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IAFIS, FPMA to Merge, Co-locate Show with PACK EXPO

IAFIS (International Association of Food Industry Suppliers) is in the final stages of merging with the Food Processing Machinery Association (FPMA). According to IAFIS CEO Steve Schlegel, this action represents a merger of equals in which both boards and staffs are committed to creating a new association that is stronger and better equipped to serve its members' growing needs. The most significant change will be the association's co-location with PACK EXPO beginning next year with a new show called PROCESS EXPO. The show is scheduled for October 29- November 2, 2006 in Chicago. Once IAFIS and NFPA members vote on final approval, the new association should be formed by January 1, 2006. The principal objectives of the new association are to conduct trade shows and exhibitions; provide platforms for customer and supplier connections; support sanitary standards; develop programs to drive business excellence; and invest in the industry through charitable and educational foundations.

Microwavable Aseptic Product Makes American Debut

Tetra Pak and its customer, Chef Creations, have introduced the first US product in a microwavable aseptic package. The three new products, Alfredo Sauce, Hollandaise Sauce and a Classic Brown Sauce, were unveiled at the Worldwide Food Expo in Chicago last month. "This is an important first for the food industry, combining the patented barrier protection of Tetra Pak aseptic cartons with the ease and convenience associated with microwave cooking," says Jeff Kellar, vice president of strategic business development for Tetra Pak. The major difference between the Tetra Wedge Aseptic Microwavable and other aseptic packaging is the ability to microwave the product directly in the package. Tetra Pak changed the packaging material structure to make it microwavable. The package also delivers other benefits to the consumer. All the consumer needs to do is cut the package open along the dotted line, place in the microwave and heat for 45 to 60 seconds and pour to serve. The package allows for excellent microwavability, with minimal overheating in corners and edges, says the company. In addition, the product eliminates the need for pots, pans or microwavable dishes to prepare the food. This not only eliminates time from the food preparation process, it also makes for less cleanup and saves energy expended on cleaning multiple dishes. The Tetra Wedge Aseptic Microwavable packaging is a low-resource material mainly made from paperboard, a renewable resource. The Chef Creations product in Tetra Wedge Aseptic Microwavable packages will be launched in select markets this month at Stop N' Shop, Winn Dixie and Kroger stores. For more information

Avian Flu Threat to US Flocks?

While President Bush approved a $7.1 billion national strategy last week to safeguard against the danger of pandemic influenza, the US Egg Board says that US farm production is set up to help prevent the spread of Avian flu. The presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in parts of Asia and Europe has raised public concern with the safety of poultry and eggs in the US. According to the United Egg Producers, US farm production methods-where poultry is housed indoors under strict biosecurity procedures and surveillance-help prevent the spread of Avian flu. "Modern farming techniques actually prevent the spread of avian influenza," said Jeff Armstrong, dean of the college of agriculture and natural resources, Michigan State University and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of United Egg Producers. The spread of H5N1 Avian Influenza is predominant in small villages in Southeast Asia where much of the poultry is raised in open air fields that allow migratory birds to come in contact with domestic poultry, which are then sold live in village markets, explained said David Swayne, director of Southeastern Poultry Research Laboratory. This promotes maintenance of the virus and recurring infections. In addition, the open air fields are more prone to migratory bird infestations which promote the spread of the low pathogenicity virus and more recently, the high pathogenicity H5N1, which is highly fatal to poultry. Almost all eggs produced in the US originate from farms with modern cage production systems in housing that protect the flock from contact with migratory birds, predators and diseases. These indoor housing systems also help ensure all birds receive daily sufficient feed, clean air and water. In addition, these conventional cage systems allow farmers to visually inspect hens daily for any health problems or symptoms for immediate attention and treatment. Most US egg production facilities also enforce stringent biosecurity measures and strictly limit contact with humans. There have been no cases of the high pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in wild birds or commercial poultry production in the United States. In addition, says the United Egg Board, proper cooking of any poultry or poultry products would destroy any virus in the very unlikely event that it was present.

Get a life? No, get an automation strategy.

"Got milk?" "Get a life!" These popular sayings may soon be replaced, at least in food and beverage operations circles, by a new mantra: Get an automation strategy. For more:CLICK HERE

Fed Up with High Plant Energy Prices?

Learn how to control costs from Miller Brewing Manager of Energy and Utilities Melinda DeLuca. Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference April 9-12, 2006, Sanibel Harbour Resort, Fort Myers, FL Register today to reserve your placeCLICK HERE

ENERGY EXCLUSIVE: Powering Your Bottom Line

Energy, where you get it and how you use it, may impact your bottom line more this year than ever before. To learn more,CLICK HERE

Integrating CIP and Process Control

The combined system can provide information to suit regulators as well as the information to help your operation run more smoothly.CLICK HEREto for article.

Fabulous Food Plants: Molecular manipulation of milk

A major expansion last year at one of Select Milk's plants creates the ability to manufacture "nutritionally standardized milk," management's term for fluid milk that has undergone ultrafiltration to produce an enhanced nutritional content.CLICK HEREfor more.

Process control performance management

New tools help you track, trace and optimize your process.CLICK HEREfor more.

People, Plant and Industry News

Sara Lee Food & BeverageappointedKim Feilas senior vice president and chief marketing officer to lead marketing efforts for the company's retail brands in North America, including Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park and Senseo. Feil joins Sara Lee from Kimberly-Clark Corp. where she was vice president and senior marketing officer of their North Atlantic businesses.

Thermo Electron named Ken Berger as president of the company's process instruments division. Berger will be responsible for the division's $450-million business and will oversee its 2000 employees from Thermo's San Diego, CA, facility. He most recently served as president of Thermo Electron China.

Rocky Mountain Brands Inc. is expanding distribution of its bottled water products into California and Nevada. The increase in distribution will allow the company to deliver over 1 million cases of its Montaqua brand and private label products in 2006.