New technologies on display at UK exhibition

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Radio frequency identification Birmingham

Emerging technologies such as radio frequency identification and
the latest food industry equipment will be on display at a four-day
exhibition beginning tomorrow in Birmingham.

About 850 exhibitors of machinery and other wares have registered for the four-day long Total Processing & Packaging show. To help buyers connect with the right suppliers, the UK's Process and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA) is providing a consultancy service. The service will help them connect faster with suppliers who can meet their needs. Visitors can also use a free online service to map their way through the halls of Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre. "Our pre-show research has indicated that there is strong spending power among many potential visitors,"​ said exhibition director Ian Crawford. In addition to the exhibitions, the PPMA and co-organiser Reed Exhibitions are hosting seminars on the latest innovations in packaging and processing. A series of seminars on radio frequency identification (RFID) will bring together experts expected to outline their experiences in the food sector. A full seminar programme on innovations in consumer packaging will include speakers from Unilever, United Biscuits, Tesco and Asda. Innovation is also at the core of another series of talks on machinery design. Speakers will examine ways to meet food industry packaging needs. On the 17 May the UK's Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) will host sessions on sustainable packaging, focusing attention on ways to meet the environmental demands set by EU regulation. The processing end of the business will be showcased through displays of equipment featuring filling, refrigeration, clean room and materials handling machinery, among others. Hygienic equipment design, sterilisation techniques and computer systems will be some of the highlights of this section of the show. "Faced with shifting markets, processors are demanding filling machinery to handle different product consistencies with minimal changeover delays,"​ the PPMA said. "Investment in new technology is driven by the need to improve consumer product quality."​ Outside of the show, visitors will have lots to remind them of the power of the UK's food and drink industry. Birmingham is home to brands such as Blue Bird Toffee, Bournville cocoa and Cadbury's chocolate brands. Birds custard, Typhoo tea, and HP Sauce were also part of the mix. Last year Heinz announced it would move HP Sauce production to a plant in Holland from Aston, Birmingham. The city's ethnically diverse population also provides a ready sampling of the UK's growing reputation for good food. Birmingham is home to the Balti, introduced by the city's Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in the mid-1970s.

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