Go to the Next Level
For anybody who’s serious about being a player in the grain-based food industry, the American Institute of Baking is putting on dynamic seminars during the International Baking Industry Exposition, which runs from August 15-18, in Las Vegas. To develop the seminars, AIB surveyed all of its members to identify the most critical issues affecting their companies today. Moreover, the institute worked with the American Bakers Association to ensure that the seminars would be of interest to the association’s membership.
In addition to seminars on low-carb products, food safety, baking industry trends and extended shelf life, the program will feature a topic called “Using New Technologies to Improve Processes.”
Now, exactly what does that mean?
“We’ve been doing a lot of research that people are not aware of,” says Kirk O’Donnell, AIB’s vice president of education. “In many ways, we are adding new science to the art of baking in order to improve the overall process.”
AIB is developing the smart mixer using NIR (near infrared) technology. This knowledge will soon be implemented in production facilities to monitor dough development, which will vary as flour changes. AIB is developing calibrations for predicting the performance of flour in terms of dough absorption, loaf volume and crumb score. With this new technology, the baker can produce consistent doughs without guesswork.
“With this technology, you can determine if your dough does not have enough sugar or shortening or salt within two minutes of starting the mix,” he explains.
The process is not as complicated as it sounds. The system sends an infrared beam, not much unlike a laser, into the dough as it mixes.
O’Donnell says NIR spectroscopy can improve product consistency and quality as well as result in less waste. In time, the system reduces operating costs by improving the operation’s efficiency.
During the seminar, AIB will also share information on systems that can measure the stress level of the dough in real time during the sheeting process. Such a system can be extremely helpful if, for example, flour changes with a new crop.
O’Donnell says the seminar is a must-attend event for both bakers and suppliers.
“The equipment manufacturer has to understand how this new technology works and how it can be incorporated into their systems,” he says. “The bakers need to understand it so they can realize why they need it and how this new technology can improve their operation.”
Exhibitions of all Types
In addition to new technologies for bakers, IBIE 2004 has something for anyone who works in the grain-based food industry.
For retail bakers, in-store bakery operators and foodservice chains, the Retailers Bakery Association will put on an innovative display and education program that highlights the art of baking.
In addition to new educational events, exhibitors are planning to roll out a variety of new systems. In May, the IBIE reported at least 92% of space had been sold for the show. In fact, 604 companies from 95 countries have signed on for about 315,745 net sq. ft. of exhibit space. Nearly 340,000 net sq. ft. is available.
Lee Sanders, ABA’s vice president of regulatory and technical services, notes that attendees will quickly find out why IBIE is known as the “World’s Baking Showcase.”
“IBIE is an excellent opportunity for the industry to come together to see all of the latest innovations that can assist companies now and in the future,” she says. “Not only can attendees benefit from learning about the newest equipment and ingredients available in the marketplace, they can also participate in the informational seminars that focus on the hot topics for the baking industry.”
Bob Kirkpatrick, IBIE 2004 chairman and president of Rondo Inc., says exhibitors will be featuring new automation, such as sheeting, filling, makeup, topping, extruding and packaging systems, which have broad applications to the grain-based food industry as a whole.
“Most of the companies that supply to the traditional baking industry also supply to others in the grain-based food business,” Kirkpatrick explains. “There are thousands of what I would call non-traditional bakers of grain-based foods who can reap huge benefits from attending the show. IBIE is not only for retail and wholesale bakers, but also for frozen food manufacturers, pizza producers, cookie and cracker companies, hot snack processors, Mexican food operators — anybody who uses grain-based foods in their products. All of these people use common ingredients and use similar processes to produce their products.
“There are food applications, snack applications, tortilla technology, cookie and cracker equipment, ingredient handling systems, new mixing and aerating technology and applications to the candy industry,” he adds. “It’s much more than a bakery show.”
Matt Zielsdorf, vice president with The Peerless Group, notes that the company will feature equipment from all of it’s divisions, including those for producing breads and rolls, biscuits and crackers, and cakes and snacks.
“It gives us the opportunity to visit with all of its best customers — both new and old — in one location. We can demonstrate new equipment, options, and at times, new people,” Zielsdorf says.
“We always look at how we can better serve our baking industry customers. If they are willing to share with equipment manufacturers the issues they face we are usually able to assist them in finding solutions,” he adds. “We always look at how we can better serve our baking industry customers.”
John Stone, president of Caravan Products Co. Inc., suggests that IBIE provides both bakers and suppliers with new insights into the market, especially on new ingredients.
“From a new product development point of view, Baking Expo provides the opportunity to get immediate feedback from bakers on our newest ideas to better understand how a product will be accepted in the marketplace,” he says.”
A Must-Attend Event
In a recent letter to the industry, Gary Prince, ABA’s chairman, encouraged fellow executives to increase the number of employees attending Baking Expo.
“I feel very strongly that this year’s International Baking Industry Exposition is one of the most significant events for our industry and it comes at a critical time for each of us,” noted Prince, who’s also president of George Weston Bakeries. “Despite the tremulous atmosphere of the market surrounding the carbohydrate debate, I personally believe that this year’s IBIE provides all of us a tremendous opportunity to continue to focus on investing in each of our company’s and our industry’s future.”
To register, just visit www.snackandbakery.com and click on the IBIE logo, which will directly link you up with the IBIE registration site. To register or for information on the AIB sessions, visit www.aibonline.org. For housing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For other information, contact BEMA at 847-920-1230.