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RIYADH: More than 400 companies from 35 countries are taking part in the first Saudi Food Manufacturing show, which opened in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Held under the patronage of Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef, the event focuses on processing, packaging and ingredients and aims to facilitate high level business deals, connections and collaborations.

Three companies that won a Saudi Food Manufacturing Award at the event — Multivac, DC Norris and Brenntag — spoke to Arab News.

Amir Sotoudeh, managing director of Multivac, said the German firm won the Best Processing Innovation Award for its TX series and smart services at Gulfood Manufacturing.

The company has had a branch office in Riyadh since 2009 and the Kingdom is the company’s largest market in the Middle East.

“Saudi Arabia is a significant market, especially in recent years, with major developments focusing on local production and manufacturing. That’s where our technology and expertise as a market leader in processing and packaging are essential.”

DC Norris is a UK-based process equipment company serving 62 countries. It provides solutions for food, dairy and beverage manufacturing and won the Best Processing Manufacturing Award.

Stuart Rigby, product and process technology manager at DC Norris, said the company’s jet cook system, which is used in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai and Azerbaijan, was able to cook meals two to three times faster than traditional methods.

“It also uses considerably less water, resulting in zero burns, requiring less cleaning and reducing costs. Additionally, it consumes up to 55 percent less energy than traditional cooking methods,” he said.

Brenntag, a 150-year-old German company, is the global market leader in chemical and ingredient distribution. It won the Best Ingredients Innovation Award.

Mahaboob Shaik, technical sales manager at Brenntag, said: “We have replicated the characteristics of regular milk-based proteins and constituents using plant-based alternatives. We’ve developed a Greek-style feta cheese made from plant-based ingredients.

“This helps to reduce allergens like milk proteins in dishes like Caesar salad. Now, when you order a salad at a restaurant, you can enjoy a plant-based cheese, which is entirely vegan.”

Several Saudi manufacturers, including Sapin, Anasia and Memco, are taking part in the show, which provides a platform for companies to exchange ideas.

Majed Al-Argoubi, CEO of the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, said: “The industrial sector is going to increase both the GDP and abilities of youth in the Kingdom.

“We are making impressive growth through Saudi Vision 2030 and Made in Saudi is remarkable for expanding cities across the country and achieving our goals.”

Among the most innovative products on display are the Novamyl BestBite from Novozymes, which improves texture and softness in baked goods while extending shelf life to reduce food waste. Others include sustainable packaging for dates from Napco, a sugar reduction method for fruit juice from Austria Juice, Lactosan, a natural culinary booster from FSL and Biopap, a range of renewable, compostable, high-performance food containers.

Pavilions from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, US, France, Turkiye and China reflect the international scope of the show, which runs until Thursday.

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