The 2007 International Baking Industry Expo (IBIE) drew crowds of baking professionals to Orlando last month, as it showcased the latest equipment, ingredient and packaging solutions from nearly 650 industry suppliers.
“IBIE has always been a buying show, but we took that to a whole new level in 2007. This show proved its value as the one place baking professionals can get the resources and information they need to stay current and competitive,” says R.J. Lewis, IBIE committee chairman and president of Lewis Bakeries, Evansville, Ind.
Despite its new Orlando location, IBIE attracted a number of quality buyers and exhibitors, including 167 new exhibiting companies and a large number of international attendees. In fact, registration data showed 31 percent of registrants were from outside the United States. “Approximately 30 to 40 percent of my leads at IBIE were from international attendees. These are buyers we probably wouldn’t be able to reach any other way,” says Mike Hitt, Cambridge International, Cambridge, Md.
Post-show statistics showed 61 percent of the 15,000 registrants were owners, presidents, managers or C-level executives, and 90 percent played a role in purchasing new products or services. Many exhibitors said this IBIE attracted more key decision makers with purchasing power than conventions in years past.
“We were pretty slammed the first two days of the show, but more importantly, the quality of buyers was excellent,” says Rich Wall, Koenig Technology, Richmond, Va. “This has been the best show we’ve done in 30 years. We were able to get down to business with the key buyers in our industry.”
Highlights from the show included a display of French baguette production, from dough to finished product at the Mecatherm booth. At the Puratos booth, attendees could taste different types of sourdough bread paired with selected wines to enhance the natural flavors of each.
IBIE planners achieved one of their primary objectives by bringing the grain-based food industry together. Twenty-three percent of registrants produce cookies and/or crackers, 22 percent are retail bakers and 19 percent produce snack foods.
In addition to walking the show floor in search of new products, attendees had the opportunity to sit in on a number of baking seminars presented by AIB International, Manhattan, Kan.
Cliff Pappas, head of quality and HACCP, AIB, gave an update on allergens and spoke about developing and properly maintaining an allergen control program. He predicts sesame seeds will be added next to the list of the “Big 8” allergens.
Aaron Clanton, baking instructor, AIB, gave a presentation on fats and oils used in bakery products. Clanton provided a general overview of fats and oils, described the hydrogenation process, defined trans fatty acids and spoke of options available for reducing trans fats. Fat functionality is all about the solids’ content, notes Clanton; solids increase stability. Many of the current options available for trans fatty acid replacement have several advantages, but often, equally as many disadvantages.
New trait-enhanced oilseed cultivars may provide viable trans fat replacers if they offer enhanced stability without hydrogenation at a reasonable cost. Finding the right solution to reduce trans fats will be product and process dependent. For bakers, the type of trans fat replacment will ultimately become a balance between cost, functionality and what they want on their product label.
Extend shelf life
Another AIB instructor, Tim Sieloff, gave a seminar entitled “Formulating for Extended Shelf Life.” Sieloff stressed that shelf life is product dependent and strongly emphasized that bakers run their own shelf life tests. Factors that affect shelf life include formulation, ingredient selection, processing, packaging and handling and storage. Frozen product that is improperly packaged can become dehydrated, causing a loss in flexibility. “You have to formulate for your intended storage environment,” Sieloff says.
A variety of methods can be used to extend product shelf life. Substituting a high melt-point fat in a cake with a low melt-point fat (i.e., oil) changes the texture by increasing its softness. By increasing fat usage in a formulation, bakers can decrease the firming rate of a product, improve mouthfeel or lubricity and increase flavor retention.
The type of chemical leavening used also will impact cakes’ texture. Leaveners that raise pH produce cakes with more tender crumb, while those that lower pH produce firmer cakes. Aside from adjusting the pH through formulation, bakers can control water activity or use preservatives to extend the life of their products.
Certain process methods can impact a finished product’s shelf life. Proper baking times and temperatures will help ensure adequate moisture retention. Cooling also is a critical parameter, as product packaged too warm can be susceptible to microbial growth, and product packaged too cool may suffer from moisture loss.
Packaging also is critical when striving for extended shelf life. Methods include MAP packaging, use of oxygen scavengers, barrier films, surface washes, radition, white light, UV and frozen storage.
The next IBIE returns to Las Vegas from Sept. 26-29, 2010.