October 15, 2019

Food and beverage pros flock to Chicago for PROCESS EXPO

Thousands of food and beverage processing professionals experienced innovative exhibits, networking opportunities, educational programs and show floor activities at the recent 2019 PROCESS EXPO which wrapped up in Chicago, after a week of bringing the latest technology and integrated solutions to all segments of the industry.

“We received very positive feedback from the attendees who truly appreciate the focus of PROCESS EXPO exclusively on food and beverage processing, and the opportunity to see the newest equipment, technology and solutions for them to bring back to their companies. Many were excited about the five working production lines where they were able to see real product being produced,” said Jarrod McCarroll, chairman, FPSA. “We would like to thank our exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, partners and all of the FPSA committees for their hard work and dedication in making this year’s PROCESS EXPO an important gathering for the food and beverage processing industry.”

Highlights of PROCESS EXPO 2019 include:

  • Attendees witnessed five live demonstrations of full production lines with real product, including:
  • Sliced Cheese Production Line Demonstration — From the separator and HTST, all the way through to postpackaging inspection, the line produced a variety pack of cheese.
  • Pet Food Kibble Production Line Demonstration — Attendees saw how dry kibble is produced in one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry today.
  • Sliced Salami Production Line Demonstration — This line moved from raw ingredients through the smokehouse and then slicing and packaging for the consumer.
  • Ground Beef Production Line Demonstration — The line started with cuts of beef and ended with the convenient packaged product you see in the supermarket.
  • Frozen Pizza Production Line Demonstration — Moved from the creation of the crust through the depositing of sauces and toppings and the packaging of the finished product.

Seventeen finalists in the Innovations Showcase and Awards program presented their latest cutting-edge technology and equipment to a panel of food processor judges, who selected the Most Innovative New Product winners in six categories:

Epzilon ZOX by Zubex USA was awarded the 2019 Innovation Showcase People’s Choice Award winner. Attendees voted for the most innovative product among 17 finalists. Epzilon ZOX is a multilayer low thickness, biodegradable, and shrinkable high barrier thermoforming film in the meat, poultry and seafood category.

Industry professionals attended various educational tracks on such hot topics as cannabis, food safety, hygienic design and more from industry leading subject matter experts in two theaters on the show floor.

The History Channel’s Colby Donaldson of The Butcher and Team USA members showed off their skills with two standing room only presentations. The Team will compete in next year’s World Butcher’s Challenge.

Among the many networking opportunities attendees enjoyed the Oktoberfest  Reception celebrating PROCESS EXPO partners Messe Dusseldorf, Messe Frankfurt and Messe Nurnberg, while enjoying the sounds of a Bavarian Oompha band.

FPSA Women’s Alliance Network Breakfast featured Suzanne Strassburger, the “First Lady of Meat” and CEO of Strassburger Steaks who delivered an inspiring keynote discussion. The Network’s inaugural Red Circle Honors program recognized three women and an FPSA member company for their achievements in the food and beverage industry. The honorees included:

  • Career Excellence: Nancy Corriveau, Blentech Corporation
  • Rising Star: Nicole Chestnut, Rome Grinding Solutions
  • Innovation and Inspiration: Carole Tonello-Samson, Hiberbac
  • Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women: The Haskell Company

The Foundation of the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FFPSA) presented a $75,000 check to the Greater Chicago Food Depository as part of its DEFEAT HUNGER campaign which will be used to help fight hunger in the Greater Chicago Area. In addition, PROCESS EXPO exhibitor Nations Pizza donated thousands of frozen pizzas and CBM Global donated Ready to Eat Meals and others provided monetary gifts to support the campaign.

The Food Processing Suppliers Association’s (FPSA) announced the initiation of Food Industry Technician Certification Program (FIT) classes being launched with Lincoln Technical Institute offering instructional training and education for prospective food & beverage industry technicians. The FIT program will offer standardized training that will provide future industry technicians with the skill sets necessary for working with the increasingly complex equipment being used in the food industry with the goal of having FIT graduates gainfully employed within the industry.