Digitisation and sustainability, set to feature centre stage at Alimentaria FoodTech 2023

Alimentaria FoodTech, which will be held from 26 to 29 September 2023 at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue, will showcase the latest trends and innovations in technology at the service of the food industry, a large number of which are linked to digitisation and sustainability. Thus, the main companies in the sector will display a wide range of products representing all the major players in their value chain. The event will also rely on the collaboration and support of fifteen of the most important associations and research centres in the sector.

Alimentaria FoodTech is confirming its position as the leading international trade show in Europe for machinery, technology and ingredients, one that integrates the production, transformation and preservation value chain of the food and beverage industry. Proof of the above is that, just over four months before the event is to be held, 85% of its 32,000 m2 of exhibition space has already been hired. It’s expected to bring together a total of more than 350 exhibiting companies (of which more than a hundred will participate for the first time) and around a thousand represented firms.

In this regard, leading companies from the sector have confirmed their attendance, including Handtmann, Vaessen Schoemaker, Weber and Impag Iberia (Alimentaria FoodTech sponsors), as well as Dordal, Roser, Pujolàs, Frontmatec Intecal, Mimasa and Haratek, among many others. Similarly, the trade show will be supported by leading entities in the foodtech field, including Amec Alimentec, the multi-sectoral association of companies, the Spanish Federation of Food and Drink Industries (FIAB) and the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA).

The area with the most products will be the one displaying equipment for the meat sector, while ingredients will gain prominence. In terms of origin, it is estimated that about 20% of the exhibitors will be international ones from 13 countries, chiefly Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

The value chain of the entire industry, represented
With the aim of offering solutions for the food and beverage production industry, ranging from raw materials to commercial distribution, Alimentaria FoodTech will be divided into nine sectors: Processing, Ingredients, Packaging and Labelling, Industry 4.0, Food Safety, Refrigeration, Handling, Storage and Logistics, Industrial and Ancillary Services and Smart Agro. The latter, a newly created one, will bring together all the digitisation, automation and sensorisation technology applied to the production of raw materials with a view to improving resource efficiency, productive sustainability and food safety.

Ricardo Márquez, the director of Alimentaria FoodTech, highlighted that “Alimentaria FoodTech is a highly anticipated trade show, as the industry needs this meeting point more than ever before to reinforce its business relationships and generate new ones. It’s the only event on the Iberian mainland that can boast such a wide and cross-cutting business offer and such a broad representation of the leading companies in the sector”.

The trade show will emphasise the evolution of the food technology industry towards digitised and automated machines that exchange information between the different points in the chain. Together with digitisation, sustainability will be another key pillar, one that will be evident in the range of packaging, with consumables made of different materials, machines designed to achieve-greater energy savings and solutions to minimise food waste.

With the goal of expanding abroad, Alimentaria FoodTech will host the Hosted Buyers programme, aimed chiefly at importers and distributors of machinery, as well as producers and buyers from the agri-food and beverage sector in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia. The trade show’s organising committee and Amec Alimentec have therefore invited more than a hundred high-level buyers, 75 of which are international, from over 25 countries. These professionals are expected to hold around 800 scheduled business meetings with the exhibitors.

An innovation and business hub
This year, the trade show’s activities area will acquire new momentum with FoodTech Innovarena, a key meeting point for the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems to popularise disruptive projects. Within the same space, Speakers’ Corner will present the initiatives of technological and research centres, startups and the exhibiting firms through talks.

FoodTech Innovarena will also host the third Innova and Emprende awards, which will once again respectively encourage and acknowledge research and business drive. The four winning startups at the FoodTech Emprende Awards will be assigned a specific exhibition area in the hub.

There will also be room for Ingrenova, the exhibition area for intermediate food products that add value to the production and transformation of food and drinks, which will enjoy greater visibility this year. It’s an area with display cases in which exhibitors of innovative ingredients and additives will be able to present their leading products on an individual basis. Similarly, the companies participating in Ingrenova will be able to display their products to the public by means of 15-minute sessions in the Speakers’ Corner of FoodTech Innovarena.

Meanwhile, the Barcelona Biofilm Summit congress on food safety will be held, during which the latest advances in the detection and control of biofilms at food production plants will be explained.

These are adherences of microorganisms to work surfaces for food production, a source of contamination that can impair the quality of the product, reduce its useful life and pose a risk to consumers’ health. In addition to constituting one of the biggest food safety problems for the industry, the presence of biofilms in the processing environment has a major economic impact associated with the loss of production batches, returns and claims. The congress sessions will provide the participants with control and risk management strategies to deal with biofilms.

Barcelona, 18 May 2023

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Susana Santamaria
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