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HPP and South Africa: the inside story

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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.

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(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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.

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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