Process and Operations

The Future of Food Processing in Greener Processing, Cleaner Labels, Higher-Quality Food

Food processes promise greener processing, cleaner labels and higher-quality food.

By Bob Sperber, Plant Operations Editor, and Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Food & beverage processors are eager find safer, faster and more cost-effective ways to operate. And machinery vendors with technological innovations are equally eager to prove their mettle.

Even recession can’t dampen innovation, as recent technological developments prove.

We’ve culled trade shows, demonstrations and press conferences of the past year or so and kept a running list of machines and processes that impressed us as innovative, efficient or just plain clever.

Actually, all of these should be called technologies, not just machines. And all but one of these has yet to enjoy good penetration in at least the U.S. food & beverage market. If any of you have experiences, good or bad, with them, we’d love to hear from you. Send an e-mail to


Click on the technologies listed  Bearing Isolationist
on the right to learn more about them. High Pressure Beats the Heat
Shaka process  Shaking Up Retorting
Mixing at the Speed of Sound Mixing at the Speed of Sound
Dehydrating Machine A New Way of Dehydrating














Note to Management
In a tough economy like this, it’s time to hold the line on spending and to be especially cautious of leading-edge technology. Right?
History’s full of companies that leapt ahead of competitors by increasing spending, especially on innovation, during down times. Jim Carroll (, author and innovation consultant, recalled a speaking engagement in which he followed the CEO of a global restaurant chain, who spoke for a brief but powerful 20 minutes.
“For the first minute, he spoke about the global economy and the meltdown. He then spent the next 19 minutes identifying eight growth opportunities and how this organization could do great things if they relentlessly obsessed over them.
“How cool is that?” asks Carroll. “All these other companies are retrenching, pulling back, and here’s a guy who's saying to his team, ‘Let’s focus on growth.’ ”
He says growth plans and strategic if judicious spending is mandatory for managing during a downturn. Companies that aren’t paralyzed by total spending freezes can get the jump on those competitors who are. And when the economy is back on track a year or whatever from now, Carroll says only then will we be able to point to companies and say which ones lagged and failed and which ones “took risks and did great things.”