JBT’s recently-acquired FTNON fresh-cut machinery business has announced the launch of two solutions designed to make life easier for onion and bell pepper processors, both of which have been developed to include easy-to-clean features that comply with the highest hygienic standards.
Introduced by FTNON at its recent customer open week, held in Horst, The Netherlands from October 29-November 3, the two systems place an emphasis not just on effectiveness and reliability, but crucially also on ease-of-use and cleanability.
The newly-launched FTNON Sweet Pepper Decorer, designed to be very hygienic and completely cleanable, has been developed to remove cores and problematic seeds from bell peppers in the most efficient way possible, while also leaving a small footprint.
According to FTNON’s Lars Heuvelmans, the compact machine, which can handle two bell peppers at a time, uses pneumatic coring devices remove the center of the peppers, before a high-pressure air system cleans out the remaining seeds. Leftover seeds, stems and cores are then removed outside the machine using a scraper.
In the next step, the cored and cleaned bell peppers are cut lengthwise into pieces by a mechanical segmenting station, which enables the peppers to be divided into halves, quarters or eights.
However, as well as its efficiency, a key feature of the decorer is its cleanability. “It’s easy to access all areas of the machine – you just slide out the drum and you have access to the inside, the drills and the knives,” explains Heuvelmans. “If you look at a bell pepper, inside there are a lot of small seeds which will get into every part of the machine, so cleanability is a very important feature.”
Developed by FTNON in collaboration with US-based Gills Onions and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler focuses on yield, hygiene and convenience with the design, components and materials specially selected to ensure the machine gets a very high score on all points.
By employing super magnetism, the system eliminates the need for wires, tubes, belts and springs, resulting in a machine with frictionless components, which has the effect of tremendously reducing maintenance costs.
With hygiene requirements in the food sector becoming ever more stringent, Heuvelmans says ease-of-cleaning is also a key feature of the stainless steel Magnetic Onion Peeler. Waste and the peeled product are separated at the earliest possible stage, meaning the risk of contamination or waste peel reaching other areas of the machine is greatly reduced, while the design has eliminated chains and other hygienically vulnerable components. Both of which, adds Heuvelmans, make a very real difference, not only for improving hygiene but also for overall cleanability.