I have just returned from a very manic – but very productive – trip to Cologne, Germany, where I was attending the ProSweets and ISM shows.
I am no stranger to exhibitions, but the extraordinary innovation and sophisticated technologies on display at shows like these never fail to amaze me.
With around 300 ingredients, processing and packaging companies showcasing their solutions for confectionery applications at ProSweets, alongside some 1,600 exhibitors of sweets and snack products in attendance at ISM, it would be impossible to cover them all in this short blog. As such, I have selected one company/product that caught my eye in each of the following categories: packaging, ingredients and equipment.
On the packaging front, Crown’s impressive solutions that enable brands to stand out on shelf include the ability to add LED lighting to packaging, as well as – and my personal favourite – GiftTag technology, which allows a video message to be embedded onto packaging using a QR code, which is then viewable using a mobile device. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it is easy to see how the appeal of being able to record a personalised greeting on a box of chocolates, for example, can set one manufacturer apart from another.
In terms of ingredients, Barry Callebaut’s Choc37.9 stood out as a game changer. Enabling the creation of chocolate products that don’t melt – thanks to a melting profile that reaches peaks up to 4° higher than normal chocolate and more than the human body temperature – it has been developed in response to increasing consumer demand for chocolate snacks that can be carried around in handbags, for example, without spoiling during the day.
Finally onto equipment, and Katjes’ Magic Candy Factory – the world’s first food certified 3D printer for fruit gums – received the recognition it deserved, winning the first place ISM New Product Showcase award. The printer creates fruit gums in different designs, colours and flavours, which have the added benefit of being made out of natural fruit and vegetable extracts, making them vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free. Take a look at our Food & Drink Technology logo above to see the kind of thing this machine is capable of.
For more ProSweets and ISM highlights, you’ll find daily round-ups of the show in the news section of this website and there will also be a show review in the March issue of the magazine.