At Bühler Aeroglide, the voice of the customer is shaping product development as the globalization of food production draws concerns over food safety and regulatory shortcomings. In his new multi-disciplinary role as Director of Product Management, Brian Hinkle will leverage market intelligence and customer research to uncover opportunities for new products and services, addressing critical needs in food and feed production.

“My goal is to analyze our current product portfolio and recognize emerging market needs that will help us improve and expand our market-leading portfolio,” said Hinkle. “The safety of food and feed processing is an ever growing interest as we consider global market needs, particularly for next generation dryer projects and validation tools.”

Following a product development roadmap, Hinkle will oversee development of many new products such as next generation dryer improvements in hygienic design and cleanability, to improve uptime and make food and feed production safer than ever before. He will also develop research-based tools that help food processors achieve validation of their kill step. While many undergo a presumed kill step during production, using time and temperature as critical control points, many validations have not been performed in months or years.  Bühler Aeroglide is developing tools that enable nut processors to validate that their roaster is delivering the desired kill step every minute of every day.

“While the initial focus is on data collection and kinetics modeling protocols developed and validated for the nut industry, we are identifying new opportunities at the Bühler Corporate level for applications in grain-based ready-to-eat snacks and breakfast cereals,” said Hinkle. “Food processor have asked for their own validation tools, to help them ensure food safety for the consumer as well as to protect their brands and companies.”

Most recently, Hinkle served as Product Manager for Bühler Aeroglide’s global food and feed markets. Prior to this position, he was Market Manager for the North American ready-to-eat breakfast cereal and nuts and seeds market. Hinkle joined Bühler Aeroglide as a Field Service Engineer in 1991, performing machine installations and support for mechanical and processing systems. He later served as Project Engineer for equipment design and construction followed by nine years as an Applications Engineer.