From robots to live chickens to food safety discussions: IPPE delivers

You see assembly lines and robots stacking up boxes. You hear a multitude of languages spoken all around – Italian, Spanish, English and Mandarin. You smell grilled chicken wafting through the air. Where is this fantastic place? The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia.

IPPE brings in visitors from all over the globe to see the latest in equipment, technology and services for the production and processing of eggs, meat and poultry. Segments include feed milling, hatchery, live production and food processing. At this year’s show, there were more than 1,300 exhibitors and about 32,000 attendees. Topics ranged from livestock handling to sustainability to automation. The next show will be in

2021 from January 26 to January 28.

“This was my first time attending and I was amazed at the sheer size of it!” says Leslie Horton, a 3M product development chemist. “The conference was almost 28 acres, 36 football fields, or 11 city blocks. No wonder booths could have semi-trucks and entire poultry processing lines inside without an issue!”

Leslie adds that the IPPE conference helped her gain an understanding of the entire process of raising and processing meat. “I was surprised at how many different robots are available and what they can do,” she says. Leslie heard a common theme in the technical talks she attended about how data is being used – the different ways to collect, store and analyze data to get the most from it. New technology trends like cloud storage, blockchain and machine learning can improve response times, so quality measures can be improved and recalls may be caught sooner.

Wilfredo Dominguez, a 3M microbiologist, learned some interesting facts about the poultry industry. “The price of chicken wings is being driven up by demand in restaurants and bars, while the price of breasts have dropped due to farm management and genetics. It’s estimated that by the year 2030, leg quarters will be about 60 cents per pound, deboned breasts will be about $1 per pound and wings will be $1.75 per pound.” he says. “Chicken feet were previously waste, but they are now exported to China.” He says in China people are less interested in wings and breast meat.

“There was a lot of innovation in processing on display as well as a strong interest in food safety,” says Luke Thevenet, 3M Food Safety technical sales. “There was a strong international presence with key decision-makers in attendance.”

IPPE also offers industry the opportunity to connect with USDA regulatory personnel, and with new regulations on the horizon, interest was at a peak. “The good news is that 3M has testing solutions to help processors meet these new standards,” he adds.

Attendees who visited the 3M booth were given access to a  white paper about food safety. Couldn’t attend? You can still access the information by visiting the link below.

Read how 3M molecular technology helps you monitor your poultry processing operation for both Campylobacter and Salmonella pathogens simultaneously in one easy-to-use, accurate process that’s tailored for your business. GET THE WHITE PAPER.