” says Seckman. He says that the collocation with IDFA “has made the show a lot larger than what it was… There’s going to be good overlap. It’s greatly enhanced the size of the show and the number of exhibitors.”

Among the many exhibitors at this year’s PROCESS EXPO will be the Save Food pavilion. A partnership among Messe Düsseldorf (hosts of the German trade show, interpack), FPSA and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the Save Food initiative seeks to address the problem of food waste, and the pavilion at PROCESS EXPO will focus on what food processors can do to provide their own solutions to this global problem.

Seckman also points to this year’s Defeat Hunger initiative, through which FPSA will contribute a financial donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, one of the largest food depositories in the country.

The donation will help the organization “meet the needs of over 800,000 people in Cook County and the surrounding areas. Our exhibitors will, on a voluntary basis, bring canned and other non-perishable foods to the show.” By combining a financial gift with individual food donations, Seckman says the show will compound its impact on hunger in the greater Chicago area.

This year’s PROCESS EXPO is shaping up to be a landmark event for industry and for the community. Through its education sessions, its commitment to technology and sustainability and its dedication to community reinvestment, FPSA has a lot in store for attendees to this year’s show.

Some highlights from this year's education sessions:

Food Allergen Control Strategies
Dr. Joseph Baumert, Assistant Professor,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Tuesday, November 5, 10:00-11:00am
Campus 2 (South Hall)

As cases of food allergies continue to rise, food processors must be prepared to ensure the reliability of products labeled allergen free. Dr. Baumert will discuss the must-haves for a robust allergen control program including proper sanitizing techniques, a program for cross-contamination elimination and a sound inspection protocol.

This session will also review current and impending regulations surrounding food allergen regulations and what processors need to ensure compliance and safety.

Alternative Methods of Sterilization and Pasteurization
Dr. Tatiana Koutchma, Research Scientist, Novel Food Sciences
Monday, November 4, 1:00-2:00pm
Campus 3 (South Hall)

In a consumer landscape where fresh, natural foods are in demand, alternatives to traditional pasteurization can preserve product integrity and quality while ensuring food safety.
Dr. Koutchma will discuss some of these emerging technologies, which include:

  • Electromagnetic heating
  • Ultra high pressure processing
  • Ultraviolet irradiation
  • Pulsed electric fields (PEF)
  • Radiation
  • Combined processing

Increase Food Safety & Sales with GFSI Certification
Dr. Joseph Cordray,
Professor Of Animal Science,
Iowa State University
Sunday, November 3, 2:00-3:00pm
Monday, November 4, 1:00-2:00pm
Tuesday, November 5, 1:00-2:00pm
Campus 1 (North Hall)

Dr. Cordray will discuss the specific considerations relevant to process and equipment verification in meat processing facilities. He’ll review several variables present in these operations and the steps processors need to take in order to ensure that each is being considered.

Dr. Cordray will also review essential equipment validation concerns and show meat processors how proper validation can ensure food safety while boosting the bottom line.

SAVE FOOD Initiative
Booth 3800 (North Hall)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Messe DĂĽsseldorf and FPSA have come together to sponsor an initiative to fight global food loss.

The initiative, SAVE FOOD, will present a wide range of solutions developed by industry leaders seeking to tackle the crisis of global food insecurity.

This year, the initiative will be presenting new strategies for improving supply chain efficiencies leading to reduced food waste.

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