It is an absolute thrill to introduce myself as the new editor in chief of Food Engineering. I have had the pleasure of covering this industry professionally for two years and met many of you at the past couple of Food Automation & Manufacturing Conferences or other industry events.

However, my interest in food and beverage production started almost 20 years ago, when I began a gluten-free diet. I never thought that gluten-free would become such a powerhouse trend. Back then, when I would dine out and tell waitresses that I could not eat bread, pasta or anything with wheat in it, they would look at me like I had two heads. How the free-from world has changed!

In my experience, reading labels sparked an interest in processed foods’ ingredients and how they were manufactured. I believe this is why the clean label movement has gained such steam in a short period of time. What I did not know is how hard the food industry has worked to completely alter processes to accommodate consumers’ changing needs. The way processors meet the challenges thrown at them every day never fails to impress me.

My goal and pledge is to continue the magazine’s gold standard of delivering pertinent and accurate information and analyses on all of our platforms. Additionally, we are in the midst of planning a fabulous FA&M Conference for next April. As most of you know, the highlight of the show is to honor the Plant of the Year winner; this year, we are adding our brand-new Sustainable Stars Awards, which will also be featured. I am excited about installing this program to recognize food and beverage plants for their outstanding sustainability programs and/or projects. To find more information and apply, please visit our website, and while you are there, be sure to check out all the other news and articles we offer online.