In this video series, The National Provisioner editor-in-chief Andy Hanacek discusses trends in the industry with Jorge Izquierdo of PMMI. This episode discusses the struggle of sanitizing equipment and what features processors are looking for to make that process easier and more thorough.

Andy Hanacek: Hi! Thanks for joining us for this episode of this Q&A series with Jorge Izquierdo. Jorge, thank you for joining me. Let’s get right into it. We know what keeps our readers up at night from studies and things like that, but I’m curious what the meat and poultry processors tell you at PMMI that keeps them up at night. What is top of mind for them, and what do they help you guys solve?

Jorge Izquierdo: By far, number one is sanitation and product contamination. What food processors are looking for is equipment that is easy to disassemble and assemble. Ideally, you can just wash out and it’s very simple. Trying to make it easier for food processors to guarantee the products they put on the shelves are healthy.

Hanacek: And the industry has made a lot of good strides in that, but there is still work to do there in terms of equipment design and things along those lines.

Izquierdo: Absolutely! There is an ongoing process of developing new methods or building new packaging and processing equipment, but also we are benefitting from technologies like robotics where robotics are coming with new capabilities like wash down capabilities. The process of cleaning a robot is much simpler. It adds flexibility to the line and makes it very convenient.

Hanacek: What do you see as sanitation, wash down… what is the sticking point when you walk around a Pack Expo and you look at some of the equipment? I’m not asking you to throw any of the equipment manufacturers under the bus, but is there anything you’re seeing out there that you say, “the manufacturers really got to solve that problem and get it for the processors?”

Izquierdo: The challenge out there is really about quick changeover. Yes, you can clean it and wash it down, but how long does it take do it? The challenge is how to reduce those times, so the manufacturer of the food product can take advantage of the operation time of their equipment in a better way. It’s about how to make it quickly, faster, and in the right way.

Hanacek: And tool-less?

Izquierdo: Yes, yes! It’s not just that it’s easier. Tools have several different risks. A risk of falling into the product itself or bringing some type of contamination in. So tool-less is key for food processing.

Keep an eye out and watch the rest of The National Provisioner’s video series on trends in the industry with Jorge Izquierdo of PMMI.

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