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Food Is Life for Steam Infusion at Gulfood Manufacturing

28 November 2014

At Gulfood Manufacturing 2014 held in Dubai, the biggest food show in Africa and the Middle East, OAL Group decided to do something different to engage visitors.

Steam Infusion is their revolutionary heating and mixing process, and from previous shows in the UK they had recognised the need for 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, OAL Group introduced visitors to their “food wall”.  Visitors were simply asked to write what was most important about food to them on the “food wall”.

OAL Group 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.

Jake Norman, Sales & Marketing Manager at OAL Group explained the interesting findings:
“Coming from the UK we were expecting people to write the commonly accepted important factors of food such as safety, quality, taste and flavour and many people did cite these factors.”

“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 OAL Group 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, OAL Group found visitors opened up much more and were in a much better position to discuss innovation.

This innovation mind-set is really important to OAL because often with their Steam Infusion process they are radically changing traditional manufacturing processes, for instance going from a multi stage process to a single stage faster process. Likewise visitors were much more engaged 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 the walls of the OAL Group stand but they could taste the difference as well. Pots of freshly made condensed milk made using Steam Infusion were available to try on the stand, attracting a lot of interest because of the considerable difference in product quality. Steam Infusion condensed milk suffers no burn on discolouration, has a particularly smooth texture and cuts manufacturing times by 50%. 


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