Trade fair focuses on automation, traceability and hygiene

Thursday, 11 January, 2007

The international meat-processing industry will get together at IFFA, Leading International Trade Fair for the Meat Industry: Processing, Packaging, Sales, in Frankfurt am Main, 5-10 May.

At the fair, technical innovations that have been developed since the last IFFA, three years ago, will be presented.

"IFFA is the inter¬national forum for technical innovations in the meat-processing sector. This is where new products are launched and information exchanged," Detlef Braun, member of the board of management of Messe Frankfurt, said.

According to Berthold Gassmann, chairman of the Meat Processing Machines Group of the Association of German Machine and Plant Manufacturers (Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau " VDMA), the spread of automation processes is one of the greatest challenges facing manufacturers of meat-processing machines and one of the principle topics to be discussed at IFFA 2007.

"In com¬parison to other sectors, the degree of automation in the meat-processing industry is still relatively low. This is because considerable fluctuations in product shape and format have so far called for a great deal of manual work. However, manufacturers are doing all they can to increase the degree of automation," Gassmann said.

Gassmann sees trends in, for example, modern technologies that carry out sorting processes automatically and in ultra-modern sensors that detect product quality.

"At IFFA 2007, manufacturers will present machines fitted with automation and control mechanisms that enable the entire processing and packaging process to be better documented and thus make a contribution to traceability," Gassmann said.

The subject of hygiene will continue to play a major role. Especially in the meat-processing sector, where adherence to hygiene regulations is of decisive importance to avoid product contamination and to ensure a long shelf life.

The spectrum of products to be seen at IFFA covers the entire value chain of the meat-processing sector. From slaughtering and cutting up, via processing, to packaging and selling, butchers'' requisites, spices and ingredients.

The organisers expect about 850 exhibitors on 120,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross) and in the region of 120,000 trade visitors. 90% of the exhibition space has already been booked and all market leaders have registered to take part with almost six months still to go before the fair begins.

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