ProSweets Cologne 2018
with a Broad Alignment
With over 300 exhibitors, ProSweets Cologne 2018, the international supplier fair for the sweets and snacks industry, is as usual presenting itself with a broad alignment. In addition to the leading suppliers from the supplier industry, once again numerous smaller and medium-sized companies are represented at the trade fair. These are particularly essential for special solutions within the production processes. Beyond this, the coming ProSweets Cologne will also underline the significance of the packaging and technology section. Among others, together with the Fraunhofer Institute and designers, Koelnmesse is organising the "Function meets Design" special event. Acknowledged experts will also be addressing various themes from the packaging section in the lecture programme. In addition, in the scope of ISM, the world's largest trade fair for sweets and snacks, which is being staged parallel once more, the "ISM Packaging Award powered by ProSweets Cologne" will be conferred again.
Packing plays a decisive role in the production process of sweets and snacks. The freshness and quality aspects of the in some cases sensitive products have to be integrated into the packing concept. The experts from the Fraunhofer Institute - Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies (EMFT) - have described several important basic prerequisites.
For instance, if one asks the consumers particularly the sensory characteristics count when it comes down to food. Soft or crunchy, juicy or crumbly, creamy or chunky: The consumer always expects these differences in top fresh quality. Fraunhofer researchers are working on new solutions that enable the degree of freshness of foodstuffs and the consumers' expectations to be determined fast and clearly. The challenge here: Each foodstuff behaves differently and ages differently - depending on the storage conditions and depending on its respective sensory characteristics such as texture and aroma. Suitable detection strategies for such changes can thus be a highly complex matter. Targeted strategies are necessary.
Furthermore, the individual framework conditions across the process chain decisively influence the actual durability. For instance storage conditions have to be precisely adhered to from the manufacturer through to the consumer.
At the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies (EMFT) and at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packing IVV, experts have been working on intelligent sensor systems and methods to record the sensory characteristics and the enjoyment value of foodstuffs for years. They aim to show the consumer, but also the manufacturer, the degree of freshness and the optimum sensory condition of foodstuffs "at a glance".
A possible approach could for example be the integration of indicator dyes in the packaging, which show that a foodstuff is no longer edible by changing colour or that the specific sensory demands in terms of the enjoyment value are no longer fulfilled. In this way, scientists from the Fraunhofer EMFT together with their colleagues at the Fraunhofer IVV have developed a corresponding indicator system for rancidity. The basic principle of the studies are sensory materials, which by changing their characteristics indicate the presence of certain substances, which arise when food has gone off or has undergone sensory changes that limit the enjoyment value of a foodstuff.
The scientists at the Fraunhofer IVV are researching into what aspects really count to provide a taste experience. The information about the degree of freshness of a foodstuff is for instance indicated by a simple change in colour. Current concepts of the Fraunhofer developments refer to the electrical data output and its digitalisation. This provides manufacturers of foodstuffs, but also the end customers with new possibilities of predicting and also tracing the condition of packed food.
Storage processes can be very different for different foodstuffs. There is not going to be a universal sensor and detector unit in future, which can be generally implemented for all foodstuffs across the board. Change processes happen already for instance for different fat contents in food. The actual challenge for the researchers thus involves carrying out an individual perishing or quality analysis for different foods and using these to find suitable detection methods.
Furthermore, the event programme of ProSweets Cologne also includes lectures on packing themes among others by the expert platform Confectionerynews.com in the scope of the "Speakers Corner" format. Packing is also a theme on the Expert Stage of the accompanying ISM. Especially the market research institute, Innova Market Insights, will present the current status quo as well as forward-looking packing solutions to the interested listeners of both trade fairs.
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh