The Tortilla Industry Association will hold its 2013 TIA Technical Conference in Las Vegas, Oct. 5-6. Besides offering attendees an agenda jam-packed with must-attend sessions and industry experts, this year’s event will be located in the same venue as the 2013 edition of the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), enabling attendees to experience two stellar, back-to-back events. 

After a very successful annual convention and trade exposition in Las Vegas in May, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) returns to the Entertainment Capital of the World this fall for its 2013 TIA Technical Conference. The one-and-a-half-day event will be held Oct. 5-6 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the same location as the 2013 edition of the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), which runs Oct. 6-9.

This year’s conference, titled “Improving Quality and Increasing Yields,” will give attendees plenty of timely information to help them prosper and grow. It kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 5 with an introduction and conference overview by Richard Irvin, vice president of operations for Tyson Mexican Original, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., and TIA 2013 Tech Committee chairman. 


Day one

At 9 a.m., keynote speaker Richard Junge, corporate R&D director for McDonald’s Corp., will talk about McDonald’s and the future of the healthy wrap. TIA CEO Jim Kabbani will offer the “State of the Tortilla and Wrap Industry 2012-2013” at 9:45 a.m.

Ingredients—major and minor—will be the focus of the two remaining morning sessions. At 10:15 a.m., Chris Morley, senior vice president and owner of Global Risk Management Inc., Oakdale, Minn., will present “Major Ingredients Strategy for 2014: Wheat, Corn and Oils Price Projections and Proven Hedging Practices.”  

“Minor Ingredient Costs for 2013-14: Gums, Salt, Sugar, Fumaric, Etc.,” will discuss cost projections for key minor ingredients used in today’s recipes. 

Joe Riley, CEO of Blue Tractor Foods LLC, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, will moderate an “Ask the Experts” panel at noon, featuring three of the nation’s leading tortilla manufacturers. 

The working lunch will be followed at 1 p.m. by “Best Corn Hybrids for Improved Yield” by Morrie Bryant, key accounts manager, corn processing at DuPont Pioneer, Des Moines, Iowa.  

At 2 p.m., Nick Weigel, ADM Milling Co.,  will present “Understanding Wheat and Milling for Improved Yield.”  

From 3-3:50 p.m., two of the four winners of TIA’s new “Search for Better Tortilla Technology” program will present their new, creative approaches to improving corn tortilla quality or yield. 

Participants submitted written answers to a list of questions, focusing on either corn or wheat flour tortillas. TIA selected two winners for each category. 

The last session of the day—“Superior Yield Through Efficient Management of Shortening and Oils”—covers two ingredients that can have a significant effect on tortilla manufacturers’ yield. It will be presented by Michael Erickson, technical services manager at Cargill Inc., Minneapolis. 

The day concludes with tabletop displays and a reception from 5-7 p.m.


Day two

The second day of the TIA Tech Conference begins at 9 a.m., with presentations on practices for improving flour-based tortilla quality or yield by the two other winners of TIA’s new “Search for Better Tortilla Technology” program. They’ll also participate in a panel discussion moderated by Mesa Foods’ Kraut. 

“Personnel Training Techniques to Improve Yields and Decrease Waste” will be the topic of the 10 a.m. session. Tim Sieloff, coordinator, baking training services and baking instructor at the American Institute of Baking (AIB) International, Manhattan, Kan., will focus on methods to train production workers, so they support their company’s goals, while reducing waste and increasing yields.

“Equipment and Maintenance Modifications to Improve Yields and Decrease Waste,” the final TIA Tech Conference session, begins at 10:45 a.m. Moderated by Tyson Mexican Original’s Irvin, the presentation will feature speakers from Casa Herrera Inc., Pomona, Calif.; Heat and Control Inc., Antioch, Ill.; J.C. Ford Co., La Habra, Calif.; and Lawrence Equipment Co., Ashland, Va. 

Admission to North America’s largest, most comprehensive trade event of the year is included in the TIA Tech Conference registration. To register or get more information, visit SF&WB