Food is Life at Gulfood Manufacturing "Food Wall"
At Gulfood Manufacturing, Dubai, the biggest food show in Africa and the Middle East, we decided to do something different to engage visitors. Steam Infusion is a revolutionary heating and mixing process, and from previous shows in the UK we recognised we need food manufacturers to think creatively and differently about their manufacturing processes. So to break down barriers and to get people thinking about what’s really important about food, we introduced them to our “food wall”. Visitors were simply asked to write what was most important about food to them on our “food wall”.
We were genuinely amazed by the excitement and engagement with the "food wall". Over the 3 days of the show, 473 people signed the wall from 70 different countries. Writing in Arabic, Chinese, English, Filipino, Hebrew, Japanese, Swahili, and Turkish to name a few. It really was a truly eclectic mix of global opinions on what’s important about food.
What we found?
Coming from the UK we were expecting people to write the commonly accepted important factors of food such as safety, quality, taste and flavour. These were key elements and many people from all over the world cited safety and taste as the most important areas to them.
But interestingly there was a real focus on the fundamental link between food and life. For instance “Food is life itself”, “Can’t live without food”, and “Africa needs more food.”
But should we have been surprised? Nestle, the biggest food manufacturer in the world, has the slogan “Good Food, Good Life,” clearly linking food to life itself and it’s true to say that without food we wouldn’t be here. But on a daily basis as engineers and food manufacturers do we make the connection between food and life in the UK?
But what’s the link with Steam Infusion?
Often at exhibitions visitors have very specific requirements about what they are looking for and to a certain extent are closed down to things outside of their remit. By simply asking visitors to write what’s important about food on the wall, we found visitors opened up much more and were in a much better position to discuss innovation.
This innovation mind-set is really important to us because often with the Steam Infusion process we are radically changing traditional manufacturing processes, for instance going from a multi stage process to a single stage faster process. Likewise we found visitors engaged much more strongly with new product development and step changes to improving flavours and taste having written on the wall.
Hot application at Gulfood
Not only were people able to write on our walls but they could taste the difference as well. On the stand, we had pots of freshly made condensed milk made using Steam Infusion which attracted a lot of interest because of the considerable difference in product quality and operational performance. Steam Infusion condensed milk suffers no burn on discolouration, has a particularly smooth texture and cuts manufacturing times by 50%. Have a look at the video below to see how we manufacture condensed milk with Steam Infusion: