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Anuga FoodTec 2024: In review

Anuga FoodTec 2024 welcomed professionals from across the global food and beverage industry at the Cologne exhibition centre (Koelnmesse) in Germany last week from 19-22 March. Against the backdrop of Cologne's reputation as a hub for innovation, Anuga FoodTec 2024 emerged as a vibrant showcase of cutting-edge advancements in food and beverage manufacturing technology, captured by the event's motto of 'Sustainable Growth'. Known for its historic charm and modern flair, Germany’s Cologne provided the ideal setting for industry leaders, experts and innovators to gather and explore emerging trends while basking in the sunny ambience of the event. Amid the bustling aisles and lively discussions, two topics resonated strongly: sustainability and efficiency. These overarching themes reflected the industry's collective commitment to responsible production practices and resource optimisation, setting the stage for an event filled with groundbreaking and transformative innovations. Germany-based packaging machine manufacturer Schubert showcased its automation solutions, emphasising sustainability and efficiency in packaging processes. Its versatile Flowpacker machine, capable of accommodating various sealing technologies, addresses the industry's need for flexible and eco-friendly packaging solutions. By enabling seamless transitions between different sealing methods, Schubert allows manufacturers to adapt to evolving market demands while minimising environmental impact.

Schubert also displayed the TLM Comfort Feeder – a new, efficient and resource-saving solution for feeding carton blanks directly from the pallet. The company introduced two fully recyclable packaging concepts: Dotlock, a carton packaging without glue, and a carton-monofilm hybrid solution, also without glue. Samples of both Dotlock and the new hybrid packaging were available to see at the Schubert’s stand.


The company’s sales manager, Martin Sauter, said: “Our focus is on modular, digital, robot-based packaging machines and lines. But we are also involved in the development of sustainable packaging processes on a selective basis."

International manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment for the beverage, food and non-food sectors, KHS, unveiled its latest generation of Plasmax coating technology, which can enhance sustainability and efficiency in beverage packaging. This innovative solution extends the shelf life of beverages packaged in plastic bottles while minimising environmental impact. By applying an ultra-thin glass layer coating to the interior of bottles, KHS ensures product preservation of the contents without compromising recyclability. Plastic bottles lined with Plasmax can be recycled in curbside recycling as the thin glass coating washes off during the recycling process due to the high pH of chemicals used. KHS’ Plasmax coating is already being used on bottles of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite Barefoot Wine and more.

Global systems supplier for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors, GEA, showcased a comprehensive range of solutions focused on sustainability and efficiency in food processing. GEA highlighted its high-efficiency centrifuges and digital process control systems. These technologies respond to the industry's need for energy-efficient production methods while optimising resource consumption and enhancing productivity. By leveraging progressive sensor technologies, cloud connectivity and cutting-edge analytics, GEA's systems offer transparency, system productivity and resource efficiency. This emphasis on sustainability reflects the company's dedication to supporting manufacturers in meeting evolving consumer demands for eco-friendly products and reducing environmental footprint. Spain-based Hiperbaric presented its high-pressure processing technology, highlighting its potential to enhance sustainability and efficiency in food preservation. By combining high pressure and temperature, this technology extends shelf life while minimising the use of preservatives. Hiperbaric's focus on clean and natural preservation methods aligns with consumer demand for safe and minimally processed foods. This innovation can contribute to the industry's ongoing efforts to reduce food waste and promote environmental sustainability.

Global inspection company Heuft showcased its inspection systems equipped with AI technology, demonstrating its commitment to food safety and efficiency. With its ‘Deep Detecting’ technology, Heuft introduced a new method for detecting abnormalities in food products. This approach leverages artificial intelligence to accurately identify even smaller substances, reducing waste and enhancing product quality. Heuft's inspection systems, such as the Examiner IIXT, enable manufacturers to conduct thorough quality control processes before packaging, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and minimising the risk of product recalls. By leveraging AI to spot foreign objects and identify abnormalities with precision, manufacturers can deliver safe and high-quality food products to consumers efficiently.

German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer Krones highlighted its latest developments in beverage technology. One of its key innovations was the introduction of digital process control systems, which enable real-time data monitoring and optimisation. This technology allows food producers to make data-driven decisions that enhance operational efficiency and product quality, reducing waste and resource consumption. Additionally, Krones showcased its advancements in packaging solutions, including eco-friendly materials and design innovations aimed at minimising environmental impact. Danish equipment designing and manufacturing company Lyras presented its competitive raslysation solution. Rasylysation is a proprietary food processing technology developed by Lyras – the method involves the precise control of various parameters such as temperature, pressure and time, to achieve optimal results in food processing. Rasylysation enables manufacturers to enhance the flavour, texture and nutritional value of food products while maintaining consistency and quality.

During Anuga, UK manufacturer of industrial lubricants, cutting fluids and line marking systems,

Rocol, announced its transition to 100% PFAS-free food lubricants. The announcement marks a significant milestone in the company's commitment to environmental sustainability and consumer safety. PFAS, a group of synthetic chemicals known for their water and grease-resistant properties, have raised concerns due to their potential adverse health effects and environmental persistence. The removal of PFAS from Rocol's food lubricants mitigates potential health risks associated with exposure to these chemicals while contributing to broader efforts to reduce PFAS contamination in the environment. This action underscores Rocol's role as a responsible industry leader, setting a positive example for the sector and reaffirming its commitment to ethical and environmentally conscious business practices. A special thanks to Smart Packaging Hub and its portfolio companies Baumer, Cama, Zacmi, Clevertech and Tosa, as well as CFT, Andrtiz, SMI Spa, The Cultivated B and many more for the opportunity to engage in insightful discussions and experience firsthand their cutting-edge innovations. In review, Anuga FoodTec 2024 showcased hundreds of innovations aimed at promoting sustainability, efficiency and safety in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. From advanced packaging solutions to novel processing technologies, the event highlighted the sector's commitment to meeting evolving consumer demands and addressing global challenges. As companies continue to innovate and collaborate, the future of food production looks promising, with a focus on environmental stewardship and responsible practices.

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