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Thermal processing conference

Thermal processing conference

17-18 June 2020

Member: £550 + VAT / Non-member: £650 + VAT

Group discounts available on request. Contact Sian Twinning

Important information about Campden BRI events

All on-site training courses and seminars due to be held between 23rd March and 31st July are being rescheduled for August onwards. You can still register interest and we will notify you of rescheduled dates. You will not be charged until the event takes place. For enquiries please contact +44(0)1386 842104


Our biennial thermal processing conference is back and brings with it a distinguished line-up of international speakers who will provide delegates with a thorough understanding of (almost) all things related to thermal processing. This time its focus will be on the latest academic, industrial and regulatory aspects of producing commercial heat-preserved foods.

The key benefits attendees will gain from this conference include:

  • understanding current and future challenges in the thermal processing sector
  • keeping up to date with upcoming regulatory and compliance requirements
  • staying current with new validation methods for difficult processes, and
  • understanding the new and emerging process improvement and optimisation tools for thermal processing

Presentations will cover the topical aspects that govern the safety and quality of thermally processed foods, while technical sessions will be divided into the following themes:

  • food safety needs, including retailer and manufacturer perspectives
  • novel approaches and research activities in thermal processing, and
  • the challenges and opportunities for the international thermal processing arena

With speakers from the USA, Belgium, France, Norway, South Africa and the UK, this conference is set to be a truly international event to ensure that delegates receive a range of perspectives from varying industries, retailers and academic backgrounds.

Speakers include Simon Dale from Ella’s Kitchen who will cover thermal processing from a manufacturing perspective, and Campden BRI’s microbiology ambassador Roy Betts who will talk about a microorganism’s ‘view’ of heat processes and how to avoid them.

The event is most suitable for technical managers and directors, food manufacturers, retailers, regulatory professionals and thermal process authorities.

Who should attend

Technical managers and directors, food manufacturers, retailers, regulatory professionals, thermal process authorities

Benefits of attending

  • understanding current and future challenges in the sector
  • keeping up to date with upcoming regulatory and compliance requirements
  • process improvement and optimisation tools for thermal processing – what’s new and emerging?
  • new validation methods for difficult processes

Event Director

Martin George


Time Presentation
Day 1
09:45 Registration and arrival refreshments
10:00 Welcome and Chairman's introduction
Andy Davies, Kraft Heinz
10:10 Keynote presentation

"Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself." - a microorganisms view of heat processes and how to avoid them

Roy Betts, Campden BRI
10:50 Refreshment break and opportunity to visit the exhibits
11:10 Retailer perspective - what makes a gold standard thermal process supplier
  • coop history of food integrity and current technical strategy
  • what we see in the worldwide supply chain
  • what makes a gold standard supplier?
Rachael Gray, Coop
11:45 When thermal processes go wrong – The impact on an SME business

This talk will focus on a real life example of what happens when something goes wrong with a thermal process, the outcomes of the failure, how an SME business can investigate the issues and implement correctives actions. It will also review what the businesses involved learnt from the failure and what system have been put in place as they have grown over the subsequent years.

Simon Dale, Ella’s Kitchen
12:30 What’s new from the sponsors
12:35 Lunch in the exhibition area meet our sponsors and visit displays
13:35 TOP in-pack RF but also in-line RF
Wouter de Heij, TOP BV
14:10 Thermal processing lite - how pasteurising is treated differently in the beverage industry
Robin Thorn, Suntory
14:45 Refreshment break
15:05 Challenges faced by a vegetable canner
Antoine Cazier, Bonduelle
15:40 Canned food two centuries smarter
  • Introduction to Tetra Pak and Tetra Recart concept
  • Why do we believe that Tetra Recart is two centuries smarter?
Jonas Lindh, Tetra Recart AB
16:15 Close of day 1 and site tours
Conference dinner
19:30 Conference dinner
Day 2
09:30 Registration
09:45 Chairman's introduction
Chris Holland, Holmach
09:50 Modeling of heat and mass transfer in fish during thermal processing including semi-empirical prediction of shrinkage
Marthe Jordbrekk Blikra, Nofima
10:25 Thermally processed bread and cake
Gary Tucker, Campden BRI
11:00 Practical solution to thermal validation with the help of modelling tools
Christopher Hunter, AB World Foods
11:35 Refreshment break; visit exhibits
11:55 A review of the causes of spoilage in canned food in South Africa over the past 20 years

Nampak R&D have been assisting canneries solve and overcome their spoilage problems for the past 74 years. They are in a unique situation to be able to examine a broad range of canned foods processed in a diverse variety of canneries. They are in an exclusive position to be able to identify the most common pitfalls experienced by canneries; and how offer solutions on how to overcome them. In this study we summarize the many causes of non-stability of canned foods over the past 20 years.

The summarized results from 20 years of data will be shared and the lessons learned discussed.

Susan Featherstone, Consultant
12:30 Safe thermal processes - 100 years and counting

In the first twenty years of the twentieth century, there were significant scientific developments in the area of thermal processing reported in the literature and applied in practice. These concepts have been refined over the past 100 years as scientific and computational methods have evolved; however, interestingly many of the concepts and data reported in that era are still very relevant to our work today as thermal processing specialists.

This presentation will attempt to highlight the basis and significance of understanding the kinetics of microbial destruction. Particularly as they apply to General Method calculations used to describe and predict them in both in-container and aseptic processing methods utilized to achieve commercial sterility.

Ian Britt, IFTPS
13:05 Process validation using micro-organisms
Rob Limburn, Campden BRI
13:40 MFR short thermal processing study results
David Whittaker, Campden BRI
14:15 Closing remarks from the Chairman
14:20 Lunch in the exhibition area meet our sponsors and visit displays
15:00 Close of conference


  • Gary Tucker, Campden BRI

    Gary Tucker is Head of the Baking and Cereal Processing Department at Campden BRI and has worked for the company since 1989. He studied Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University and is a chartered chemical engineer. He has an MPhil for work in the measurement of rheological properties of foods and a PhD for work related to time–temperature integrators.

    The Department of Baking and Cereal Processing aims to combine science and technology in order to provide technical support for the international baking and cereal processing industries. The success of the Department is based on a broad, practical experience of cereal and bakery technologies that enables it to help customers resolve ingredient and processing problems, and to measure ingredient and product quality.

    Gary’s areas of expertise include:

    • Heat processing, oven cooking and process calculation methods
    • Oven heat transfer
    • Time–temperature integrators for pasteurisation and sterilisation
    • Bakery technology and processing
    • Energy reduction in baking
  • Dr Roy Betts, Campden BRI

    Dr Roy Betts is Head of Microbiology at Campden BRI, and currently manages a large team of scientists and technicians. He is a recognised expert in food microbiology and related issues having developed the research area of rapid methods therefore giving Campden BRI an international reputation as a scientific centre of excellence within the microbiological field.

    Roy regularly lectures on Microbiological risks to foods, microbiological test methods, pathogens and risk in food manufacture. He regularly visits and assesses both laboratories and production sites for good operating practices and is frequently involved in troubleshooting and microbiological root cause analysis.

    Dr Roy Betts is a valued member of many committees including:

    • British Standards Institute AW 9 Committee, Methods for the Microbiological of Foods and Animal Feeds
    • Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Analytical Chemists (AOAC) Research Institute
    • Chairman of the MicroVal General Committee for European microbiological method validation.
    • Expert reviewer for the AOAC RI for microbiological test methods
    • Member of ISO TC34/SC9 WG3 – Validation of microbiological methods
    • Member of International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), "Risk Analysis in Food Microbiology Task Force"
    • Member of the ILSI sub group on "Industrial Microbiological Risk Assessment”
    • Member of the FDF Food Hygiene Committee.
    • Member of the UK Advisory Committee for the Microbiological Safety for Foods

    With an International reputation as an expert in food microbiology he has received personal invitations to speak at international symposia in the US, Australia, New Zealand, India, Korea, China and throughout the EU and regularly prepares papers for leading publications. Roy has presented over 100 publications/papers on food microbiology in journals and at Symposia.

    In his spare time Roy enjoys long distance trail and fell running.

  • Rachael Gray, Coop

    Rachael Gray started her retail career with the Coop in 1997 having spent ten years specialising in the non-food area Rachael transitioned into the ambient food area completing a degree in food science at Reaseheath College.

    For the last 12 years Rachael has looked after technical for all ambient grocery areas specialising in thermal processing for the last five years.

    Rachael’s current focus is delivering the technical vision for Coop “to be the UK’s most trusted own brand proposition renowned for our quality safety and Integrity”.

  • Simon Dale, Ella’s Kitchen

    Simon has worked in the food industry for over 30 years, working as a butcher as an 18 year old before training as a Meat Inspector. After this humble beginning in the industry he achieved a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Food Technology, with his dissertation focused on modelling thermal heat transfer coefficients in swept surface heat exchangers. Post university Simon has worked for many companies from large multinationals to small entrepreneurial start-ups in various sectors of the industry. During this time he has achieved numerous industrial qualifications and was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology in 2005.

    This wide experience eventually led to Simon running a consultancy funded by the UK Government which was tasked with identifying and supporting entrepreneurs in the South East of England who had business ideas with the potential for rapid and high value growth. It was during this time that he first met Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen. Simon worked with Paul for a number of years, supporting the growth of Ella’s Kitchen from an idea to a rapid growth business, finally joining the team as a permanent employee in 2009. Since joining Ella’s Kitchen Simon has focused on the manufacture of thermally processed wet baby food products, becoming the company’s expert in all forms of thermal processing.

  • Robin Thorn, Suntory

    Robin Thorn has worked in Thermal Processing for over 20 years, initially at Campden BRI, in the areas of process validation and training, before moving to Suntory Beverage and Food Europe in 2010. In SBFE he has worked on new product introduction and small-scale development processes and is currently managing the pilot plant in Coleford.

  • Marthe Jordbrekk Blikra, Nofima

    Marthe J. Blikra focused on optimization of heat processing of cod in her PhD work, including mapping of temperature-dependent biochemical changes and physics-based modeling of transfer phenomena using COMSOL Multiphysics. The PhD was performed as a collaboration between DTU Food Production Engineering and Nofima Process Engineering (2017-19). Her background prior to the PhD is within biochemistry and chemical engineering. She is currently employed as a post-doc at Nofima focusing on processing of seaweeds.

  • Rob Limburn, Campden BRI

    Rob Limburn is a graduate in Microbiology from the University of Aberdeen. He is currently working in Campden BRI’s microbiology department in the Heat Resistance and Decontamination Group. This group is primarily involved in member funded and contract research into microbiological validation, optimisation and problem solving in the area of thermal processing and decontamination.

    Rob is currently involved in member funded projects investigating the use of surrogate organisms in thermal process validation and the validation of thermal processes applied to low Aw commodities.

  • David Whittaker, Campden BRI

    David Whittaker is a thermal processing specialist with an all-round knowledge of thermal processing across many sectors of the food industry - particularly in chilled, acidified and heat preserved food and beverage manufacturing. David originally studied Chemistry at the University of Liverpool and went on to complete a Chemical and Food Engineering Masters at the University of Birmingham, which is where his passion for food processing originally stems. Since then, David has worked in technical roles within the food industry, initially at a beverage and flavouring manufacturer and then within chilled food, where the processing of fresh, ready to eat dips, snacks and meals were his main focus.

    David is currently working in the Food Manufacturing Technologies department at Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) and his day-to-day activities involve providing advice, calculations, and trouble-shooting services to Campden members, contributing to numerous Campden BRI training courses and managing complex projects relating to thermal processing. A number of the projects David works on involve thermal validation at manufacturer’s sites, and hence David has an excellent working knowledge of thermal processing across different sectors as well as understanding the theory underpinning it.

  • Ian Britt, IFTPS

    Ian Britt has 35 years experience in food processing and packaging technologies. He has worked on the design and modification of commercial and pilot-scale retorts for overpressure processing and has studied temperature distribution, heat transfer and energy consumption in still and rotary retort systems. His work on understanding thermal processing has had a special emphasis on thin profile flexible and semi-rigid plastic packaging.

    Ian spent much of his career conducting industrially focused R&D in university settings. More recently, he has divided his time between his role as Executive Director of the Institute For Thermal Processing Specialists (IFTPS), professional development training, and consulting. Ian holds bachelor and masters degrees in engineering from the University of British Columbia and a doctorate in food science from Dalhousie University.

  • Susan Featherstone, Consultant

    Susan is currently working as a consultant in the food industry and has 30 years’ experience in this arena. She has a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Microbiology from the University of Cape Town, and B.Sc. (Medicine) Honours in Immunology from the University of Cape Town Medical School. Susan is a registered Professional Scientist with the South African Council for Scientific Professionals (SACNASP) and a Professional Member of SAAFoST (South African Association of Food Science and Technology).

    Susan's previous role was Technical Manager: Food and Beverage at Nampak R&D where she provided scientific and technical support to Nampak’s customers in the food industry in South Africa and much of the rest of Africa. As part of her role, Susan was responsible for the Thermal Processing Services of R&D and carried out much of the technical training that R&D provided to the industry. Susan's areas of expertise include food science, packaging technology, processing technology and thermal processing.

    Susan has written a number of papers for journals and trade magazine. She co-authored the book ‘Essentials of Thermal Processing’ and have revised the 14th edition of the fabulous series of three books entitled “A Complete Course in Canning".

  • Christopher Hunter, AB World Foods

    Chris has been involved in the food industry for >10 years and has been a member of the International Food Thermal Processing Specialists for >5 years. In 2008, Chris gained the Margaret Weddle Prize for the best overall performance at Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1st class Honours in Food Science and Human Nutrition. He took an unconventional route into thermal validation, working at Nimrod products from 2004 within manufacturing and later worked for the NHS’s Dietetic Department in Cheshire before joining ABWF in 2011, where Chris gained his experience and knowledge in thermal processing. During the last 9 years as Process Authority, Chris has been heavily involved in the development process of NPD, creating and optimising canned retort processes, improving in-pack pasteurisation processes and hot-filling.

Please note that copies of the presentations will not be available on the day but will be emailed within a few days of the event as an electronic download in PDF format.

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