In this issue, we take a look at the top 150 frozen food processors and the top 25 refrigerated foods processors. Convenience, value and meeting changing tastes continues to drive product innovation and sales of frozen and refrigerated foods.

The March installment of our “Hot Cities for Cold Storage” series examines the growth and many development projects underway at the Port of Mobile, Alabama.

We also have an excellent column on ways to reduce emissions in material handling operations at ports.

And our departments focus on the filling, depositing and sorting equipment; belts and conveyors; and new offerings in frozen and refrigerated snacks, appetizers and side dishes.

Finally, it was great to be back in Atlanta in late January for the 2023 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). IPPE is the world's largest annual display of technology, equipment, supplies and services used in the production and processing of eggs, meat and poultry. The three-day event encompasses over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. Here’s a roundup of some of the fascinating food industry innovations we saw:

  • Path03Gen Solutions, a Florida-based company that started in healthcare and is entering the food space. Their patented UV shoe sanitizer replaces wet baths, foam and other options for a greater reduction in pathogenic microorganisms from shoe soles in 8 seconds.
  • P&P Optica, a Canadian company that also got its start in healthcare, was exhibiting its food inspection system that uses patented, non-destructive hyperspectral imaging and AI to detect defects like woody breast in poultry.
  • TekniPlex showed off its line of sustainable packaging options and its recent acquisitions in the fiber-based packaging space.
  • Nitrogen chillers and impingement freezers were among the items showcased at the Messer booth. 
  • Birko, a Diversy Company, promoted its pre-clean technology that reduces rinse stages for a reduction in water in time. 
  • Records digitization and plant monitoring with an eye toward reducing water and utility usage, along with washdown practices for food safety was on display at the Ecolab booth.
  • Sealed Air was exhibiting the latest in packaging technology, including software that allows labels to be read by machines like a QR code for greater data gathering capability and information for processors and consumers alike. 
  • Connecticut-based Clearly Clean was on hand to discuss their recyclable food trays for the meat and poultry industry, as interest grows following recent local government bans on foam trays for protein.
  • Among the items Airgas brought to IPPE were new IQF freezers designed with easier sanitation and washdown in mind.
  • BEK showed off its patented bacon spiral slicer and smokehouse that uses automation to eliminate labor intensive tasks.  

IPPE and other shows like it are a great reminder of the effort and innovation that feeds the world. 

As always, thank you for reading!