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Proseal solutions help deliver soft fruit sustainability

JBT Proseal’s advanced tray sealing machines are helping berry growers in the UK meet ever-increasing demand for soft fruit – which has been strong during the pandemic – by providing high quality, flexible sealing solutions that also deliver on sustainability.

As soft fruit volumes continue to climb, and with the market for UK-grown fruit now estimated at over US$944 million (£670 million) a year, packaging manufacturers are seeking flexible solutions to meet demanding high-speed requirements. Equally important is the need to minimize packaging materials without impacting their effectiveness to provide product protection.

Proseal offers manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic tray sealers, designed to be both flexible and maximize speeds and efficiencies. In addition, Proseal’s two-minute rapid-tool-change means a wide range of tray formats, materials and sizes can be sealed on one machine, allowing customers to quickly switch from one tray type to another.

“Our tray sealing machines offer fruit growers greater flexibility to seal different designs and sizes of trays with efficiency and accuracy,” explains Proseal sales director Tony Burgess. “This, combined with our innovative technologies and production lead times, make us a world leader in tray sealing soft fruits.

ProMotion™ our continuous infeed technology, for example, has the potential to increase the speed of a tray sealer by up to 30%, while creating calm machine operations which ensure a smoother, more stable journey to the sealing station. This is particularly beneficial to delicate produce, such as soft fruit.”

Proseal also manufactures a diverse and customisable line of intelligent conveyor systems, designed to create ultimate line control and optimisation and therefore perfect for the fast-moving soft fruit industry.

The company has pioneered several important sustainability initiatives throughout its 23 years. Proseal was the driving force behind the replacement of traditional clam-shell punnets with top film sealed varieties, which has now become commonplace in soft fruit markets across Europe and now North America, helping to minimize plastic usage by 45% in most cases. More recently, the company has been at the forefront of introducing new recyclable, compostable trays and film for fruit that can further reduce plastic usage by as much as 96%.

“Proseal continues to strive to develop the most effective and sustainable sealing solutions for its customers,” concludes Tony Burgess. “We are proud of the many innovations we have developed for the effective and efficient tray sealing of soft fruit. And we will continue to develop the appropriate technologies to help support sustainable solutions that deliver quality.”

Learn more about JBT Proseal solutions

JBT Avure’s Tilt Basket Unload Station: fast, efficient HPP unloading

JBT Avure has introduced an innovative new basket unloading system – the Avure Tilt Basket Unload Station – for customers using its High-Pressure Processing (HPP) technologies that has been designed to boost processing speeds while at the same time reducing labor costs and improving workplace safety. 

With an estimated average labor savings of 59 hours per week, the Tilt Basket Unload Station tilts up to 45 degrees for easy unload following HPP processing, which assists the efficient and easy removal of product from the HPP basket.

Main benefits
According to JBT Avure’s Tim Boyle, the system has two main benefits: it will reduce labor costs by speeding up the unloading of baskets, while its use of ergonomic unloading means there is less chance of workplace injuries.

As Boyle explains, after the basket leaves the vessel, it moves to the end point before being tilted so that the product empties onto a conveyor for downstream processing. This has the result, he says, of both making unloading faster and improving overall productivity, while the system’s design will save valuable floorspace. 

Learn more about the JBT Avure Tilt Basket Unload Station

JBT center of excellence move will accelerate filler development

JBT has announced the moving of its center of excellence for Level & Weight Fillers from its previous JBT Amsterdam, Netherlands location to its business unit in JBT Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, as part of a strategy to speed-up the development of new generation fillers.

With more than 50 years’ experience delivering fillers for the food industry, the transfer of the center of excellence to the Sint Niklaas site will add vast experience to JBT’s level and weight filling solutions, according to JBT Customer Care Manager Chris Deckx.

“Centralizing the Level & Weight Fillers in the Belgian factory will accelerate the development of the new generation fillers and result in additional options and upgrades increasing the efficiencies and utilization of the existing equipment,” he said.

“We are thus very pleased to inform that transition has now been completed with the moving of services and spare parts, and we are now able to serve customers from our JBT Belgium location going forward.”

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JBT PRoDOSE brings safety and efficiency to post-harvest process

The preparation and application of post-harvest treatments and waxes has long been a time-consuming, labor-intensive process for fresh citrus producers, and one that typically means workers have to handle large quantities of chemicals. JBT’s new PRoDOSE system has been designed to tackle all of these concerns, bringing an extra dose of safety and efficiency to the post-harvest process.

Time-consuming
For producers of primarily fresh citrus, a wax-based food coating is conventionally mixed with one containing fungicide properties, before being pumped through an application system. However, the measurement of the chemicals – and the mixing itself – is typically done by hand, meaning that the whole process can take hours at a time.

“It’s very labor-intensive,” explains JBT California citrus specialist Dana Dillard. “The wax coating has to be measured out by hand and mixed in a 300-500 gallon tank, which can take a person two-three hours, and this process is carried out every day or every other day.”

Cost reduction
PRoDOSE takes the full-strength fungicides and meters them into the food grade coating with extreme accuracy through connecting valves and piping; a blending process which can be carried out at a rate of 25-30 gallons at a time, which allows for faster chemical changes based on market trends and decay pressures.

“PRoDOSE reduces the safety hazard of blending the chemicals, cuts down the burden of a very labor-intensive task, and reduces the overall time needed for the blending process,” says Dillard. 

Learn more about JBT’s PRoDOSE system