Equipment, systems and technology set for Gulfood Manufacturing spotlight

Gulfood manufacturing is set to return this month, with plenty of stars of the show across equipment, systems and ingredients set to make it a memorable event, as Neill Barston examines

With this year’s Gulfood Manufacturing, there will be an overarching theme of innovation, with plenty on show in terms of packaging and processing machinery breakthroughs.

The event – featuring more than 1,600 exhibitors, is anticipating record attendance, and will see a number of technically advanced systems unveiled for the sector. Among those making a welcome return to the show is Denmark’s Aasted (Hall 4 Booth C4-18), focused on continuously updating its machinery, offering customers the most advanced solutions within the chocolate, bakery and confectionery sectors.

For its part, the company will be featuring flexible equipment for dynamic production requirements of different scales, including its enrobing, tempering and depositing systems, including the Alice S extruder and depositor (below).


The business said: “Visitors stopping by our booth can expect a comprehensive assessment and the best recommendations from our experts on optimising, improving, or increasing their production without compromising the quality of the final product. We are constantly researching and working towards fulfilling the needs of small and large businesses in a changing industry; we are always up to date on the latest trends, and the protein bar is a product that is becoming more popular by the minute.

“We are addressing a high demand for innovation in the protein/energy bar market with our AliceS, an extruder and depositor capable of handling sticky, dense, and stringy medium to heavy masses. It can be used for single or double-layered protein/energy bars, enabling variations and more flexibility for our customers.”

Furthermore, the business added that in response to growing market trends and changes, there is a greater need than ever for a focus on sustainability within equipment and systems. According to the company, this is now at the top of its agenda, with its engineers working on energy-saving machinery lines, including its SuperNova Energy, a tempering machine, and Nielsen Energy enrober.

Equipment advances

Among British businesses present at the event, equipment manufacturer BCH, (trade centre arena stand S-K14) offering a large range of confectionery production solutions, including starch gel/liquorice, 100% fruit products, caramels, syrups, jams and preserves.

The company’s portfolio also extends to advanced cooking, mixing and cooling technology for the production of ambient, chilled and frozen meals, sauces, dips, sweet and savoury fillings and fruit toppings.

Furthermore, the business will be showcasing the BCH Pilot Multi-colour Extrusion Head, Pilot mixing, Cooking and Cooling System, as well as our Orbiter Mixing and Cooking System. As the firm noted, in many instances, these technologies can be deployed across both the food and confectionery sectors and adapted to our clients’ specific requirements.

The team can discuss both our standard range of equipment, as well as offering bespoke solutions for the more challenging process brief, from pilot-plant right up to large-scale production systems.

Meanwhile, Swiss-based Bühler (Hall 2 D2-18), believes this year’s event heralds some key innovations for the business. As Meryem Gharbi, marketing and business analyst for the region, says, the event offers a key platform to showcase its portfolio to MEA customers and partners. “When it comes to sweets and snacks, Middle-East is a region known for creating hotspots for new trends of healthy snacks and sophisticated consumer products and solutions. Bühler meets this need and attention with the motto “the future of food” at this year’s Gulfood.

Visitors can get inspired at the innovative Mini-Market where Bühler presents an ambitious palette of products that have been produced on their machines. “A special place also belongs to the Food Sensations where the most innovative creations of the moment are being served to visitors. Coffee enthusiasts can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee roasted whilst getting to know everything about our sustainable coffee solutions.”

In terms of ingredients, Cargill (Hall 5, B5-28) will showcase its healthy and indulgent products to industry professionals, with the theme of “Inspiration through nature, developed by experts”. Eight innovative prototypes will be presented at the Cargill booth, created from a wide range of sources, from cocoa to plant-based proteins, soluable and insoluble fibres to texturisers and tailored blends, and full-, low- and no-calorie sweeteners to a wide range of fats and oils. Its booth will also host the pastry chef’s demo shows, where INFUSE by Cargill will present its new vegan whipping cream solution.

Aalst Chocolate, which was acquired by Cargill in 2021, will be represented at the booth, too, showcasing its chocolate couverture and compound product lines. Show attendees will also experience the enhanced version of Cargill META Metaverse, an opportunity to witness – via virtual reality – how Cargill delivers inspiration through nature.

Packaging prowess
At this year’s event in Dubai, the Cama Group (Hall 2, Stand: S2-D3), will be showcasing its comprehensive technology portfolio. As the business notes, its strong innovation pipeline is owed to investing 5% of its annual turnover into research and development – which has resulted in some groundbreaking technology. Consequently, it has played a central role in terms of delivering efficiency, reliability, agility, and throughput, seeing its machines in operation from the simplest pick-and place up to some of the world’s most demanding packaging operations.


It’s in-house developed robotic solutions – tailored to the precise needs requirements of secondary packaging – are complemented by servo-driven axes and a fully data-capable control solution primed to leverage Industry 4.0 principles. The company’s technology is housed within flexible and modular frame designs, which are designed for a wide range of food industry applications, including confectionery.

Extrusion developments

Extrufood (Hall 1 S1- DD28), has established itself as a leading extrusion expert in the confectionery industry, and for 2023 is anticipating a strong year with new developments within its machinery and upcoming expansion projects. With its expertise and key experience, it supplies custom made production lines from 20 kg/hr. to up to 2.000 kg/hr., which ensures almost limitless possibilities of confectionery products. The production lines create an exciting variety with up to eight different colours and flavours, with various fillings and coatings. Extrufood has also developed a new machine which it is adding to its customised elements: a Z-blade discharge mixer with a capacity of at least 300 kgs per batch, which is ideal for the mixing and kneading of sugar paste and other masses, to be used for sugar-filled coextrusion products.

Weighing solutions
This year’s show is a key one for Ishida (Hall 3, C3-4) with the launch of a brand new range of multihead weighers will form the centrepiece of the Ishida Europe stand that is sure to drive attention. Full details will be release at the show, but Ishida says the new range, the company’s 11th generation multihead weigher, will deliver unsurpassed levels of speed and accuracy, particularly in the handling of more challenging products. The stand will also highlight some of Ishida’s other latest developments in weighing, packing and quality control solutions.

With global markets facing challenges such as labour shortages and fast-rising raw material and energy prices, Ishida will demonstrate how its equipment can help packing lines become leaner and more efficient, increasing yields, throughput and energy-efficiency while meeting the strictest quality standards of the retail sector.

Highlights include the world’s first and only single-source fully integrated snacks packing system; an entry-level multihead weigher, emphasising the breadth of Ishida’s offering in this sector; and two X-ray inspection systems from its extensive quality control solutions portfolio.

Moreover, Italian-based IMA Group, (Hall 3, S3-D34) will be presenting processing and packaging lines for the confectionery and chocolate sector. It will also be showcasing its capabilities supporting companies in the research and development of new sustainable packaging styles and materials as well as Industry 4.0 products and services.

Among its competencies are processing technologies (mixing, granulation, tableting and coating) to a full array of primary packaging solutions to pack gums, soft, chewy and hard candies and jellies, coated sweets and chocolate bars, tablets and pralines. These include wallets, cartons, tins, blisters, jars and bottles; stand-up cartons also for chocolate and nougat and any flexible pack style (from Doypacks to block bottom and quad seal bags, and pillow bags). Secondary packaging or end-of-line solutions come in the form of overwrapping, stretch and shrink wrapping, top and side-loading cartoners.

Chocolate moulding and packaging

Meanwhile, SACMI Packaging & Chocolate, Hall 3, booth S3-C34, offers complete solutions for chocolate preparation and moulding under the Carle&Montanari brand, as well as primary and secondary packaging of chocolate.

Automation, versatility, consistency with the new challenges of environmental sustainability are key considerations for the business in developing solutions designed to respond specifically to the latest market trends. Among these, the new HTB wrapping machine for chocolate tablets, a machine that revolutionises the approach to wrapping technologies, thanks to high-level electronics that replaces a purely mechanical design concept.

With HTB, the concepts of time, pressure and temperature in the sealing area become part of a continuous and adaptive flow in relation to the specific wrapping material, traditional or eco-sustainable. In addition to high performance – up to 250 tablets per minute – HTB combines maximum flexibility and accuracy of movements depending on product’s features and wrapping materials.

For its part, Germany’s packaging machinery specialist Schubert (Hall 7, stand S1-G37) will be showcasing its automation expertise in the packaging segment at the German Pavilion, alongside a total of 148 businesses from its home nation.

The company will be providing information on its technological innovations for packaging food and beverages with its modular, robot-supported space-saving machines that deliver maximum efficiency and reliability.
Schubert’s products target the highest packaging quality and optimal output at affordable price points. The business will also be presenting a wide range of packaging solutions ranging from pick and place applications to cartoners.

Australia’s tna Hall 2, stand B2-18, marks its 40th anniversary and will be demonstrating its single-source solutions capabilities at Gulfood through an immersive, interactive experience.

Co-founder Nadia Taylor (pictured during a previous visit to its Dubai offices), along with tna AMENA’s team of experts will be at hand to address any production challenges aiming to help customers stay ahead of the game. To enable attendees to fully grasp the overall design, construction and accessibility, the firm will leverage Virtual Reality to give visitors a better spatial understanding of larger products — and even end-to-end production lines.

This will include everything from tna’s high-performance batch fryers, to its distribution and packaging lines. In addition, its remote assist service which leverages augmented reality to offer enhanced digital support will also be showcased on stand.

Nadia Taylor, enthuses: “Our focus this year is to deploy the combined expertise of the team to offer innovative technology solutions that will help attendees stay ahead of the curve, and more importantly, cater to the ever-evolving demands of the food industry.

“When tna was founded, our offering was a single, innovative packaging machine (tna robag). Today, we are proud to be a single-source supplier for an entire food production line.”

Another strong equipment provider showcasing its wares this year is Walterwerk, Hall 1, S1-D28) exhibiting with the firm’s new agency for the Gulf region, called CMSS, alongside other companies including Hebenstreit.

“For Walter, the Gulfood Manufacturing exhibition in Dubai is one of the most important exhibitions in our calendar”, says Leif-Erik Blohm, area sales manager. The company is anticipating meeting many new customers and new contacts from the middle east region where the market for wafer baking machines is growing steadily.

Historically, the business remains renowned for rolled sugar cones focuses now also on confectionery products and healthy snacks. Its MARS machines for moulded wafers have proved a strong fit for the confectionery industry, since Monaka wafers can potentially be filled with several creams, ice cream or chocolate.”


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