Food-Industry Machine Building

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Food-Industry Machine Building


a branch of machine building that produces industrial equipment for the food-processing industry (including meat-packing, dairy, fish, and groats enterprises), the milling and elevator industry, the concentrates industry, and various other industries. In the USSR, food-industry machine building produces equipment that is varied both in function and design. Prerevolutionary Russia had only small-scale production of equipment and just manufactured equipment for flour mills, sugar refineries, vegetable-oil mills, and distilleries; most equipment was imported.

After the October Revolution (1917), Mel’stroi, a state joint-stock company, was organized within the Supreme Council on the National Economy. Mel’stroi undertook to design, produce, deliver, and install equipment for elevators, mills, bread-baking plants, vegetable-oil enterprises, and enterprises of the confectionery industry. In 1931, Mel’stroi was reorganized as Soiuzprodmashina, which was in turn reorganized as Glavprodmash. Glavprodmash controlled 11 machine-building factories, a planning and design office, and an installation trust. During this period, industry began producing separators, pasteurizers, and butter churns for the dairy industry, vats to render fat, conveyor tables for meat-processing plants, sectioning and stuffing machines for the fishing industry, and equipment for bread-baking plants. In 1937–38 industry began to produce packaging machines and automatic canning equipment. By 1937, these measures permitted a reduction in the import of food equipment to 0.09 percent of the total requirement, and the USSR even began to export food equipment. By contrast, at the beginning of the first five-year plan (1928–32) the USSR had been purchasing about a third of its food technology abroad. The volume of production in plants belonging to Glavprodmash increased by a factor of 11.8 from 1928 to 1940. Between 1946 and 1950, more than 200 new types of machines and apparatus were constructed, and the gross production of factories making machinery for the food industry in 1950 was 252 percent of the 1940 level.

In 1965 the production of food equipment was entrusted to the Ministry of Machine Building for Light Industry, the Food Industry, and the Household Appliances Industry of the USSR. Between 1971 and 1973, the production of equipment increased by a factor of 1.3 for the food-processing industry, by a factor of 1.2 for the meat and dairy industry, by a factor of 1.3 for the milling and elevator industry, and by a factor of 1.2 for the fishing industry. The percentage of new industrial equipment in the total volume of production grew from 16 to 30 percent, and 740 test models of new equipment were produced. In 1973 the production of industrial equipment and spare parts for the food-processing, meat and dairy, and fishing industries had grown by a factor of 2.6 relative to 1960.

Food-industry machine building includes tens of machine-building enterprises, scientific research and planning and design technological institutes, and special design offices. The largest food-industry machine-building factories are the Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev machine-building associations, the Smela and Odessa machine-building factories, and the Vorovskii Machine-building Factory in Melitopol’. The main scientific research and planning and design technological institute is the All-Union Scientific Research and Experimental Design Institute for Food-industry Machine Building. Although most of these enterprises and organizations are in the European USSR, there are also plants in Western Siberia, Altai Krai, and the Soviet Far East.

Of great importance for the development of food-industry machine building is the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of September 1972 On Increasing the Production of Modern Technology for Enterprises in Light Industry and the Food-processing Industry, Trade Enterprises, Food Service Facilities, and Domestic Services Enterprises. The decree envisages introduction of advanced technology at machine-building plants, comprehensive mechanization and automation of production processes, and the equipping of plants with the newest metalworking machines. It also foresees modernization of existing plants, construction of new plants, designation of a number of organizations as base agencies responsible for testing food machines, and the furnishing of materials and special completing units. There has been an increase in the production of equipment with high unit power, highly efficient bottling lines for liquid foods, liquid separators, production lines for butter and cottage cheese, grain-cleaning machines, and diffusion and oil-extraction machines. The production of equipment used to package food products is expanding rapidly.

There has been considerable development of food-industry machine building in the other socialist countries. From 1960 to 1973, the volume of production in this sector increased by a factor of 2.1 in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), by a factor of 4.8 in the Polish People’s Republic (PPR), and by a factor of 4 in the Socialist Republic of Rumania (SRR). The member countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) produce equipment for practically all branches of the food industry; the equipment is technologically on a high level and is in demand on the world market. The GDR produces packaging machines and equipment for the confectionery and dairy industries. The People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the SRR produce equipment for the canning and wine-making industries. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic manufactures equipment for the meat and dairy industry and the brewing industry and the PPR produces equipment for the sugar industry.

Food-industry machine building is modern and on a high level in the economically developed capitalist countries. The production of particular items is especially developed in certain countries. The USA is advanced in the production of packaging machines, canning lines, equipment for the sugar and meat-processing industries, and highly efficient bottling lines for beer and nonalcoholic beverages. Great Britain produces various kinds of packaging equipment, and Italy and Switzerland manufacture grain-processing machines and equipment used in the production of macaroni and confectionery products. France makes equipment used in wine-making and the production of butter and oil, as well as tanks and drying equipment. The Federal Republic of Germany produces fish-processing machines, packaging machines, bottling lines, confectionery equipment, separators, and units for making fish meal. Pasteurizing equipment and separators are made in Sweden, canning equipment and machines for processing food products obtained from the sea are manufactured in Japan, and drying equipment and units that make fish meal are produced in Denmark.


Mashinostroenie dlia legkoi i pishchevoi promyshlennosti i bytovykh priborov. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.