Petroleum is sometimes referred to as black gold. But for R.F. Hunter Co., cooking oil has taken on the value of this precious commodity. The company has been manufacturing edible cooking oil filtration equipment for 65 years – since 1945 – when a fish and chip shop owner in Quincy, Mass., named Robert Hunter developed a filtering machine in his garage.

The goal of Red Hat Co-operative Ltd. is simple: supplying the highest-quality vegetables to wholesalers and retailers across Canada and the United States.“We are strategically placed in southeast Alberta on the Trans-Canada Highway, with the ability to ship overnight to customers in western Canada and parts of the U.S.,” General Manager Lyle Aleman explains.

One of the benefits of America’s status as a cultural melting pot is that new cuisines are always waiting to be discovered. Chinese food didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1920s, and 50 years ago hardly anyone who wasn’t of Mexican heritage knew what a tortilla was. Although it doesn’t yet enjoy the same cultural cachet as Chinese, Mexican or Italian food, Indian food is starting its own rise to prominence, and that’s good news for New Jersey-based Rajbhog Foods Inc.

There’s plenty of fish in the sea, and that’s a good thing, because British Columbia-based Port Fish processes more than 55 million pounds of fresh fish every year. As a member of the Leader Group of Companies, Port Fish strives to uphold the standards of excellence and sustainability set forth by its parent company as it catches, packages and sells fresh and frozen fish around the world.

There may not be a more overlooked part of a food product than the packaging on the outside. When one eats, they usually peel away the package, throw it away and instantly forget about it as they dine on the treat that lies inside. But for Packaging Progressions Inc., the package is an important area of focus.

When people eat, they usually do not want their food to have a bitter taste to it, but instead, a succulent, tantalizing flavor that makes them take another bite. At Ottens Flavors, business re­v­olves around making sure food has that effect. The Phila­del­phia-based company is the oldest flavor house in North America, CEO Richard Robinson says. Founder Henry H. Ottens started the company in 1884, but under the current management team, it has grown to serve large food and beverage manufacturers and currently has sales in more than 40 countries.

On a Roll Sales Inc. prides itself on its ability to meet the individual requests of its customers. “We specialize in listening to what our customers need and create and develop products for them that satisfies those needs,” says Alan Leppo, who co-owns the company with Margie, his wife of 39 years. “It’s all about what our customers want, not what I want to sell them; they’re the boss.”

There’s more to Mountain Pure LLC’s business than just putting water into bottles. The Little Rock, Ark.-based com­pany is able to be successful in a highly competitive business through a fully integrated operation that includes manufacturing and packaging capabilities.

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