Regardless of your company’s segment in the industry, Process Expo and the International Dairy Show is the ultimate go-do destination for global food equipment and technologies.

PROCESS EXPO has become the largest 100% food- and beverage-focused tradeshow in North America. The show, which is owned by Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA), McLean, Va., and co-located with the International Dairy Show, run by the International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C., took place Nov. 3-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Both shows took in a combined registration of 19,155 and 829 exhibitors.

Here’s a rundown of what new equipment, systems and solutions made their debut at this year’s Process Expo and International Dairy Show.

FDA-Approved Grade Papers for Meat, Dairy, Bakery

Patty Paper, Inc., Plymouth, Ind., introduced a line of FDA-approved papers for use in the meat, dairy, bakery, deli, snack and grocery industries.

Coated with a variety of waxes or wax blends, this broad selection of paper include patty interleaving, cheese slice interleaving, butcher paper rolls and sheets, picking paper, bulker or roll stock paper and sheeted waxed paper or peach/pink, green and black steak paper.

All sheets feature consistent feedability for uninterrupted sheeting.

Patty Paper, Inc.

Infrared Roller Cooker

Infrabaker International, the Netherlands, introduced the Infrabaker Roller Cooker, an infrared cooker that colors, cooks and/or cures a wide range of round-shaped products like sausage links, round hams and salami.

The patent-pending Infrabaker Roller Cookeruses a conveyor that turns the product evenly whilst moving forward so that the product is hit by the infrared beams on all sides. Furthermore, it comes equipped with a mechanism to optimize the distance between the infrared emitters and the product on the conveyor.

Infrabaker International
+32 (0) 11 80 88 80

Hydraulic Oil-Free Forming Machine

PROVATEC’s new 760E Forming Machine uses absolutely no hydraulic oil, making for a more hygienic process. Though completely electric, it is said to use less electricity than other machines its size, while forming food at a faster pace. A smaller footprint also makes it a better choice for food and meat processing operations. Because of the way it's been designed and developed, it requires less maintenance than other food processing machines.

The 760E provides accurate weights, minimum leakage and rapid changeover while processing formed products. A rotary vane pump feed system gently portions product with minimal product working. The vane pump feeds directly to the mold plate cavity without product backflow or bridging.

PROVATEC'S 760E accepts most existing mold plates from different suppliers or they can be individually designed to customer specifications. The speed is adjustable up to 90-plus strokes per minute.

Azzar AG
+41 41 825 00 25

Leak Test Solution

Witt Gas Controls, Alpharetta, Ga., presented the LEAK-MASTER EASY, a test system that enables even the smallest leaks to be detected without any test gas or electricity. Utilizing a Venturi nozzle requiring only compressed air instead of a vacuum pump, it is suitable for testing almost any stable and flexible food and industrial and consumer packaging, including vacuum packaging.

The test packaging is placed in a water-filled chamber and the air space above the water level is evacuated using the Venturi nozzle. As the immersed packaging inflates (due to the resultant vacuum), air or filling gas escapes at leaking points, bubbling up in a clearly visible manner. This quality tester can quickly and easily determine whether and at what point the packaging is leaking—all in less than 30 seconds.

This technology also comes with a wide range of other advantages. For example, the operating costs are low because only water and air are used instead of expensive test gases, such as helium. In addition, the installation and operation are uncomplicated; the LEAK-MASTER EASY requires no calibration and little maintenance. And, the simple, intuitive operation eliminates the need for highly trained experts, and the sturdy acrylic housing is hygienic and easy to empty and maintain.

The LEAK-MASTER EASY is available in five versions with chamber sizes from five to 55 gallons.

Witt Gas Controls L.P.

Fat Analysis X-Ray

To help global meat processors reach new levels of quality and productivity, Eagle Product Inspection, Tampa, Fla., presented Eagle FA720 Bulk system, a fat analysis system that enhances contaminant detection and document management throughout production, avoiding product recalls and improving operational processes and efficiency.

The Eagle FA720 Bulk utilizes Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology to measure the amount of x-rays that are absorbed by the fat content and lean meat through the use of two specific x-ray energies, accurately calculating the CL value for meat products within +/- 1CL. This level of accuracy enables meat processors to supply meat at the CL values set by its customers, avoiding costly fat claims and lean meat giveaway.

Eagle also presented Eagle VALIDATE software, an internal calibration function built into the Eagle FA720 Bulk to verify its accuracy at specific CL values at the touch of a button. This allows meat processors to avoid the time-consuming, error-prone and costly traditional verification method of regularly passing a reference standard through the system, requiring manual recording of test results. The software automatically records each validation in an electronic file to provide essential data and prove traceability in the event of a product recall or retailer queries about fat content. Automating measurement validation encourages best practice by facilitating straight-forward regular, routine measurement validation with minimum downtime.

To further enhance meat processing fat management, Eagle showcased the Remote Touchscreen Console (RTC), which enables full remote system operability and displays the same data as the system’s human machine interface (HMI). This ensures that the operator has full access to the information collected on the production line. For example, an operator at the re-work station, where rejected cartons of meat are sent, can access the x-ray image of the carton and identify exact location of the contaminant, such as a bone fragment, for quick and efficient removal.

In addition, Eagle debuted a new light-emitting diode (LED) Marquee Display Unit (MDU)—ideal for viewing across a boning hall—that can be installed earlier on in the production line, such as at the trimming or packing stations, to transmit real-time CL data to personnel upstream. Operatives can then adjust their trimming and packing procedures to ensure tighter control of CL values before meat is sent for packaging or further processing.  

To address the food safety needs of bulk packaged food products, Eagle launched the Eagle Pack 550 PRO and newly enhanced Eagle Pack 430 PRO.Both systems enable accurate identification and removal of foreign bodies in large packaged food caused by small glass shards, stones, rubber, plastics or metal parts that might contaminate the food during the production process.

The Eagle Pack 550 PRO x-ray inspection system meets product inspection needs of food processors with mid- to large-sized bulk packaged food items such as rice, flour, sugar, potatoes, fruit and vegetables. The system offers numerous inspection and operational benefits such as an enhanced graphical interface, high-speed imaging, increased contaminant detection for difficult product applications, on-screen self-diagnostics, full multi-lane and multi-view capabilities and dynamic belt adjustments. The technology also has the ability to count components, check seal integrity, measure mass and assess fill levels. The Eagle Pack 550 PRO also enables bulk packaged food processors to accurately document production in order to improve operational processes and efficiency, ultimately avoiding product recalls and also demonstrating due diligence in the case of unexpected food safety issues. This not only reinforces consumer and brand safety but it also improves brand reputation and consumer preference.

Eagle Product Inspection

Product Inspection Systems

METTLER TOLEDO Product Inspection Group, Tampa, Fla., introduced two new inspection systems.

The Safeline X3301 X-ray inspection system, for example, combines a single vertical x-ray beam and new high-sensitivity detector technology to allow the integration of a low power (20W) x-ray generator, leading to improved user experience, dramatically lower operating costs, sustainability credentials and highly functional design.

Secondly, the HI-Speed XS2 Checkweigher/D15 Conveyor combination delivers accurate weights over a wide weighing range, ease of use and flexible integration into production lines, making it ideal for both new or existing packaging lines. Combined with the D15 Precision Conveyor ensures efficient, trouble-free product transitions onto and off the weighing system.

METTLER TOLEDO Product Inspection Group

Pail and Drum Liners

CDF Corp., Plymouth, Minn., introducedthe Smart Pail, a semi-rigid, flexible vacuum-formed plastic liner with the option of a hermetically sealed lid and/or snap-on plastic cover, corrugated box and corrugated lid. The Smart Pail was developed for viscous and dry products, including fillings, frosting and pastes.

To satisfy the needs of dairy processors, CDF offers a wide range of flexible liners for intermediate bulk containers, drums and pails for critical food applications. The Air-Assist liner for IBC totes is ideal for ice cream variegates and syrups. Air-Assist liners are specially designed for convenient dispense and improved evacuation of high viscosity products. The Air-Assist liner features a form-fit liner with an attached air bladder. As the air bladder is inflated, it pushes against the form-fit liner, forcing the viscous product out of the bottom dispense fitment, resulting in less residual product left in the liner. The form-fit IBC liner is used often for liquid egg, milk, malts, syrups, concentrated fruit, flavorings, fructose, sweeteners and pastes. Form-fit IBC liners provide high performance for top-fill applications using a bridge or automated filler; containers with no access doors for placing a liner at the bottom; high-speed fills and viscous products that get caught in the folds of pillow-shaped liners.

CDF Corp.

Industrial Computer for Logistics

Noax Technologies, Charlotte, N.C.,added a 19-inch screen model to its versatile compact series line of PCs. The larger dimensioned display allows for more convenient use. Plus, graphics, processes and operating buttons are more clearly displayed, allowing for increased productivity.

Ideal for the most diverse environments, such as forklifts for warehouse logistics, the C19 Compact IPC can control production processes, visualize processes, capture machine and operating data and display work orders. This often requires information to be entered quickly by the user.

The larger screen allows the displayed information to be recognized faster. With its SXGA resolution (1280x1024) and the LED backlit TFT display, the control panels are displayed larger, which makes data entry easier, even when the operator is wearing gloves.

The C19 offers additional interfaces and slots for expansion cards for PCI-, PCIe- and mini-PCIe-cards. In addition, there is a secured USB port on the front for uses such as transferring software updates. Plus it is completely sealed according to protection class IP65, and is thoroughly protected from splashing water or dust.

noax Technologies Corp.

Cartridge-Style Magnetic Liquid Traps

Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan., introduced its line of cartridge-style magnetic liquid traps.

Engineered to provide continuous, dependable, permanent magnet protection for the transport of non-fibrous fluids, the unique trap design forces liquids through a tightly spaced grid of magnetic cartridges to ensure close contact with the magnetic field.

Various sizes are available.

Bunting Magnetics Co.

Reverse Osmosis System for Dairy

Dow Water & Process Solutions, an Edina, Minn., business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., highlighted its HYPERSHELL Technology, a reverse osmosis (RO) system for the food and dairy industry.

HYPERSHELL Element product lines feature a state-of-the-art spiral wound 8-inch reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membrane encased with a polypropylene hard shell, designed to eliminate channeling and prevent premature degradation and failure of the element.When compared to conventional mesh RO membranes, the unique outer shell is said to facilitate more output with improved hydrodynamics through the element, resulting in energy savings, processing efficiencies and clean-in-place (CIP)—cleaning and disinfecting without major disassembly and assembly work. In addition, the rugged, easy-to-handle outer shell design allows for safer and faster loading and removal of elements. 

HYPERSHELL Elements contain high-rejection reverse osmosis membranes that are effective in dewatering or product concentration in dairy and food streams. The elements are constructed to withstand the rigorous processing applications and conditions while providing enhanced toughness and durability to withstand premature element failures. All materials in HYPERSHELL Elements are compliant with U.S. Food & Drug Administration indirect food contact requirements and are suitable for use in food processing applications in the United States

Dow Water & Process Solutions

Bag-in-Box Solution

Sealed Air’s Cryovac packaging and Diversey hygiene solutions brands exhibited a number of packaging, hygiene and equipment solutions for dairy applications in the processing, foodservice and retail segments.

The IDC/Cryovac SpeedFlex Bag-in-Box solution is said to offer bag filling speeds at least three times that of standard aseptic bag-in-box fillers. It also provides versatility to accommodate a variety of bags, bag sizes and tap/spout configurations. The solution is FDA-accepted for aseptic packaging of low-acid food and beverage products, and is optimized for high-volume processors of liquids, including dairy products, smoothies and ice cream mixes.

Ideal for shredded and slice cheeses, theCryovac Multi-SealFoldLOK reclosable packaging enables quick and easy opening and reclosing with advanced adhesive technology. This solution eliminates zippers and other complex opening mechanisms and extends shelf life for cheeses and other dairy-based snacks.

The Divos Membrane Cleaning System was specifically developed to clean membrane systems used in food, beverage and dairy industries, such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. The Divos solutions offer customized programs that maximize productivity, extend membrane life and reduce environmental impact while delivering superior application support and service.

Sealed Air Corp.

The Next Generation in Mixing Technology

The SPX Flow Technology segment of SPX Corp., Charlotte, N.C., debuted the APV Cavitator, comprised of a modular process technology that combines SPX mixing and dispersing equipment.

Designed to heat liquids without scale buildup, the APV Cavitator is based on technology exclusively licensed from Hydro Dynamics, Inc., Rome, Ga., for sanitary applications. Named for the powerful effects of shockwaves produced from the collapse of “controlled cavitation” bubbles, the APV Cavitator works by taking a fluid into the machine housing, where it is passes through a controlled cavitation field created by the reactor's spinning rotor.  

The unique design uses the intense force of cavitation in a controlled manner, rather than typical impellers or blades to process materials, thus increasing the mass transfer rate. Additionally, the cavitation effects are achieved without damage to metal surfaces.

This advanced technology can be used for a multitude of sanitary applications ranging from pasteurization to low-pressure homogenization.

Benefits include:

  • Improved process efficiencies (time, operating costs, and/or capital costs).
  • Enhanced product quality, yield and/or raw material savings.
  • Extended process run times related to scale-free heating.
  • Elimination or reduction of process downtime from maintenance requirements.
  • Smaller footprint than traditional technology.
  • Designed for easy disassembly, fully CIPable and manufactured to meet 3-A standards.

SPX Flow Technology, division of SPX Corp.

Food-Grade Conveyor

Exhibiting for the first time at Process Expo, Dynamic Conveyor, Muskegon, Mich., showcased its DynaClean line of food-grade conveyors.

Manufactured using plastic materials and minimal stainless-steel, these food-grade conveyor sidewalls are built in a blue high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material that is FDA-, USDA- and NSF-approved.

The patent-pending design of the DynaClean conveyor allows for quick and easy cleaning and sanitation. Hand tools are not required to disassemble and reassemble the food processing conveyor; therefore, sanitation time and cross contamination is greatly reduced.

The design is simple with no mechanical belt tensioners, external bearings or need for lubrication.  DynaClean conveyors utilize a one-piece solid return roller that is bearing free. Stand-offs and flange head bolts are used for easy cleaning access. The drum-style motor can be cleaned in less time than a typical motor due to its smooth, stainless-steel finish and the hermetically sealed and totally enclosed design.

The DynaClean system allows conveyor components to be interchanged to create new conveyor configurations, such as angle changes or the ability to lengthen or shorten the conveyor without compromising the integrity. And, the versatility allows for single, continuous conveyors to run straight, incline and/or decline while utilizing just one energy-efficient motor.  

Both ThermoDrive solid belting and modular plastic link-style belting is available, and can be specified to meet the needs of wet, dry or sticky foods. 

Dynamic Conveyor

Economical Sausage Stuffer

Reiser, Canton, Mass., introduced the new LUCKY LINKER by Vemag, a small, economical sausage stuffer developed for processors with low production requirements. The LUCKY LINKER by Vemag includes everything needed for sausage production—the stuffer with a built-in linker, a built-in portioner, a casing holder, one linker horn set and one straight filling horn. The LUCKY LINKER by Vemag is extremely versatile and produces all types of sausage in natural, collagen or cellulose casings. The LUCKY LINKER by Vemag can produce everything from small diameter meat sticks and cocktail wieners to fresh sausage, bratwurst and franks to pepperoni, salami and large diameter chubs.

The LUCKY LINKER by Vemag features a powerful, positive displacement double-screw pump that is said to provide the highest level of portioning accuracy and smear-free stuffing. The double-screw gently transports product and without product degradation. The virtually friction-free conveying of the product for stuffing guarantees gram accurate weight portioning. The double screws are made from stainless steel, ensuring long life and exact-weight portioning. The entire pumping system is built with corrosion-free materials. The LUCKY LINKER by Vemag features a filling rate of up to 4,400 pounds per hour.

Reiser also introduced the new Vemag Alginate line for producing sausages in alginate casings. Alginate casings are said to be a cost-effective alternative to more expensive natural and collagen casings, and can significantly lower sausage production costs. Alginate is a gel obtained from algae. It is a natural product and purely vegetable-based. The alginate encapsulates the sausage in a transparent skin, allowing the product to remain visible. It imparts a good texture and a pleasant mouthfeel. After curing, it feels perfectly cool and dry, and does not soften again, even when exposed to hot water. The Vemag Alginate Line is ideal for the production of fresh sausage links, breakfast sausage and long smoked sausages and snack sticks.

Alginate casings have an exceptional ability to retain the aroma of smoke, making them perfectly suited for smoked products. It also allows for the production of a purely vegetarian sausage. Both meat and alginate are delivered to the CC215 coextrusion head where the meat is encased in an alginate casing of uniform thickness. Upon exit from the coextrusion head, the alginate-encased sausage is sprayed with a calcium chloride solution to immediately begin the curing process of the alginate. The CC215 then divides the sausage strand into individual links or discharges it to a hanging line. The CC215 features extra-long dividing belts to ensure cleanly divided sausages with portioning rates of up to 800 pieces per minute.


Gable Top Packaging Machine for Dairy, Juice

Evergreen Packaging Equipment, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, presented the EQ-70 gable top packaging machine, designed to serve dairy and juice markets.

Extended long life components include a self-contained CIP/SIP system, environmental control features, carton decontamination and a hermetic filling system to maintain product quality.

With fill volumes of 6-32 ounces, the EQ-70 fills quarts/liters up to 7,000 cph and fractionals up to 9,000 cph with a three-stage top down fill system.  Servo-driven technology provides repeatable package performance and automatically controls fill volumes and profiles based on product and carton size.  Infinite fill adjustments allow for less downtime with quick and easy changes to fill volume and carton height. An optional SPOUT-PAK System is available to enhance consumer convenience and preserve product freshness. 

Evergreen Packaging Equipment

Intelligent IQF Solutions

IQF Frost showcased OctoFrost, what is said to be the most cost-efficient individually quick frozen freezer in the market. OctoFrost boasts a small footprint, making it possible to fit multiple freezers in the same production facility. The freezer is designed to provide the highest food safety standards for the industry because it replaces the traditional transportation belts inside freezers with removable bedplates.

OctoFrost can handle up to 15,000 pounds of seafood products an hour, 15,000 pounds of meat and poultry products and hour and 20,000 pounds of fruit, berries and vegetables per hours.

QF Frost AB
+46 42 33 22 60

Freezing, Portioning, Scanning, Coating, Frying and Cooking

JBT FoodTech, Sandusky, Ohio, featured several of its latest processing innovations.

For starters, JBT introduced its newest updates in high-hygiene freezing with the Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT M10 Tight Curve (GC M10 TC) spiral freezer, which offers a high-capacity, small footprint, long run time and short turnaround-time solution. Upgrades include a fully seam-welded enclosure and an optional steam-in-freezer defrost and sanitation system. The GC M10 TC is built with a Hygiene-by-Design cleaning solution and includes hygienic coil design and a stronger FRIGoBELT conveyor.

JBT’s newest in-line product scanning system, the DSI J-ScanInspection System, automates quality assurance process. The DSI J-Scanprovides corrective feedback to operators using upstream processing equipment or high-speed precision sorting of naturally occurring items. Products can range in size from poultry portions to pork bellies. The DSI J-Scan allows processors to move from manual or semi-automated quality assurance sampling to a full, in-line automated inspection and reporting system. It also provides the ability to simulate runs and make portioning adjustments in seconds, while achieving greater yield and ultimately greater payback. The scanning system also provides added quality control and off-site access to plant production.

For space and energy conscious processors, JBT FoodTech features the SteinHeritage Breader (SHB), which provides a small footprint coating solution, while producing consistent, quality products. Designed for applying flour and fine granular free-flow coating materials, the SHB measures less than 7 feet high and 6 feet long, yet offers high capacity output. Its vertical hopper design provides a linear hydration distance the same as breaders nearly twice as long. This allows for no sacrifice in critical hydration time needed to ensure quality coating applications. The SHB requires only three, 50-pound bags of breading material to charge, compared to five, 50-pound bags for standard breaders. This equates to lower overall breading costs with less material waste at the end of the production shift.

JBT FoodTech

Continuous Blancher, Cooker, Cooler

Lyco Manufacturing, Columbus, Wis., introduced what is said to be the most sanitary self-cleaning continuous cooker in the world.

Designed for applications involving pasta, vegetables, rice, fruit, potatoes, meat, poultry and seafood, the Lean Clean-Flow consists of a Hot Zone that blanches, cooks, rehydrates or pasteurizes, and a Cool Zone that cools product from 200°F to 70°F in seconds.

The basic construction begins with a self-cleaning wedge-wire screen design that rotates 360 degrees around the screw during cleaning mode. The Lean Clean-Flow meets CE directives and offers quick changeover in minutes.

Lyco Manufacturing, Inc.