Skip to content

HPP and South Africa: the inside story

avure-av-30-photo-with-green-basket.jpg

Heinrich Zandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of High Pressure Processing (HPP) South Africa, a company – known as a toller – which makes JBT Avure HPP technology available for small to medium sized food and beverage processors. In an exclusive interview originally published in Avure’s Bon Appetit newsletter, Zandberg explains how he first became involved in HPP and why the technology is rapidly gaining acceptance in South Africa.

HPP South Africa_small

(l-r) HPP South Africa’s Heinrich Zandberg, Willie Brand and Claudio de Freitas

Q: How many years have you been working with HPP technology?

Heinrich Zandberg (HZ): It’s been three years now, but our first installation was in the first quarter of 2017. I went to the University of Pretoria, studying Investment Management for two years, and then my entrepreneurial spirit took hold of me and I stopped. This eventually resulted in me working in the HPP industry in South Africa.

Q: Why did High Pressure Processing South Africa decide to buy a JBT Avure HPP machine?

HZ: In the early days, I did a lot of research on HPP and HPP equipment. It was clear that the JBT Avure HPP equipment had a better reputation and that the vessel itself will last north of 250,000 cycles, whereas the next best option would last only 80,000 cycles. For that reason, as well as the lower running cost of the JBT Avure equipment, it made sense to go with the JBT Avure machines for our business model (Tolling).

Q: In Africa, how long has HPP been a food safety technique?

HZ: HPP has been around in South Africa for about nine years now, but it only recently became popular for food safety because of the Listeria outbreak we had in 2018. Before that, HPP was primarily used on avocado pulp.

Q: Are any other popular foods, unique to Africa, being processed using HPP?

HZ: We have a product called a Vienna sausage that I think is unique to South Africa. It’s mainly made out of pork MDM (mechanically deboned meat), and it is an inexpensive source of protein for a large part of our population.

Q: As an HPP Toller, what are the top three reasons you see sparking HPP’s fast growth?

HZ: In South Africa the top three reasons would be the following:
1. The increasing demand for food safety from retailers and the reduction of salt in products like processed meats and cut meats.
2. Product lines that weren’t previously possible without HPP – for example, cold-pressed juice in retail spaces.
3. The cost of HPP equipment makes it almost unattainable even for big companies in South Africa, so the Tolling model opens a lot of doors for them.

Q: What HPP products do you have in your fridge?

HZ: Vienna sausages (My kids and I like them for hot dogs), cold-pressed juices, avocado pulp and guacamole!

Learn more about JBT Avure and HPP

JBT’s Madrid Citrus & Juice seminar to focus on positive solutions

Citrus-Juice-Seminar_Madrid_767x421

JBT will be bringing annual Citrus & Juice Seminar roadshow to Madrid, Spain this month, with a focus on how new filling technology is helping comply with market demands and how JBT can help achieve better tasting, more nutritious products with the minimum of processing.

Taking place in the Hotel NH Nacional, Atocha in Madrid from July 16-17, the event, which has previously taken in visits to Israel and Greece, will feature sessions on market trends and technology solutions and is open to customers and non-customers alike in Spain.

Talks will include a look at non-thermal technologies, including High Pressure Processing (HPP) from JBT Avure and cooling solutions from JBT ally IceGen. Food sterilization using innovative Ohmic heating, as used in the JBT Sterideal® Ohmic Heat Exchanger, will also be discussed.

Zumos Palma 2

The event will also focus on how to get the most out of citrus waste and by-products, examining the possibilities for reusing waste peel and extracting valuable d-LIMONENE oil, cloudy peel juice and comminute – a puree that is derived from whole citrus fruits.

According to JBT’s Francisco Purroy, the seminar will also feature a look at the recently-launched AsepFlex™ Linear Pouch Filler, a solution that has been developed to overcome typical problems with aseptic pouch filling, such as a high rejection rate and low capacity. “The market is demanding a huge variety of formats, SKUs, bottles and pouches of all sizes and shapes, so we are adapting our aseptic filler to be the most versatile on the market,” says Purroy.

Given recent media reports on juice sugar content, Purroy says there will also be discussion on how to transit the message that citrus juice is a healthy product, with no added sugar. JBT, he says, can help support producers through solutions that deliver an improved product with better flavor and better nutrition, with the minimum of processing.

Request information about the seminar

JBT & Aurratech: bringing fog sterilization & sanitization to the globe

FIP 2

JBT’s alliances are all about bringing complementary solutions and technologies to its global customer base, which is why innovative sanitization specialist Aurratech looks certain to be a perfect fit over the coming years. Aurratech is the company behind Fog-in-Place™, a pioneering sterilization and sanitization system that guarantees 100% surface contact plus airborne disinfection with a fraction of the water and chemicals typically consumed by traditional technologies.

Fog-in-Place (FIP) can be used by food, beverage, produce, and protein processors to sterilize or sanitize equipment, piping, tanks and entire processing areas by turning biocide solution to fog in form of billions of micro-particles.

According to company founder Caio Agmont, FIP produces low weight particles that achieve 100% surface contact by remaining suspended in the air for long periods of time through which it can reach all areas of a facility that need to be sanitized, including around odd shapes.

Smoke isolated on black background

FIP also reduces more than 99% of the water, waste and sanitizing solution typically associated with traditional liquid based Sanitize-In-Place (SIP) procedures, making major savings in time, energy, solution and water, with negligible environmental impact. The system can be used effectively by both food (fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy) and beverage (wine, beer, juice, non-alcoholic and general beverages) processors, while it also has applications in the meat, fish and bakery sectors, among others.

International interest
Agmont says FIP has received a positive response from companies worldwide, including from leading wine producers in South Africa and fruit packers in Spain. “FIP is a great alternative to Clean-In-Place (CIP) programs and can save 99% of the water and chemicals used by CIP,” he says. “We have been working with a major wine company in Cape Town, South Africa where they have a huge problem with drought. Saving water is very important for them as they clean and disinfect several tanks and lines per day. FIP can save a huge amount of water and eliminate the need for waste treatment.”

With FIP now approved as meeting USDA Organic Standards 205.272 and 205.605 in the US, the technology is also seen as having great potential to replace chlorine dioxide gas sterilization processes for organic products.

Vineyards landscape near Wellington

Aurratech is helping wine producers in South Africa save water

Airborne disinfection
There are also significant benefits, continues Agmont, in using FIP as an alternative to steam sterilization. “In Spain, we are using FIP with several companies for aseptic tanks,” he says. “Normally these companies use steam for the sterilization process. With FIP we can save steam (which is expensive), energy on air conditioning for cold rooms (FIP does not increase the room temperature), nitrogen (a huge amount is used to cool tanks during steam sterilization), water and we eliminate the risk of tank collapse.”

FIP is also being used by Aurratech customers for airborne disinfection, sterilizing ambient bottling plants which do not have aseptic fillers. “If the fillers are not aseptic, companies need to achieve a better air quality control to avoid any kind of contamination,” says Agmont. “Using FIP, we can deliver airborne disinfection by creating ‘aseptic’ ambient conditions.”

fip-1-e1562601515188.jpg

New applications
Proving that the technology has huge scope for possible uses, Agmont says FIP has also been employed by nursery greenhouses for fertilizer and fungicide application with great results, while it has proven effective in combating botrytis in rose production facilities in South Africa.

Significantly, Aurratech is also planning research and investigation in Spain examining how FIP can be used to treat fruits during the postharvest stage to reduce decay. 

“The challenge here is to find the right chemical that doesn’t leave any residue on the fruit,” says Agmont. “Especially in Europe, there is a move towards residue free fruit, so companies must be much more aware about cold room and bin disinfection to eliminate any cross contamination or ambient contamination during storage. 

“We believe FIP can bring about new options to this field in terms of ambient disinfection.”

20180607_perricone-farms_0188-e1562601634797.jpg

Aurratech is researching post harvest applications for fruits

Tremendous progress
Sam Mudgal, JBT’s Alliance Coordinator for Liquid Foods, describes JBT’s role as increasing Aurratech’s reach and profile as its exclusive Global Sales Representative, assisting the company with sales, marketing and opening new doors. “We have a well-defined scope for Aurratech in terms of applications and territories, and it has already made tremendous progress in Spain and South Africa,” he says.

Mudgal says Aurratech alliance-sourced global sales have grown seven-fold since beginning its collaboration with JBT, and he predicts the current figure will double before the close of 2019. In fact, to manage its expansion, Aurratech now offices in Brazil, the US, Spain and South Africa, while a fifth is in the pipeline for Chile. 

However, yet more ambitious expansion is on the table for the next 12 months. Following completion of a Fog-In-Place demonstration unit and the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, Aurratech is readying a move into the lucrative North American market. “Our goal over the next six months is to turn that non-binding agreement into a permanent one and start manufacturing in North America,” adds Mudgal. 

LEARN MORE about Aurratech’s Fog-In-Place

JBT and SafeTraces’ global alliance to revolutionize food safety & traceability

sanidart-product.jpg

JBT and SafeTraces, a leading food safety and traceability solutions provider, have announced a global alliance to integrate SafeTraces’ breakthrough, patented DNA-based technologies into JBT’s solutions portfolio for worldwide distribution. 

The strategic alliance will focus on incorporating SafeTraces’ groundbreaking food safety and traceability technology into JBT FoodTech businesses, including fresh produce technologies, fresh-cut technologies, and coating equipment solutions, enabling rapid verification of sanitation processes and item-level tracking and tracing of food materials.

Instead of waiting for days or weeks to verify food safety, sustainability or purity, the integrated solutions will provide the food industry with actionable results in minutes, fundamentally changing the way safe, sustainable food is produced and delivered.

mini-DART

According to The United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), food-related recalls have risen at 10% in the United States from 2013 to 2018. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) also estimates that each recall results in over $10 billion in direct costs not including indirect costs related to long-term damage to the brand reputations of food industry actors. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly called on the food industry to embrace new technologies and innovations focused on improving its ability to secure the food supply chain and engage in more effective tracking and tracing of food from farm to fork.

Fresh green salad with spinach,arugula,romane and lettuce

SafeTraces’ technologies will be applied to JBT fresh produce solutions

JBT is committed to continued innovation by applying differentiated and proprietary technologies to meet its customers’ food processing needs. It continually strives to improve its existing solutions and develop new solutions by working closely with its customers to meet their evolving needs. 

“Food safety and traceability is a mega-trend that will transform the marketplace over the next generation,” said Carlos Fernandez, JBT’s Executive Vice President and President, Liquid Foods. “Consumers are increasingly rewarding food companies that provide greater transparency on how their food was produced and leaving behind those that don’t. SafeTraces has developed a game-changing technology that has wide-ranging applications across our business. We’re thrilled to partner with them and offer this breakthrough to our customers.”

“On-product, item-level traceability is the holy grail of source assurance, and rapid on-site verification of sanitation process is the holy grain of safety assurance,” said SafeTraces Founder & CEO Anthony Zografos. “We’re the first company to develop a technology that is commercially viable, scalable, and delivers clear benefits and a clear return on investment to customers. Partnering with a renowned market leader like JBT presents a tremendous opportunity to commercialize and distribute our technology at a global scale.”

Learn more about SafeTraces

JBT’s XVision: cost-effective x-ray technology makes European debut

xray-burger_123rf-e1535129414788.jpg

JBT’S innovative XVision™ system, whose unique modular design has helped make x-ray technology more affordable for food processors, is now available for the first time to customers in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East after finalising EU CE certification. The technology, which has already achieved considerable success in the US where over 250 units have been sold, has been installed in JBT’s Helsingborg, Sweden Research & Technology Center where customers can view the system in an active production environment.

XVision’s European debut comes ahead of the launch of a new version of the machine later this year for wet foods, amid growing interest across the international food and beverage processing industries in the multiple applications of x-ray technology and it’s ability to safeguard against costly recalls or even lawsuits.

xray-pasta_123rf.jpg

Key advantages
Dino Carbone, Division Product Manager for JBT XVision, says Low Cost of Ownership as a result of the innovative modular design is one of the advantages offered by the system. “Customers are able to replace key components of the machine, so there’s no need for expensive technical support,” he says. “It’s completely plug-in and go.”

However, cost is far from XVision’s only advantage. The system, continues Carbone, delivers excellent detection performance being capable of identifying stainless steel – the most common metal contaminant found in production facilities – with three times more accuracy than standard metal detectors. 

CCPX-Clean-2208

The XVision CCPX Clean and Bulk

Crucially, XVision is also simple to operate, with the emphasis on making it as straightforward to use as possible. “We’ve really taken a lot of the complexity out of the operation,” says Carbone. “Once the machine is trained, it’s less likely the end user will have problems with the settings.”

Reputation protection
XVision is capable of identifying metals, stones, calcified bone, glass and other contaminants across a wide range of products from bagged and pouched foods through to ready meals, protein bars, candies, nutraceuticals, and fruits and vegetables. The system can also be used to carry out process quality checks by accurately measuring the weight of objects and filled pouches to within 2-3% of the optimum fill level.

“We are seeing an increasing level of interest from customers in XVision because of both it’s versatility as a technology and it’s ability to protect brands against recalls or even lawsuits, which can be very costly and damaging to reputations,” adds Carbone. 

Learn more about XVision

JBT’s cutting-edge CoreTakr technology makes full commercial debut

JBT FTNON has announced the full commercial introduction of the CoreTakr CTI Series 3, an innovative robotic system that uses advanced 3D camera technology to accurately and speedily remove unwanted cores from lettuce heads used in the fresh-cut and ready-to-eat segments. The Series 3 CoreTakr units are the first to be made widely commercially available following extensive production testing with customers in the Netherlands and the UK.

Capable of handling 1500 heads of lettuce per hour, the CoreTakr, which decores automatically with no employee interaction necessary other than a single operator, typically increases yield by between 3-9%, while at the same time significantly improving factory safety and forming an extra barrier against diseased produce.

“The machine works by using 3D cameras and advanced robotic technology,” explained Wilco Fauth, Global Product Line Director for JBT FTNON. “Iceberg lettuces drop automatically into the system with no people involved. A 3D camera will take a look at the lettuce and determine where the core is and it’s size. The lettuce then moves into the decorer which is extremely accurate in removing the core.”

ftnon-coretakr-inside-workings.jpg

Improved safety
Consistently accurate, each lettuce head receives an additional visual check before being inserted into the decorer. Once inside the machine, the system uses two sharp clinical knives to make sure only the undesired part of the lettuce is removed.

Hygiene is another key element of the CoreTakr, with the machinery designed for daily cleaning in accordance with stringent food safety standards (CE 2004/1935).

A further advantage, according to Fauth, is the CoreTakr’s capacity to identify and remove diseased products. “The moment the CoreTakr encounters a lettuce that is diseased, this is removed to prevent it going through the system,” he said. “This enormously improves food safety across the whole factory and allows customers to build up a full picture across the whole year, enabling them to provide feedback to the grower or seed company.” This, continued Fauth, is particularly important for safe, fresh-cut bagged or boxed salads, destined for sale in the chilled section of supermarkets.

FTNON lettuce - Heemskerk Fresh & Easy

Ongoing commitment
However, JBT FTNON’s commitment to CoreTakr does not end with the purchase of the system, but remains ongoing during the life of the machinery. FTNON remotely monitors CoreTakr units to plan timely service and maintenance, and make sure the machinery is running effectively. The vast amounts of data that the CoreTakr produces – up to one terabyte per unit each day – is collected remotely by FTNON before being analyzed and shared with the customer.

The first examples of the Series 3 CoreTakr CTI have now been installed with customers in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria.

Learn more about the CoreTakr

A slice of success: how JBT FTNON helped Gills Onions boost yield & cut costs

gills_onions_truck_small.jpg

Minimizing unnecessary labor costs and maximizing yield are two key concerns for any company processing vegetables, fruits and other produce for further consumption, but when it comes to onions one major processor found a workable means of achieving this aim to be strangely lacking. Gills Onions, an Oxnard, California-based company and one of the biggest suppliers of pre-sliced onions to the US foodservice and restaurant sectors, set JBT’s FTNON the task of coming up with a workable solution to these challenges.

The result of several years’ hard work between Gills Onions and FTNON was the Magnetic Onion Peeler, a solution that has enabled the California business to both maximize yield and solve the difficulty of having an easy-to-clean, hygienic onion peeling system. The story behind the successful end result is a testament to how effective close collaboration between a customer and a manufacturer can be. 

Cross-country coverage
Gills Onions’ beginnings can be traced back to 1976 when Steve and David Gill, brothers with a family background in agriculture, purchased 200 acres for onion and vegetable production in Monterey County. Three years later in 1979, a further 200 acres were added and in 1983, the Gill Brothers opened a sustainable onion processing plant, establishing Gills Onions in the process. 

Today, the company farms more than 20,000 acres of diversified vegetable farming, producing two crops a year on a site where the company’s first beginning were established.

“Anybody that peels onions in the world knows us and knows what we do,” says Steve Gill. “At Gills, we produce onions for all the foodservice channels and broadline distributors in the US and Canada, including many of the main restaurant chains.

Steve Gill, Gills Onions_small

Gills Onions’ co-founder Steve Gill

The company grows more than 2,000 acres of onions in California that provides a year-round supply of fresh onions to their Oxnard fresh-cut processing facility. They supply to foodservice, industrial and retail customers throughout the US and Canada. 

Gills’ onion products notably also have an 18-day shelf life; an achievement which significantly sets the company apart from the competition. “The growing process, and how process the onions, results in an additional 10-12 days of shelf-life on average,” adds Gill.

gills_onions_facilities_landscape_small.jpg

Mutual understanding
According to co-founder Steve Gill, Gills Onions relationship with JBT can be traced back some 35 years, during which time a mutual understanding of trust and reliability has developed between the two companies. “I’ve been dealing with a single engineer from JBT called Pedro Salcedo for 35 years now,” he explains. “The relationship has been one that’s personal and technology-wise they have always adapted to our needs.”

This relationship of trust formed the basis for Gills Onions setting JBT and its specialist fresh vegetable processing subsidiary FTNON a challenge: to develop an onion peeling solution that could overcome the hygiene and cleaning challenges associated with processing onions. 

090828_gills_studio_147

“Nobody likes to peel onions, so as a result onion operations don’t get the attention to shelf life and quality that they need,” explains Gill. 

“When we were looking for an onion peeler, we couldn’t find anything out there that we were able to clean, so that’s what took so long,” he continues. “There’s a lot of peelers in the world, but none of them could meet our expectations. Many of these machines couldn’t be cleaned properly and we found the manufacturers reluctant to work on a more hygienic design. This is part of the reason why the relationship we have with the JBT-FTNON team is so valuable – they wanted to work closely with us to develop the design we needed.”

vmg_090526_100.jpg

Yield increase
However, the unveiling of the onion peeling solution was not immediate. In fact, it took six years’ hard work for the FTNON team to achieve the hygiene, easy-to-clean design that Gills was seeking; work which Steve Gill says has more than paid off.

The result is the FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler 200, a solution whose design, components and materials have been specially developed to ensure it delivers high marks when it comes to yield, hygiene and convenience. To do this, FTNON employs a technology that uses permanent super magnetism, which eliminates the need for wires, tubes, belts and springs, and results in a machine with frictionless components, tremendously reducing the costs of maintenance.

The JBT FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler

The JBT FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler

“FTNON has done a great job – it’s a hygienic, easy-to-clean machine which has a food-safe onion peeler,” says Gill. “The magnetic part really simplifies it and makes it easier to clean.”

Crucially, Gill says the MOP 200 also helps achieve a 10-15% increase in yield, which he attributes to the ability of the equipment to deliver extremely precise levels of peeling.

“There’s going to be less labor and a higher yield: our two big costs and that’s going to add a lot to the bottom line,” Gill concludes.

Learn more about the JBT FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler

1 2 27