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SmartWash Solutions go beyond improving food safety

In August 2019, JBT and SmartWash Solutions announced a Europe-wide alliance to bring the US-based company’s innovative combination of science, technology and engineering to fresh-cut produce processors accords the continent. Here, Ewoud Buter, General Manager of SmartWash Solutions BV, details how the technology is helping customers make cost savings and improve food safety.

Over the past few years, SmartWash Solutions BV has been active in the European market and conducted multiple successful trials yielding impressive results for large suppliers in the Fresh Cut market. In order to prove the success of their products, SmartWash Solutions offers a free trial in cooperation with the processor, with both sides working to establish common goals and benchmarks. 

During this trial, SmartWash Solutions provides the equipment to enhance the food safety systems while also providing a thorough evaluation of the process, often finding additional cost savings and operational improvements. In this article, the benefits and value of the many SmartWash solutions will be revealed as more than just a food safety improvement. 

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Cost Savings
The most immediate need for processors is to move away from manual or semi manual control and monitoring of their processes and food safety. Not only is automating a huge factor in improving food safety but it can also reduce costs. 

Technology is often an underutilized cost saving tool in the food production industry but transitioning staff away from checking samples by hand can improve data integrity and reduce materials needed for the check samples. Historically, many facilities would employ at least one person to constantly monitor wash lines for critical control points, generating one to two data points per hour per wash line. With real time, automated control and monitoring it is possible to obtain at least 1800 data points per hour, all extremely accurate due to an automatic calibration procedure. This translates to lower labor costs and impactful savings with improved process control and additional feedback on the production runs. 

Another common issue is related to managing wash water at all stages of wash systems. In the past, controllers could not handle the organic load at primary washes, where products would shed the organic material from the fields or oftentimes be the first wash stage after cutting. Now, due to innovations built into the SmartWash controller, also known as the ASAP, these hurdles can be overcome and all points of potential water-born cross contamination can be treated even under the most challenging conditions. Processors that previously only treated the secondary wash are now continuously treating the primary wash as well. This is a huge step in mitigating cross contamination and preventing the perfect storm. 

Often during trials, SmartWash discovers opportunities for operational improvements that may yield substantial savings. For example, one processor in the US reduced their operational down time by implementing the SmartWash Solutions ASAP Controllers. By reducing the water dumps necessary throughout the day, the processor could complete their production schedule over less time and reduce overall usage of water. A different processor was able to cut up to 15% of the facility’s water usage. These benefits can add up to quickly pay for the cost of the SmartWash program. 

SmartWash icons

Universally compatible
Since the ASAP unit is a ‘stand-alone’ unit which can be wheeled in and connected to any wash line, the benefits of the system can be applied to many different processes. Although wash lines may be sourced from different manufacturers, this does not prevent or limit the opportunities to find value as SmartWash technicians take time to evaluate the line during a pre-installation visit and ensure the solutions fit the process.

Most of the time we find wash lines are ready to go and, in some occasions, only need small changes such as an injection point or pump adjustments. Some wash lines are much more turnkey, such as the FTNON manufactured lines, as they can add the necessary components into their build process. We find that this translates to one of the highest performing wash lines in the industry. But all wash lines can have the SmartWash method implemented, with all the associated food safety and operational benefits that it has for the processor.

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Quickly adopted
As we all know, buy-in at the floor level is key to making any new technology work. Typically, wash operators are a challenging group to convince as change can often mean new stresses in an already stressful environment. SmartWash Solutions has found the technology is quickly adopted and embraced by floor personnel as it makes their work environment more enjoyable. They no longer handle chemicals and often the air and environment are improved in the facility.

Management is typically very sensitive to the opinions of their floor technicians and they sometimes cannot believe the buy-in. The ease of use makes a big difference in the day-to-day activities of floor employees and the increased accessibility to the data allows the management staff to monitor the improvements. It is a win-win for all involved and this translates to a better working environment. Technology can be a tricky thing in this environment, but our goal is to make everything easier for the staff while ensuring a safe product is produced 100% of the time, as we can’t afford to fail the consumers.

Drew McDonald, vice president of food safety at Taylor Farms, commented:  “SmartWash has enabled us to fill gaps in the process with their automation of data collection and robust, continuous control. While food safety was the main factor in the SmartWash program adoption, we have reaped many other benefits such as cutting water usage, increasing production efficiencies and gaining valuable insight into the performance of more than 100 of our wash systems across the Taylor Farms supply chain.”

Request information about organizing a free SmartWash trial in your plant!

JBT Food Preservation Technologies: Sustainability at its core

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Pancho Purroy, JBT’s EMENA Sales & Account Manager for Citrus & Juice Processing Technologies and Sales Manager for Liquid Foods Iberia, examines how sustainability has been at the core of JBT’s food preservation innovations since the very beginning.

For over 100 years JBT has been a major innovator in food preservation technology. The corporation has always believed food safety and shelf life solutions would have an ever-growing importance in the food & beverage supply chains across the world. As a consequence, JBT heavily invested across its history in adopting the broadest range of preservation technologies and continues to do so.

Reducing food losses and food waste at both the manufacturing and the consumer levels, will result in a more secure global food system. It is important for food manufacturers not to have production losses and returns; and consumers want to improve the overall utilization of food. Waste reduction strategies and preservation methods can now be widely used, and these are needed more than ever before.

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Needless waste
Recent FAO Food Balance statistics show supply chain losses for food groups such as meat, fruit and vegetables to be around 5% of production of domestic supply quantities (Martindale, 2017). While these food losses remain incredibly important it is reported by national agencies and government departments that consumers’ food waste regularly reaches 20% or more of food purchased (Defra, 2017).

JBT believes it is essential to continue innovating and deploying food & beverage preservation solutions as it is proved that frozen foods, ambient shelf-stable foods, and extended shelf-life refrigerated foods all show a reduction in waste and, consequently, a positive contribution to the sustainability of our food supply systems.

The preservation of foods and types of food preservation methods available can facilitate this because they reduce food degradation and improve the utilization of food in the manufacturing and domestic environments. Also, they will contribute towards sustainability given the factual data that production of food waste increases greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of food consumption (Garnett, 2013; O’Rourke, 2014). It is crucial to consider food waste reduction as an outcome of using preserved foods because research carried out previously demonstrates it can help us to define the sustainability of meals (Martindale, 2017).

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Preservation importance
Frozen preservation, pasteurization and sterilization methods can provide greater utilization of food by consumers and reduce household food waste. An increasing amount of research studies have identified the importance of preservation methods in reducing consumer food waste and that there are several factors that must work together if food waste reduction is to be successful. For example, research carried out in the UK market comparing fresh and frozen food use in households found that the amount of consumer food waste was dependent on the food preservation method. The study showed a 47% reduction in household food waste for frozen products compared to fresh products (Martindale, 2014).

Not only we must consider the value of food preservation in households but we must also study whether manufacturing facilities are achieving an efficient use of resources and continual availability (Tukker, 2015). JBT continues to develop food preservation models that identify control points in the supply chain that can maximize food waste reduction, and jointly with its global and regional customers, investigates these wider impacts on food resource usage.

As another example, food & beverage preservation techniques improve the availability of out-of-season produce which can be included in produce sustainability assessments (Foster et al., 2014). Indeed, this was why fruit and vegetable preservation of using traditional pickling and osmotic methods originally emerged (Martindale, 2017).

JBT Avure

High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology from JBT Avure can improve product shelf-life

Secure supply
The benefits of food preservation are important, and a secure food supply chain is important in the sustainability arena if it can provide what consumers demand with increased resilience. Preserved foods have played a pivotal role in enabling the global food supply chain to evolve and, without that, food losses would be increased in agriculture and processing.

Many of the food supply chain issues highlighted in current food loss and food waste research do not exist with preserved foods because these techniques lead to the extended shelf life gains that many waste reduction initiatives seek (Parfitt et al., 2010). Furthermore, freezing, pasteurization and sterilization meet the conditions of “clean label” trends and often provide greater portion control in the home (Shove and Southerton, 2000). The “clean label” trend is now clearly identified in retail environments where there are demands for ingredient labeling that provides greater clarity and communicates any potential allergens introduced in processing and manufacturing (Asioli et al., 2017).

Finally, market research also leads us to consider the broader issue of what incentivizes consumers to eat a more sustainable diet. There is over 23.4M MT of food waste produced by households across European Community member nations (Bräutigam et al., 2014; Stenmarck et al., 2016). A sustainable diet must eliminate this food waste. Ambient shelf-stable, extended refrigerated shelf life, and frozen food & beverage purchases decrease food waste significantly and this has important implications for providing sustainable meals and diets to the growing global population.

JBT Sustainability in Action

1920

  • Introduced the Cooker Cooler. Still today, one of the most efficient solutions to sterilize canned foods. 

1950

  • Introduced the first in-line juice extractor. Still today, the highest yield, lowest waste citrus extractor in the market

1960

  • Introduced the first FLoFREEZE Freezer. Still today, the benchmark in efficient, sustainable IQF freezing.
  • Introduced the TASTE evaporator, the most efficient, lowest energy consumption juice concentrate solution in the World

2000s

  • Over 1000 UHT Lines installed globally. 
  • 75% of all Citrus Extractors globally.
  • 50% of all retort/canned foods globally.
  • Over 100 continuous Sterilizers running.

2020

  • Largest Range of food preservation/shelf life extension/pathogen kill solutions: thermal & nonthermal, broadest spectrum. 
  • iOPS IoT Platform: troubleshooting and operational processes improvements, line efficiencies.
  • Retorts: Heat Recovery System; LESS; Energy Recovery System; 
  • Reduce Water & Chemicals: SmartWash; Chemtrol; Freshgard water recycle; Aurratech FIP.
  • Reduce Energy Usage: ReGen systems for pasteurization & cooling; Hi2 Flex; Smart Dryer; RPS; ERS; IceGen
  • Reduce Waste: Aseptics; HPP; FTNON Automated core removals; SafeTraces

JBT, SafeTraces & TORR Industries bring innovations to Food Processing Expo

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JBT and industry allies SafeTraces and TORR Industries are highlighting technological innovations for effective traceability, filling and other solutions at the 2020 edition of the California League of Food Producers’ (CLFP) Food Processing Expo, which takes place at the Santa Clara Convention Center until February 13. 

California’s largest food processing trade show, the Food Processing Expo features a dynamic array of speakers and workshops, and a Food Processing Technology Showcase on the show floor. As well as highlighting JBT’s wide range of solutions for food processors, the event is also providing an opportunity to highlight innovations from two of JBT’s most recent allies, SafeTraces and TORR Industries. 

SafeTraces
JBT and SafeTraces – a leading food safety and traceability solutions provider – announced a global alliance in July 2019 to integrate SafeTraces’ breakthrough, patented DNA-based technologies into JBT’s solutions portfolio for worldwide distribution. The strategic alliance is focused 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.

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TORR Industries
California-based TORR Industries became a JBT ally in September 2019, with the aim of bringing TORR’s versatile fillers to companies handling everything from wines and juices to coffee concentrates all across the globe. Through the non-exclusive Sales Representation Agreement, JBT now represents TORR’s low and high-acid aseptic and sanitary liquid filling systems for bags, pouches, and bulk-containers with fill fitments globally, covering applications for products within the liquid foods, fruit and vegetable, dairy, wine, tomato sauce, and ready-to-eat sauce categories. 

Based in Shasta County, Northern California, TORR is the leader in high output wine bag fillers in the US market, but with an international presence that includes installations for coconut milk in Malaysia and crushed pineapple in the Philippines.

JBT will be exhibiting at Booth #1131, along with SafeTraces at Booth #310 and TORR Industries at Booth #1129 at CLFP Food Processing Expo 2020 which takes place at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara CA until February 13.

Request more information or a meeting on the booth

JBT Brazil hosts Open House event

Araraquara workshop tour

Food, dairy, juice and fruit processing companies from across Brazil are being invited to learn more about new JBT technologies and solutions covering a wide range of applications, from washers and finishers through to essential oil extractors, fruit sizers, freezers and much more, at an Open House event taking place at JBT’s Araraquara facility until February 21.

As well as giving an overview of currently available systems from JBT, the event will also include an in-depth look at some of the newest additions both from within the JBT family and from allied companies, including SafeTraces’ innovative traceability technology. Additionally, each visit will include a tour of JBT Brazil’s Pilot Plant where delegates can learn more about ongoing research and development work being carried out by JBT.

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In addition to technical presentations, companies attending the Open House will have the opportunity to view a number of JBT solutions in action, such as the MORE system for the recovery of valuable D-Limonene essential oil from citrus. One of the most lucrative by-products in the citrus industry, D-Limonene is a natural organic solvent used in the aroma sector and other industries.

Januário Soligon, Director of Sales & Service for JBT Liquid Foods in South America, said: “The principal objective of the Open House is to strengthen the commercial relationship between JBT and our customers in Brazil, as well as bringing them up to date with information on the newest solutions and technologies in the food and beverage industry.”

The JBT Brazil Open House event will take place at JBT’s Araraquara, Sao Paulo State facility until February 21.

Request more information about the Open House

JBT showcases complete produce solution capability at Fruit Logistica 2020

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JBT is bringing a range of complete solutions for fresh produce growers and processors to Fruit Logistica 2020, the world’s largest trade exhibition for the produce sector, which include systems for making fresh-cut processing more efficient and hygienic, and tray sealing technologies that can improve shelf-life and add value to fruits and vegetables.

According to John Siddle, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Fresh Produce Technologies, a key focus for this year’s Fruit Logistica will be on creating awareness that JBT is able to provide a complete solution for the fresh produce sector, including its entire line capability. “We will be presenting our integrated approach to the produce industry with two of the newer additions to the JBT family – FTNON and Proseal,” he says. “The solutions provided by both companies have the ability to turn commodities into value-added products.”

Green plant in light bulb silhouette on soil background

Pancho Purroy, EMENA Sales & Accounts Manager, Citrus & Juice Processing Technologies and Sales Manager, Liquid Foods Iberia, says: “For over 100 years JBT has been a major innovator in food preservation technology. JBT believes it is essential to continue innovating and deploying food and beverage preservation solutions as it is proven that ambient shelf-stable foods and extended shelf-life refrigerated foods show a reduction in waste and consequently a positive contribution to the sustainability of our food supply systems.”

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Sealing innovations
Proseal, which became part of JBT in June 2019, will be showcasing tray sealing solutions for fruit growers and processors on its own dedicated Proseal stand. The tray sealing specialist will demonstrate two tray sealers that highlight the wide choice of models available – the semi-automatic Proseal GTR and automatic inline Proseal GT4s – along with its unique ProTest seal quality testing system that enables companies to determine the ideal seal and peel strength for individual products. In addition, a chilled display cabinet will feature the many different types of tray formats for which Proseal can provide a sealing solution.

Among the many advanced features of the GT4s, ProMotion technology improves speeds by up to 30% using following motion and intelligent buffering technology to enable trays to feed continuously into the sealer without stopping. Eseal® ensures excellent seal reliability with an increased seal force of 200% while achieving a 92% reduction in energy usage to deliver valuable cost savings and sustainability benefits.

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Improved efficiency
JBT FTNON will showcase groundbreaking innovations developed to improve food safety, hygiene and processing efficiency for fresh-cut salad and vegetable producers during the event, including the CoreTakr® Flex and the CoreTakr® Iceberg for safe, efficient robotic de-coring of iceberg lettuce, cabbage and other products. FTNON will also highlight the Bell pepper de-corer (SPD-200) which removes the time-consuming task of having to core bell peppers manually, while improving productivity and yield, and the Magnetic Onion Peeler (MOP-200); a solution which is able to process up to 120 onions per minute by using frictionless permanent super magnetism.

SmartWash screengrab

Food safety
Among the noteworthy companies exhibiting at Fruit Logistica 2020 will be JBT ally SmartWash Solutions, which provides innovative food safety systems for fresh-cut produce processors. SmartWash Solutions, which agreed a Europe-wide alliance with JBT in August 2019, is the company behind the Pinpoint Process Control™ solution for food processing wash water systems; an innovation which mitigates cross contamination while improving food safety. Following success in the US with Taylor Farms, SmartWash is currently trialing the technology with multiple leading fresh-cut suppliers across Europe.

JBT including SmartWash Solutions will be exhibiting at Hall 3.1, Stand D-03 and Proseal at Hall 7.1B, Stand B-04 at Fruit Logistica 2020 at the Messe Berlin conference center, Berlin, Germany until February 7, 2020.

Glass Filling Technology Day delivers industry overview

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Industry delegates from across Europe took part in JBT Belgium’s Glass Filling Technology Day, a two part event consisting of an interactive tour of a JBT manufacturing site and it’s Processing Technology Center and a seminar where they heard expert opinions and predictions from some of the leading manufacturers in the sector, which took place on January 21 2020 at JBT Sint Niklaas, Belgium.

“We had about 20 participants from all over Europe, from the juice industry to baby foods to co-packers,” said Ben Verbeeck, JBT’s Marketing Coordinator for the site, and Global CRM Coordinator for Liquid Foods. “The seminar featured presentations covering technological solutions for the glass industry and the challenges it faces, which were very well received, and in the afternoon delegates were given an interactive tour of our factory and Processing Technology Center at Sint Niklaas.

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Industry trends
A key element of the Glass Filling Technology Day was the presence of two external speakers of note: Wouter Blom from major glass manufacturer, Ardagh Group, who examined glass market trends and predictions for the industry looking forward; while the second was delivered by Alfredo Ziliotti from WAB srl, a container and cap rinser and sterilizer manufacturer. “Wouter Blom looked at consumer trends based on market research and what glass manufacturers will have to do to follow their customers,” said Verbeeck. “Alfredo Ziliotti from WAB SRL on the other hand looked at how his company’s technology can complement JBT solutions to form a complete bottle filling and capping line.”

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Interactive tour
Among the JBT solutions highlighted during the factory tour was a High Speed Rotary Filler Rinser line. Designed and built for a customer in Thailand looking to fill soy milk into glass bottles, delegates were shown how the system can handle 500 bottles per minute. “To demonstrate the filling process at real speeds, we had people at the end of the line gathering and emptying bottles and placing them back on the in-feed conveyor,” recalls Verbeeck.

“The feedback we received from delegates was that there was a very good balance between the academic content and the walk on the factory floor. It was also a very good event for networking, while we had a professional cameraman filming both the presentations and the facility visit.”

READ JBT White Paper: Accurate Filling into Glass Jars

READ JBT White Paper: Filling Glass & Plastic Bottles