Not that long ago, Smarter ways to produce food the idea of a robot helping out in the kitchen was the stuff of sci-fi movies. But after a handful of them set up shop at the inaugural FoodTech Queensland, it’s clear they are set to become a practical and affordable element of any busy food business.
From automated production machinery to point of sale systems, technology has become an integral part of the food industry, and strong interest from the baking sector suggests there’s plenty of innovation on the horizon.
Hosted by Diversified Communications, the organisers behind Find Food Australia and a swag of other food industry events, the three-day event was specifically created to support the state’s strong food manufacturing industry – and more than 3000 visitors turned out to see what was on offer.
The use of robots and how their impact will affect the industry was a popular talking point on the show floor. Dual arm robot YuMi, from HMPS and ABB Group, astounded visitors with its ability to solve a Rubik’s cube unaided, demonstrating its autonomous capabilities and ability to repeat tasks without error or boredom.
Meanwhile, Wiley’s Brett Wiskar used the company’s new Kuka robot to discuss how the use of technology, along with data and innovation, can feed hungry markets and the growing demand for food and drink.
Food safety was also a key issue for the industry, with exhibitors showcasing a range of protective clothing from non-slip shoes to specialised blades. And, with utility bills soaring, it wasn’t a surprise energy efficient technology was also a trend, backed up by clean and green solutions to reducing wastage.
The show wasn’t all about high-tech solutions. A series of seminars ran for the duration of the event, discussing everything from the importance of pH for flavour and texture, ingredients to watch, food safety program validation, and the impact of listeria on the industry.