Flying into fallWith fall upon us, the football season and cooler temperatures encourage me to fire up the oven again and start baking things. During the hot summer weather, I use my home oven as little as possible, but the crisp, back-to-school days are returning, so it’s a good time for bakers and snack companies everywhere to prepare for the peak production seasons.

And speaking of baking, our tour of Long Island City, N.Y.’s Tom Cat Bakery was an artisanal feast for the eyes and buttery heaven for the nose. With boundless energy, the bakery’s workers generate an incredible 450 stock-keeping units and deliver product three times a day, primarily for Manhattan-based restaurant customers, as well as others within a 150-mile radius. Tom Cat also caters to the finest eateries with luxuriously flavorful, top-quality, handcrafted artisan breads, rolls, loaves, buns and more. Its Rosemary/Sea Salt/Garlic focaccia bread is to die for, but its baguettes are as close to being in France as it gets.

Gearing up for cooler-weather production? Our Processing Technology section reviews some of the latest developments in ovens, fryers and proofers—the real workhorses on bakery and snack production lines. To package all of those freshly-made goodies, many new packaging materials are being commercialized with the ultimate in convenience. Take a look at what’s in store for 2014 as we uncover the latest for baking and snack food applications.

If you’re after a wake-up call on what’s happening with breakfast foods, you’re not alone. Consumers are paying more attention to the “most important” meal of the day, and marketers are shifting more of their efforts into new morning foods that are redefining the segment by offering smaller portions to make them easier to eat and healthier, quick-to-make options and combinations of traditional pairings. Find out what else consumers are asking for and what food companies are creating to meet their needs.

And get ready for all the news from the nation’s leading equipment manufacturers at the largest tradeshow event dedicated strictly to the food and beverage industry: PROCESS EXPO. This year’s show will welcome more than 450 exhibitors occupying more than 200,000 sq. ft. of McCormick Place in Chicago, Nov. 3-6. Exhibits will display the latest in new processing equipment, materials, products and ingredients.

Ethnic influences abound in this issue: In Market Trends, we explore robust flavors from India, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, Mexico and other areas that are muses for many globally-inspired recipes. Our Industry Expert and culinary consultant/founder of Hispanic Food Communications, Sylvia Klinger, discusses interesting grains in the Hispanic world that are becoming more mainstream in the U.S.

We also introduce a new Food Safety Factor columnist, André Biane, president and CEO of AIB International, Manhattan, Kan., who will be relating the many issues food companies are dealing with each day and how to cope with them. This month, he tackles the massive Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and suggests that you do so as soon as possible to stay current on the rules and their implications for you.

We also say goodbye to a good friend this month. This is our last issue (at least on a regular basis) with columnist and Wheat Foods Council president Judi Adams. We thank her for all of her wonderful, grain-related Health & Wellness articles and will miss her.

So happy September, happy back-to-school season, enjoy the start of football and keep on cookin’.