JBT and its FTNON subsidiary, a specialist in equipment and solutions for fresh-cut vegetables, salads and fruits, used the forum of Fruit Logistica 2019 in Berlin, Germany to announce the commercial launch of an innovative new system for fresh-cut salads. The Super Batch Centrifuge (SBC) 200 and 300 have been specifically designed to make handling and processing all types of lettuce and babyleaf easier, faster and more efficient.
Developed from a initial prototype over the past two years, which was extensively tested with a FTNON customer, the SBC 200 – and the larger capacity SBC 300 – have been designed to safely dry fragile salads, with the focus on keeping an product damage to an absolute minimum.
“The prototype was installed in cooperation with a customer two years ago with very good results,” explained Wilco Fauth, Global Product Line Director for JBT FTNON (pictured above). “Of course, we learned things from that and have since redesigned the machine, keeping in mind new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations in the US. If you take a look around the world, you will see that this is the only centrifuge built according to FSMA regulations.”
The SBC 200 and 300 effectively dries salads by placing the leaves or slices into a cylindrical centrifuge, which spreads the product across the inner surface of the drum at low speed and with minimal falling height to achieve efficient drying and where possible avoid product damage.
Featuring a hygienic design, the SBC 200 and 300 are easy to clean meaning low maintenance costs and also feature a small footprint due to low energy usage. “The machine is very easy to clean, so the amount of cleaning time is reduced which also allows you to have a quick changeover time,” said Fauth. “We also managed to engineer the machine using the minimum amount of components, which makes maintenance far easier and quicker.
“Combining that with a machine that can run at a higher capacity with a smaller footprint, we also have the benefit that it is easier to fit into existing and new production lines where space is always important. Another benefit – which was a happy surprise we discovered when we began to run the machine – is there is less damage to fragile products, such as babyleaf,” Fauth added. The SBC 200 and 300 can handle 2000 kilograms an hour of iceberg lettuce and 3000 kilograms an hour respectively.