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JBT underlines commitment to Brazil’s processors and exporters

2020 has been a year for change at JBT in Brazil, but for positive reasons rather than anything to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. Far from being deterred by the challenging circumstances, JBT is continuing to support processors and exporters by making a major investment in the expansion of its manufacturing and training facility.

Inaugurated in May 2020, the Araraquara, São Paolo-based facility has added an extra 1,7934 m2 to the existing 11,0421 m2 site (including an 1,0160 m2 expansion of the manufacturing center). JBT has also separately been investing in technologies to support customers in Brazil during the ongoing pandemic, including adding internet (iOPS Gateway) connectivity to existing JBT equipment to enable remote assistance, as well as introducing innovative PRoSIGHT smart glasses to the country to help JBT technicians diagnose problems from a distance.

JBT’s PRoSIGHT uses augmented reality smart glasses

Technological solutions
Speaking at the opening of the Araraquara expansion earlier this year, JBT FoodTech Southern Hemisphere president J. Miguel Ruiz described the investment as an example of JBT’s “commitment to Brazil.” “The current changing situation favors companies that export and with that food exports have increased and become more profitable,” said Ruiz, who explained the new facility would meet customer demand for new technologies and investment plans during and following the pandemic. 

“The investment in our Brazil manufacturing facility is a recognition of our competitiveness and the good work carried out by our team in Brazil over recent years,” he added.

Customers attend a workshop at the JBT Araraquara facility

Safety protocols
Currently, the Araraquara site host both virtual tours of the facility and a limited number of in-person visits, providing a concise update of the latest JBT developments and a chance to see new JBT solutions and technologies in action. The facility has helped implement social distancing protocols, including a thermal camera for both employees and visitors. However, JBT is also preparing for post-pandemic life by bringing in new UHT sterilization solutions for Brazil’s expanding dairy sector, while making sure that customers are more connected with JBT than ever before.

Contact JBT in Brazil to find out more

JBT’s AsepFlex™ Aseptic Pouch Filling helping customers achieve sustainability

As pressure on food processors to switch to sustainable packaging has grown, so a trend has emerged in the pouch industry to find viable alternatives to the layers of non-recyclable plastic used to safely store baby foods, purees, soups and other products. JBT has been supporting these efforts through innovative aseptic filling systems, which allow the safe filling of recyclable pouches without damaging their integrity by subjecting them to high temperatures.

“The pouch market is changing rapidly driven by the sustainability movement,” explains Patrick de Groot, JBT President for Liquid Foods in the EMENA region. “For aseptic this is a huge opportunity as these recyclable polypropylene (PP and PE) materials are sensitive to heat, therefore the hot fill and retort process requires thick and expensive multilayers. With aseptic technology, the process is mild with only a short sterilization cycle, followed by ambient processing and filling.”

Viable alternatives
“We’ve had multiple types of packaging in the world for many years: rigid, flexible and carton,” continues de Groot. “Sustainability is gaining a lot of attention with all the big players these days, but it is not always a straightforward process to recycle these materials.”

Although pouches have been around for a number of years, their typical composition – multiple layers with aluminum, PET on the outside and a further PE layer on the inside to protect the product – meant recycling was not a realistic option. 

With awareness of sustainability continuing to grow and companies across the food industry investing in more sustainable packaging, so the pouch sector has also tried to find viable alternatives. However, de Groot explains that the problem up until now is that fully recyclable PP or PE material is unable to withstand the high temperatures used for hot filling, which has traditionally been the norm in the industry.

Aseptic filling
Here is where JBT enters the story. JBT’s innovative AsepFlex Linear Pouch Filler system is now providing customers with the means of switching to fully PP or PE pouches without suffering the detrimental effects of hot filling on the material. 

“A PP or PE pouch is not as rigid as one with aluminium or Oriented Polypropylene (OPP), and therefore is not able to withstand high temperatures used to fill most pouches on the market,” says de Groot. “With aseptic technology, you don’t need to do a hot fill or go through a retort, you can sterilize the pouch without having to expose it to high temperatures, therefore aseptic technology is attracting lots of interest as it also brings the ability to process high quality natural low acid products. 

“Aseptic technology is an add-on not only from a product quality perspective, but the technology also allows you to treat fully-recyclable PP or PE pouches with thin layers.”

Learn more about the JBT AsepFlex Linear Pouch Filler

Natural Branding© by Laser Food: the one and only supported by the EU

When looking for innovative laser labelling for fresh produce, beware imitations! This is the message from Laser Food, the pioneer and undisputed leader of laser labelling technology, which has more than a decade’s experience providing European Union-supported eco-solutions for achieving the safe, permanent identification of fresh produce.

Registered as a brand name for the technology in 2016, Natural Branding© has proven to be a hit with consumers, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from shoppers and media coverage across Europe. Thanks to Laserfood’s Natural Branding technology, Laserfood’s customer Eosta won the prize in the Sustainability Category at the 2018 Packaging Awards.

More than technology
Laser Food’s Natural Branding solution was first conceived in 2006 when company founder and agro-sector professional Jaime Sanfelix became aware of the problem that non-labeling and mislabeling of produce presented for retailers. Back then, there was no way to achieve permanent identification on fresh produce and the Laser Mark was the solution to this problem.

Sanfelix explains that laser labelling is now recognized by increasing numbers of consumers first and foremost as Natural Branding. “As the leaders and the creators of the technology, it’s very satisfying to see how the Natural Branding brand name is now recognized by consumers across Europe, and how more and more people are acknowledging the great benefits it has for the environment,” he says.

 “On the other hand it is very concerning to see how opportunists that appeared recently on the market have made inappropriate and fraudulent use of a technology that has taken years of work, experience, research and effort. The bad faith use of the technology by these ‘me too’ players gives it a poor image.”

Greater awareness
In recent years growth of worldwide opinion against the use of plastic has increased the profile of Natural Branding by helping both producers and retailers improve their environmental reputations. “The world has finally realized that we cannot continue producing and rejecting insane amounts of plastic that we use only once, but which will take centuries to degrade,” says Sanfelix. “Natural Branding can help improve environmental credentials and it’s cheap for the simple reason that the system eliminates the need for wasteful paper labels, inks, glue and only uses light.”

“That’s why only Laser Food received the support of the European Union’s eco-innovation program from 2010 to 2013.”

Flexible labelling
Furthermore, continues Sanfelix, Natural Branding is a very flexible system: the latest innovation introduced allows customers to mark their products however they want, whenever they want. This new Natural Branding software now allows customers to create their own logos and recipes, and upload them themselves on their machines.

Natural Branding also has the advantage of being a permanent label. With Natural Branding, food becomes identifiable through its entire commercial life to the end consumers’ table. Full traceability of products allows growers and retailers to trace their products until they are consumed, as well as giving consumers a full guarantee about what they buy.

How it works
Laser Food is a pioneer and leader in the safe, damage-free marking of fruits and vegetables. Unlike laser-burning techniques which compromise product quality and shelf life, Laser Food’s patented Laser Mark system works by removing a minuscule area of fruit skin. An eco-friendly means of branding fruits and vegetables by creating an image on the peel through a contactless marking solution with natural light, Natural Branding can be applied to practically all fruits and vegetables with zero negative impact on taste, aroma or shelf-life.

The technology has been approved by food safety authorities in the US (here) and the EU (here), while laser labels were approved by the European Union in 2013.

Laser Food’s global expansion has been made possible thanks to its global marketing agreement with JBT Corporation, which builds and promotes Laser Food’s Laser Mark technology worldwide. JBT also promotes Laser Food via jbtc.com and the @JBTLaserFood social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Click HERE to learn more about Natural Branding