September offers three major trade shows and educational events

September trade showsThree September events will offer plenty of opportunity to increase the knowledge base of anyone involved in the produce processing industry through trade shows, educational sessions, networking and tours.

III International Conference on Fresh-cut Produce

The Postharvest Technology Center at University of California, Davis, will host the III International Conference on Fresh-cut Products: Maintaining Quality & Safety. The event, and optional post-conference tour, will run from Sept. 13-18.

The conference is organized by Marita Cantwell of UC Davis, under the aegis of the International Society for Horticultural Science. The conference will present the general topics of quality and product development, temperature and handling logistics, preparation and processing, packaging and modified atmospheres, food safety and sanitation and marketing and consumer acceptance.

The Postharvest Technology Group has presented 19 years of fresh-cut workshops and occasionally expands on these to present an international flavor. The September event will be the third such event.

“We are hosting an international conference that builds on the annual workshop but extends the participation of speakers and attendees to an international audience,” Cantwell said.

The conference will feature 15 national and international keynote speakers on the general topics mentioned above, along with presentations on the processing of specific products.

Other highlights will include sessions about breeding fruit and vegetable varieties specifically for fresh-cut processing, traceability and new ideas about the wounding process, Cantwell said. An academic industry panel will be led by Susanne Kloos, research manager of raw R&D for Fresh Express.

“This conference, although just three days, packs in a lot of different topics and information and has international perspective,” Cantwell said.

After the conference, an optional 1.5-day technical tour will make four stops to equipment suppliers and processing plants in and near the Salinas Valley, including field and plant operations.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit

Process Expo

The largest-ever Process Expo is set for Sept. 15-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago. It will feature more than 1,000 companies and organizations that offer innovative processing equipment for the produce industry, with more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space.

“This makes our show the best place for food and beverage manufacturing professionals to find the most innovative processing and packaging machinery across the whole line,” said David Seckman, president and CEO of the Food Processing Suppliers Association, organizers of the every-other-year event.

This year’s Process Expo University will include more than 35 hours of educational sessions from 15 different universities addressing topics across all segments of the food and beverage industry, including more than 12 sessions directly related to produce processing, Seckman said. Among the sessions are:

  • “Fresh Juices: Cold Pressed Revolution — Headlines, Challenges and Technological Innovations,” by Tatiana Koutchma, a research scientist in food processing from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Guelph Food Research Center
  • “Understanding the Tomato Processing Water-Energy Nexus to Improve Resource Efficiency,” by Christopher Simmons, assistant professor of food science and technology at University of California, Davis
  • “Food Allergen Control Strategies,” by Joseph Baumert from the Department of Food Science and Technology Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

These educational sessions take place on the trade show floor and are free of charge for all registered attendees.

The Innovation Showcase will make its debut at Process Expo this year. The showcase is a dedicated section of the exhibit area designed to help food and beverage professionals identify the latest innovations in food and beverage processing and packaging.

Attendees can participate in FPSA’s Defeat Hunger program, launched with a donation of $75,000 by the FPSA Foundation. The goal is to address food insecurity in the greater Cook County region of Illinois by surpassing a contribution of 300,000 meals and to continue raising awareness of this issue.

We encourage everyone who is attending the show to make a donation, whether it’s bringing a can to the show or giving money through our website. To participate in the campaign, attendees can visit and click on the Defeat Hunger button,” Seckman said.

Registered attendees will have open access to all three trade show events; including all educational sessions. For the full educational program, to register or to find more information about the show, visit

Pack Expo

Pack Expo returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center Sept. 28-30. The trade show features more than 1,800 vendors of packaging and processing solutions, many of them devoted to produce-related products. Attendees can check out the latest developments in supply chain equipment and technology, labeling systems, containers and more.

The show floor will have three areas of interest to produce processors. A contract packaging sourcing center will be staffed by experts who can discuss packaging needs, show samples and offer information on contract packagers. A reusables learning center will offer educational sessions that explain the benefits of including reusable assets in the supply chain. The show floor includes a processing zone in one hall, where many of the equipment and service solutions helpful to produce processors will be located.

Seminars will be held each day on trade show floor “innovation stage” locations, presenting the latest technologies in 30-minute sessions. Presentations will cover topics such as state and federal regulations (including the Food Safety Modernization Act), environmental monitoring, traceability, food fraud and other issues. Presentations at the Center for Trends and Technology will focus on topics such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing technology and line optimization.

For more information on Pack Expo, visit

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