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While it is impossible to predict what food processing plants of the future are going to look like, there are a few trends that will certainly play a significant role for the future of the industry. According to Food Processing, sustainability and technology are the two key features that will shape the food processing industry in the years ahead.

Sustainability is not so much about environmental issues as efficiency on all levels. Efficiency comes with lower spending and optimized production, meaning that the food processing plants of the future are likely to be operated by fewer people and will be smaller but smarter. This allows more flexibility in terms of production capacity and diversification.

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Food Processing explains that regional production is another key trend that is likely to gain more ground in the future. Transporting goods halfway across North America is no longer an option, not only because it is not economically viable but also because of the carbon emissions associated with moving goods long distances.

Meanwhile, production will be made more secure and reliable. Plants are being fitted with solar panels and diesel generators to make sure production is not affected by potential power outages. As technologies develop, new machines provide more precision and standardization of processes. Newer equipment features updated designs, making it easier to sanitize and ensuring that plants meet higher safety requirements. In the future we are also likely to see more machines that clean themselves, the website noted.