The Tortilla Industry Association hosted its 19th annual convention and expo.
Attendees converged on the Tortilla Industry Association's (TIA) 19th annual convention and trade expo in Las Vegas last month. Bakers and equipment and ingredient suppliers were given ample opportunity to network and discuss issues pertinent to the industry. The event opened with a welcome reception atop Bally's north tower, offering a spectacular view of Las Vegas' strip.
TIA held its annual business meeting during the first morning of the conference. The meeting was conducted by David Brickner, TIA president. Brickner and other board members discussed the association's projects and initiatives for 2009.
Two individuals who made significant contributions to the torilla industry were inducted into TIA's Hall of Fame posthumously. Roberto Borrego Sr., who founded El Popo Tortilla Factory, San Antonio, was among the first to employ state-of-the-art tortilla equipment in his business. He also designed a pneumatic flour press and was the first to install a horitzontal wrapping machine using polycoated paper.
Joseph Baca was one of the founders of El Encanto Inc. d.b.a. Bueno Foods, Albuquerque, N.M., one of the first U.S. processors to commercialize Mexican food. Under Baca's leadership, Bueno Foods was the first company to introduce corn and flour tortillas into the retail and foodservice markets in New Mexico, all the while using process techniques mimicking traditional stone ground methods of tortilla making.
Several technical sessions were held in the mornings before the trade show floor opened. Among these sessions were discussions about achieving optimum tortilla performance; improving consistency and stability of tortillas during processing; increasing dough yields and developing business strategies to maximize your company's performance during tough economic times.
More than 80 ingredient and equipment suppliers exhibited at TIA's expo, giving vendors and bakers an opportunity to discuss issues currently affecting their businesses.