PROCESS EXPO 2017 took place September 19–22 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The biennial event, operated by the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA), attracts food industry professionals from around the world. PROCESS EXPO is the nation’s largest trade show dedicated to bringing the latest technology and integrated solutions to all segments of the food and beverage industry.

The 2017 event feature several working production lines, including a bakery line simulating a frozen cookie process, from dough mixing through packaging. Suppliers that participated in the bakery production line included:

  • CMC America Corp.—tilt-bowl horizontal dough mixer
  • EnSight Solutions—heavy-duty cart
  • Handtmann, Inc.—dough former, depositor and cutter
  • Praxair, Inc.—cryogenic tunnel freezer
  • Intralox—modular plastic conveyor belts
  • Mettler Toledo—metal detector
  • System Technology, Inc.—modular plastic conveyor belt, case shaker, checkweigher, powered roller conveyor, bag inserter, case erector, packaging equipment
  • Stober Drives—motor and drivers

Twenty-one 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 seven categories:

  • Bakery, Grains, Seeds and Snacks: Brimrose Corporation of America, Luminar 4070 AOTF-NIR process analyzer
  • Meat, Poultry and Seafood: Zubex USA LLC, ZUBIOX biodegradable cooking casings and shrink vacuum bags
  • Pet Foods: Remco Products Corporation, color-coded lobby dustpan and broom set
  • Prepared Foods: Multivac Inc., portion pack with Snapsil opening feature
  • Beverage: RGF Environmental Group, Inc., IMSB ice machine sanitizer
  • Confectionery, Candy and Sweets: Banner-Day, TraceFREE electric impedance pipe heating
  • Dairy: Powder-Solutions, Inc., MAGNATTACK MAG-RAM self cleaning magnet

Several other new products pertinent to the snack and bakery market were on display at PROCESS EXPO. Flexco shoed its new splice press, which has the benefit of being air-cooled vs. water-cooled, an improvement on its sanitary footprint. Grote showed a pizza topping line outfitted with an EyePro System vision system, which provides a quality-control check on placement and volume of pizza toppings; Grote noted that it is currently seeking more collaborative projects. Wire Belt Co. of America discussed its open mesh stainless steel conveyor belting, now outfitted with optional flights to accommodate vertical transport of product. I.J. White Systems was highlighting its pouch processing capabilities. And at the Rheon booth, the new Cornucopia KN551 forming and encrusting machine was highlighted, suited to encrusting spherical, bar-shaped and continuous cylindrical products, including filled cookies, arancini, croquettes, cheese-filled breadsticks, filled buns, churros, quiche, steamed Chinese buns and more.

During PROCESS EXPO, FPSA also launched the FPSA Women’s Council, a new initiative to facilitate positive transformation for women in the food industry and to empower its members to achieve both professional and personal growth.

FPSA also demonstrated its leadership through giving during PROCESS EXPO. During the event, a donation of $100,000 was presented to Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the proceeds from the FPSA Foundation’s 2017 Defeat Hunger campaign. The campaign also included food products donated by PROCESS EXPO exhibitors.

The next PROCESS EXPO will take place October 8–11, 2019 at McCormick Place in Chicago.