JBT has introduced a complete, combined solution for small and medium-sized juice processors who are seeking a more efficient, effective and simpler-to-clean system than typical batch bag press solutions. A combination of three pieces of equipment, JBT’s Fruit and Vegetable Processing Solution is ideal for premium juices and blends produced by smaller juice marketers.
The solution can be assembled using three JBT unit operations: a) an FVX5 fruit and vegetable extractor, which receives the raw products and performs the initial size reduction; b) an FTE50 Turbo Finisher, which produces a puree from the mash created with the FVX5; and, c) an optional screw or paddle finisher to deliver juice with a medium-to-high solid content. For a very thin product, the juice can also be sent through a decanting system.
According to Michael Mas, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Fruit and Vegetable Processing, a number of these combined solutions have been sold over recent months with more expected to follow. “It’s aimed at super premium products, you can use it for juices, blends and drinks; we have one in the United States creating blended drinks from apples, carrots, ginger, and leafy greens,” explains Mas.
“The system is for smaller processors looking to move from batch processing,” he continues. “The typical equipment for smaller processors is a batch press where the fruit is cut up and placed in a bag which squeezes the fruit to extract the juice. You then have to open the bag and throw away the leftover mash and clean the bag, but it’s not the easiest system to clean.”
By contrast, JBT’s system offers a seamless flow, which delivers continuous flow processing instead of having to do batches, with a flexibility that allows companies to blend in fruits and vegetables during the process. “If you want to have, for example, a mix of apples, carrot and kale, you can throw them all into the same hopper and it blends on a continuous basis,” says Mas.
“Hygienic design and cleanability are also key design features. With a bag press, you have to physically clean it, wash it and maybe put it in caustic soda to make sure the bag is clean. With a CIP capable process, you can hook it up and run it through a complete cleaning process without being forced to take everything apart,” he adds.