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Gulfood Manufacturing Foodtech Summit Kicks Off In Dubai On November 7th

The conference will look at the introduction of next-gen technologies into the industry like blockchain and AI to transform F&B manufacturing facilities into smart factories and how that will potentially advance the industry.

The Gulfood Manufacturing Foodtech Summit is launching at the Dubai World Trade Centre on November 7th and 8th. “Understanding, listening, and participating in consumer understanding is crucial to keeping abreast of the rapidly changing food and beverage landscape," says Karen Stanton, director of Global Marketing and Branding of International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), a leading innovator of scent, taste and nutrition. Stanton will address the summit on the "Future of Taste" examining seismic consumer trust shifts, resource constraints, and case studies of emerging trends with her transformational forecast.

"It’s not enough to do a couple of focus groups or product tests to understand the nuances of these shifts - we need to have knowledge of the drivers behind the change and shifts in lifestyle - all of these help us to predict the future direction,” says Stanton. 

The summit will bring together international food and beverage (F&B) experts and industry leaders, key decision makers and innovators to discuss the global F&B market developments and the latest solutions that will help the industry improve efficiency, productivity, and quality. The conference will look at the introduction of next-gen technologies into the industry (blockchain, AI, robotics…etc) to transform F&B manufacturing facilities into smart factories and how that will potentially advance the industry. “Consumers are in a new information battlefield - navigating an increasingly chaotic and complex matrix of information, influence and trust. Traditional sources of information will deteriorate and to establish credibility, brands will need to prioritise trust and transparency in this new world,” says Stanton. The programme will also explore how the public and private sector can secure food for the future and to what extent F&B industry can innovate and create alternative food supply and resources.

The summit is part of the Gulfood Manufacturing exhibition, the region’s biggest food and beverage processing industry event, bringing together over 35,000 visitors and 1,600 suppliers from 60 countries showcasing the latest F&B manufacturing business improvement tools.

“Rapidly changing consumer expectations are placing companies under increasing pressure to turn around ever more customised products within the shortest possible time, and all to an optimum, consistent standard of quality. The key to successfully addressing this challenge is digitalization; it allows companies to simulate, test and optimise products, production processes and plants in a virtual environment on the basis of a “digital twin,” explained .

Siemens will demonstrate how manufacturers can use the digital twin of a product, machine or a whole plant to generate added value. “When creating a recipe for a new product, for instance, data relating to the ingredients is transferred directly to the label, taking into account legal regulations. This is made possible by the Teamcenter shared data platform. Using the plant’s digital twin, it is also possible to test planned changes and the effects these may have on production. This capability permits industries to significantly increase innovation speed and boost productivity, and also to take the lead in defining whole new business models,” says Siemens’ Vice President Digital Factory Division Athar Siddiqui.

US ingredients provider Ingredion is bringing its ‘Tour of Tasty Trends’ to the Gulfood Manufacturing 2018 with culinologists presenting the latest trends incorporating new ingredients as well as clean-label solutions. The Tour, says Esen Kural, Regional Sales Manager, Ingredion Middle East, will be a manufacturers’ survival guide to the transformational era.

“It will show food and drink manufacturers how they can overcome processing challenges and meet consumer and industry demands, while retaining the deliciousness of their products. Ingredion’s on-stand concepts will tackle challenges including specific health and nutritional requirements, affordability and attaining the perfect consumer-winning texture,” he said.

Ingredion has already invested in the region with Dubai being home to one of its Idea Labs – a network of global innovation centres – which, says Kural, has given it unique regional industry insights and opportunity alerts.

“Many trends underpin the burgeoning food and drink industry across the Middle East. In the dairy industry, we continue to see the dominance of indulgence but with a strong focus on texture. Here, if dairy goods can’t maintain their stability and eating consistency in extreme weather conditions, such as intense heat, then it isn’t worth the indulgence of purchasing,” he added.

The show will feature Innovation Demos to ensure that visitors, including some of the 2,000 C-level executives being hosted on its Big Buyers programme, get deep insights into the technology on offer. The tours will take in the show’s five dedicated sectors - Ingredients, Processing, Packaging, Automation & Controls, and Supply Chain Solutions. Ten awards will be presented following assessment by a panel of independent judges and will reward and recognise innovation across the entire industry eco-system from ingredients, to technology, waste prevention to customer service, packaging and marketing.


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