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Perricone Farms: how JBT helped a California juice business go global

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California-based Perricone Farms is a success story that has been two decades in the making. Established in the 1990s by a renowned citrus grower and packer, the business has since become a leading juice processor and marketer, famed for the quality and provenance of its ingredients. JBT – as Perricone readily acknowledges – played a key role in the development and subsequent success of the business, helping the company improve its juice yield by 20% and acting as a partner in a fruitful relationship that continues to the present day.

Perricone Farms CEO Bob Rovzar has been well-placed to have witnessed the evolution of the Beaumont, California business since it first launched its juice processing venture almost two decades ago. The company’s initial contact with JBT came in the late 1990s under the leadership of JBT’s North America Director of Sales Donn Sabato who approached what Rovzar describes as “a little juice plant in Southern California”. “At that time, our plant paled in comparison to larger juice companies in the US, especially in the West,” recalls Rovzar. “But even in those early days, JBT always treated us as a valued customer and spent time with us. They were a valuable partner as we established the business.”

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Technical expertise
Perricone Farms as a juicing operation was first established by current managing director Joe Perricone’s father Sam; an industry icon who at the time was a large grower and packer of fresh citrus. The move into juice took place after Perricone acquired a small juicing company – and client of Perricone – that was struggling with financial difficulties.

The juicing business began in earnest with four JBT extractors, plus two non-JBT pieces of machinery – a piecemeal fruit unloading system and a used finisher. “JBT supplied technical expertise, explaining how we should be extracting and setting-up the machinery, as well how to get the maximum yield out of a plant that ran multiple varieties of fruit,” says Rovzar. The company, he recalls, also had a make-shift sizer that was jerry-rigged and made from spare parts.

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Market evolution
In its early days, Rozvar says Perricone was 90% focused on orange juice production, and although it remains important, as the market has evolved, so the company has developed a much broader base of juices. Orange juice today accounts for around 50% of Perricone’s production, with the other half sourced from lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangerines. These juices are sold to high-end restaurants and hotels, grocery retail under the Perricone Farms label or retailer owned brands, and to a lesser extent to foodservice distributors and food ingredients processors.

Although the majority of Perricone Farm’s juices are sold within the Western US, the company has begun in more recent times exporting to the Far East and some volumes to Mexico. “In California, the majority of fruit is destined for the fresh market, but because we are part of the Perricone family of companies, we have access to fruit in-season and also benefit from our close proximity to Mexico during the winter months,” says Rovzar.

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Leap forward
What has really helped Perricone make a commercial leap forward, says Rovzar, was a move into purpose-built new facility with considerable help and assistance from JBT. “With JBT’s help and support, we have been able to completely rebuild and redo our juice extraction operation without shutting down our existing extraction line,” he explains. “This has been important because we extract juice 365 days a year. 

“For several years, people on both side – JBT and Perricone – said the extraction line could not be replaced without shutting down the existing operation, but JBT found a way of running both lines simultaneously for a month while the new operation was put in place. Through JBT’s help, we were able to provide a seamless transition to our customers and we couldn’t have done it without the support, dedication and commitment we received from JBT, from the engineers right up to top management.”

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“The process works when the customer takes your information and implements the changes and or suggestions,” explained JBT’s Donn Sabato. “Perricone, to their credit, took the information we presented to them and put it into action under Bob and Joe’s leadership. This area is why Perricone has grown so dramatically in the last few years based on Joe and Bob’s leadership – they are action oriented and work their plan to fruition.”

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Surpassing forecasts
Moving into the new facility, Perricone implemented the new extraction line with JBT’s partnership and assistance, with the result that it far surpassed the original forecast. “We improved our yield by 15-20% compared with the original forecast 8-10%,” says Rovzar. “It allowed us to capitalize on being able to extract the fruit when it is available and to become competitively positioned in the market. Being able to extract 20% more juice means that we are now better able to satisfy our customer base with juice that was previously going to waste.”

Perricone today has eight extractors, two brand-new finishers and a sizer – all sourced from JBT. It is also investing in new JBT-supported fruit unloading system, which will provide substantial support on effectively handling fruit through to loading into tanks for processing. JBT has also helped establish a citrus oil recovery system at the plant. “We are optimistically looking at other opportunities for working together with JBT in the future,” adds Rovzar. “JBT is our first choice for working together.”

Learn more about Perricone Farms

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JBT and MexiFrutas: a fresh recipe for success

Leer este artículo en español

MexiFrutas, a leading mango pulp processor focused on global export markets, is one of JBT’s longest-standing customers in Mexico; a status which is no accident, according to MexiFrutas managing director Sergio Garcia. Since 2003, JBT has formed a key element in the ongoing MexiFrutas success story, providing solutions, equipment and support for the company during a period of sustained growth based on quality and a reputation for excellence.

MexiFrutas began life almost two decades ago with a small mango processing facility in the western, Pacific state of Nayarit. Fast forward 15 years and the company now boasts three processing sites – two in Nayarit and one in Chiapas – strategically placed to follow the annual Mexican mango season, starting in southern Mexico in Chiapas in late February, before moving north during the course of the year and finishing in early September. 

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Approximately 95% of MexiFrutas’ production is for international markets, shipping to a wide variety of destinations including the US, Canada, Europe, South and Central America, Japan, South Korea and even as far as Australia. A small percentage is also sold on the domestic market.

MexiFrutas’ working relationship with JBT also began back in 2003, establishing a very solid supplier-customer partnership that has continued to the present day, with all company sites featuring equipment and machinery 100% sourced from JBT.

“We started with one small processing plant, and now we have three plants that process mango pulp, which use 100% JBT equipment,” explains Sergio Garcia. “It has been a good relationship for both sides.”

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“MexiFrutas is in a sense married to JBT,” he continues. “As a company, we don’t like to take any risks in terms of the delicate machinery for a mango line producing processed pulp and JBT is very trustworthy. In fact, we have virtually never had any problems with product contamination or machinery failures, which is testament to the fact that the systems are well made and have effective safeguards against microbiological threats.”

But MexiFrutas has not only been working with JBT when it comes to processing mango pulp, it also collaborates closely JBT specialists in freezing and IQF products. 

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“JBT is a company that responds promptly whenever a problem might arise and provides solutions,” says Garcia. “We have great trust in JBT, trust which they have earned and which is reciprocal. It’s a successful relationship for both sides.”

MexiFrutas currently uses various JBT technologies at all three facilities, including de-pulping and finishing systems, enzymatic deactivation, evaporators, sterilizers and aseptic fillers. The company expects to purchase new JBT equipment to support their ambitious growth plan over the next 12-24 months.

“When we speak to a customer who is knowledgeable about mango pulping and we mention we use JBT equipment, there is an implicit recognition that you are using good systems for processing, and undoubtedly this gives confidence to our customers,” adds Garcia.

video ©MexiFrutas 2018

JBT y MexiFrutas: una receta natural para el éxito

Read this article in English

MexiFrutas, uno de los principales procesadores de pulpa de mango enfocado en los mercados mundiales de exportación, es uno de los clientes más antiguos de JBT en México, y haber alcanzado ese estatus no es ninguna coincidencia, según afirma el director general de MexiFrutas, Sergio García. Desde 2003, JBT ha jugado un papel fundamental en la continua historia de éxito de MexiFrutas, brindando a la empresa  soluciones, equipos y apoyo durante un periodo de crecimiento sostenido que tiene como cimientos la calidad y una reputación de excelencia.

MexiFrutas nació hace casi dos décadas siendo una pequeña planta de procesamiento de mango localizada en el occidental estado del Pacífico, Nayarit. Quince años después, la empresa cuenta con tres plantas procesadoras—dos en Nayarit y una en Chiapas—cuya ubicación estratégica les permite seguir la temporada anual del mango mexicano, comenzando en el sur de México, en Chiapas, a finales de febrero, antes de trasladarse al norte durante los meses siguientes y concluir a comienzos de septiembre. 

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Aproximadamente un 95% de la producción de MexiFrutas se destina a los mercados internacionales, haciendo embarques a una variedad de destinos entre los que se encuentran Estados Unidos, Canadá, Europa, Centro y Sudamérica, Japón, Corea del Sur, e incluso lugares tan remotos como Australia. Solo una pequeña fracción se vende en el mercado nacional.

La colaboración entre MexiFrutas y JBT también data de 2003, cuando establecieron una muy sólida alianza cliente-proveedor que ha perdurado hasta el día de hoy, en que todas las plantas de la empresa cuentan con equipamiento y maquinaría proveniente en su totalidad de JBT.

“Iniciamos con una pequeña planta procesadora y ahora somos tres plantas que procesan pulpa de mango utilizando en un 100% equipos de JBT”, explica Sergio García. “Ha sido una colaboración buena para ambas partes”.

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“MexiFrutas está de cierta manera casada con JBT”, prosigue. “Como empresa, no nos gusta arriesgarnos en cuestiones de la delicada maquinaria que se requiere para una línea de mango que produce pulpa procesada, y JBT es sumamente confiable. De hecho, prácticamente nunca hemos tenido problemas de contaminación de productos o fallas de la maquinaria, lo que demuestra que los sistemas están muy bien hechos y cuentan con medidas de protección efectivas en contra de amenazas microbiológicas”.

La colaboración entre MexiFrutas y JBT no se limita al procesamiento de pulpa de mango, también trabaja muy de la cerca con los especialistas de JBT especializados en congelación y productos IQF. 

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“JBT es una empresa que responde oportunamente cada vez que surge un problema y nos brinda soluciones”, explica García. “Confiamos plenamente en JBT, y esa confianza se la han ganado y además es recíproca. Es una relación de éxito para ambas partes”.

Mexifrutas actualmente utiliza una variedad de soluciones JBT en las tres plantas, incluyendo despulpadores y refinadores, evaporadores, esterilizadores, y llenadoras asépticas.

La empresa espera adquirir nuevo equipamiento de JBT para consolidar su ambicioso plan de crecimiento que contempla para los siguientes 12 a 24 meses.

“Si conversamos con un cliente conocedor de la extracción de pulpa de mango y mencionamos que utilizamos equipamiento JBT, existe un reconocimiento implícito de que estamos usando sistemas que son buenos para el procesamiento y, sin lugar a duda, esto les da confianza a nuestros clientes”, afirma García.

video ©MexiFrutas 2018

HPP Fresh Florida: how JBT Avure helped build a fast-growing business

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The story of how leading Florida-based High Pressure Processing (HPP) service provider HPP Fresh Florida came into being can be traced back to a game of golf one Thanksgiving between company founders Keith Sirois and Peter O’Hara. Hospitality industry professionals with a combined 80 years’ experience between them, Sirois was enthusiastically relating details of a visit to a salsa plant owned and operated by a friend in Michigan. 

The owner of a business called Garden Fresh Foods, Sirois’ friend was using HPP for salsas to considerable success. “I was enamored with the whole thing,” Sirois recalls. “I felt like this is the future of food.”

HPP revolution
HPP, a technology developed by JBT’s Avure Technologies business, can deliver an extended shelf life for liquid foods with a minimal impact on flavor, texture or nutritional content. The system pasteurizes liquid foods in flexible packaging by subjecting them to cold water at extremely high pressures – 87,000 pounds per square inch or 6,000 BAR – which has the effect of inactivating pathogens, such as salmonella, listeria or E.coli.

“HPP allows food manufacturers to take preservatives out of food,” explains Sirois. “It also gives smaller companies an opportunity to expand their marketplace, and that’s what Garden Fresh Foods did. They bought a small HPP machine and all of a sudden were shipping all over the world. From a little company that was schlepping salsa around grocery stores, they were exporting to Asia and other places.”

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JBT support
O’Hara was similarly enthused, so the pair started to look for a site in Florida, eventually finding a suitable building in the town of Bartow. “We’d been in the food business our whole lives, so we understood there is a shift happening in food and in what people want in their food,” says Sirois.

HPP Fresh Florida provides several ancillary services, such as labelling, date code and packing, but HPP remains its primary business, working with suppliers and products, including meat, seafood, juice, salsa, hummus and dips. “There’s a wide variety of foods that can be treated with HPP and we’ll do any of them,” explains Sirois.

“Of course, there are some foods that are not suitable for HPP, and there are some controlling factors when it comes it packaging – you can’t put glass or cans through HPP – but a huge number of foods are suitable.”

JBT Avure at ProPak Asia

HPP Fresh Florida’s relationship with JBT began when the company enquired about ordering its first Avure HPP machine and has continued ever since. “We have a great relationship with JBT,” says Sirois. “I felt right from day one that we were partners.”

The company currently uses JBT Avure’s largest machine, the AV40X, for HPP processing, but has the plumbing and foundation work in place for a second unit, which Sirois expects to order next year to meet growing demand.

Overall, he says customer feedback to the technology has been very enthusiastic, and new customers continue to arrive on an almost daily basis. “What we are finding is a company may discover us through their relationship with JBT, and all of a sudden I talk to them and then I get calls from people they called and spoke to about us, so it’s very exciting,” Sirois adds.

Visit HPP Fresh Florida HERE

Learn more about JBT Avure and HPP technology

READYGo d-LIMONENE helps Spanish juice company add value

Zumosol is one of the best known orange juice brands on the Spanish market, easily recognizable to shoppers in supermarkets and grocery stores up and down the country for its quality. But a far less well known – but significant – fact about Zumosol brand owner Zumos Palma is it has emerged as an innovator in the extraction of valuable citrus byproduct d-Limonene, thanks to a long-standing collaboration with JBT.

Part of Turkey-based multinational Toksöz Group since its separation from former parent company Leche Pascual in 2013, Zumos Palma is based in Palma del Río in the southern, Andalusian province of Cordoba. Some 90% of the business is focused on orange juice, of which around 40% juice extracted from the annual 120,000 tonnes processed by the factory is sold under the Zumosol brand.

As managing director Juan Martinez explains, Zumos Palma has maintained a long-term, fruitful relationship with JBT since the Spanish business was initially established in 2003.

“We have had a long relationship with JBT, stretching right back to the establishment of Zumos Palma,” he says. “In our factory, the whole process of juice extraction and gathering of by-products takes place using JBT products.

“Virtually all of the equipment we use comes from JBT, from the receipt of fruit to the extraction of juice, and the recovery of by-products such as d-Limonene and fruit pulp takes place using JBT technology.”

Adding value
When Martinez joined Zumos Palma in 2013, he had already become aware of the interest d-Limonene was receiving as a product in the juice sector and its potential worth, and decided to install the firm’s first READYGo d-LIMONENE system. “Since we installed it, the unit has functioned very well – it’s easy to use and the results have been very positive to such a degree that in 2017 we decided to install a second unit,” he recalls.

“We also carried out a study into the economic results delivered by the technology, and from a financial point of view they have been very positive.”

CLICK FOR MORE ABOUT THE READYGO D-LIMONENE SYSTEM

The second machine, Martinez continues, is being installed with a slightly different focus in mind. Whereas the first READYGo d-LIMONENE unit was used to recover d-Limonene from the emulsion derived from the orange juice extraction process, the second will be used to recover d-Limonene by pressing orange peel.

The recovered d-Limonene, says Martinez, is sold primarily to companies working in the perfume industry, as well as for use as aromas.

“The READYGo d-LIMONENE enables us to put a value on a product that until now was not recovered, meaning your results as a business can become more attractive because it is an additional value that you are able to extract from the fruit,” he concludes.

Pressed Juicery and JBT: a fresh success story

California-based Pressed Juicery is a business that has had a long association with JBT’s juicing range. Beginning first with two Fresh’n Squeeze machines at a modest facility in West Los Angeles, the company has experienced exponential growth in every year since its inception, and in the process has substantially expanded it’s juicing systems. In an exclusive article, Mike Stokes, Vice President of Operations at Pressed Juicery explains how Pressed Juicery’s relationship with JBT has been a key factor in its growth and success, and why the companies continue to work closely to the present day.

Pressed Juicery is a leading cold-pressed juice company with the mission of making high nutrition a realistic option for everyone. To do this, we make products that are delicious, nutritious, accessible, affordable and for everyone. Pressed Juicery started as a passion project born in a 22-square foot broom closet in West Los Angeles that was founded by three friends whose lives had all been positively impacted by the power of juice. Today, the brand has over 70 locations through California, New York, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii and Massachusetts, and offers national shipping to all 50 states.

Pressed Juicery’s products include cold-pressed juices; Freeze, a revolutionary soft serve made from just fruits, nuts and vegetables; functional 2 oz. shots; and Heat, a line of superfood lattes. The company’s products were created with their customers in mind, proving that health, great taste and affordability can all exist together.

Right partnership
Pressed Juicery’s relationship with JBT first began in the early days of the business. The company was growing rapidly and we needed to relocate into a larger manufacturing plant.

We were looking for a scalable process but it was also paramount to us to maintain our quality. It was imperative that we provide our customers with great-tasting, safe citrus juices.

This then triggered the manufacturing team to evaluate its current processes. We realized we needed a better method of juicing our citrus. In the current process we were peeling our citrus and then pressing them on a good nature press. The manufacturing team knew we wanted to go to a juice extractor but didn’t have enough volume.

Some of the manufacturing team members had previous experience with JBT and were confident this would be the right partnership to deliver the best product. We determined the Fresh’n Squeeze model would fit our needs.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FRESH’N SQUEEZE

Ongoing support
When Pressed Juicery relocated its manufacturing plant to Central California we started with two Fresh’n Squeeze machines. We juiced our lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, and blood oranges. This was a major upgrade from hand peeling every piece of citrus.

Pressed Juicery has experienced exponential growth since inception. As our business continued to expand and enter different markets we realized we needed to upgrade our Fresh’n Squeeze machines to a citrus extractor. We could no longer keep juicing on the small Fresh’n Squeeze machine to keep up with demand.

JBT has provided a level of expertise on the citrus side that has benefited the entire team. They have been able to support us throughout our journey and have provided guidance in ensuring our extraction equipment provides the best quality product. Their maintenance team has ensured our machine is running efficiently at all times. JBT touches many areas of our operations and it’s nice to have a single source for business discussions around our citrus processes.

We believe we have just scratched the surface with JBT. They are an innovative company that is paving the way in new processes, and our partnership will lead us to different projects around juicing. I believe as we continue to grow and expand JBT will be there as a resource to help us determine the best equipment for our operations.

Further information about Pressed Juicery, its range of products and ordering details can be found at pressedjuicery.com

The JBT Hydromatic: setting the standard for high capacity sterilization

The JBT Hydromatic is one of the best-selling systems in the JBT catalogue and it is not hard to see why: the system’s capacity to run continuously for many days, after being initially heated – and its ability to sterilize and cook products internally – means that it can effectively save food and beverage processors substantial amounts of time, money, energy and floor space.

Netherlands-based Albert-Frans Brouwer, JBT’s Product Line Director for Hydrostatic Sterilization, has seen at first hand the effectiveness of the system and says it has consistently demonstrated major functionality advantages over other, equally well-established sterilization solutions.

As Brouwer explains, the Hydromatic brand can be applied to a variety of applications, all driven by one key factor: the hydrostatic principle, where sterilization takes place by means of steam or super-heated water.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE JBT HYDROMATIC

Steam or water-based sterilization techniques make use of heat that is locked inside a vessel at a certain pressure to assure uniform processing conditions. Batch retort systems are typically used for smaller volumes where baskets are loaded into a vessel after which a door closes and the entire vessel is heated and cooled. In case of the Hydromatic Sterilizer, the system works through the use of a central tower to house steam. This steam tower is accompanied by two towers, connected left and right, which both contain a column of water, each between 15-20 meters high, acting as a water lock.

Under the hydrostatic principle, steam in the sterilized zone (red) is balanced by the two water columns

The biggest advantage of this system, says Brouwer, is that because it utilizes a water lock, it can pull products into the sterilization chamber continuously, while the connected water columns are used to preheat the product as the first step in the sterilization process and cool down the product after sterilization.

“This capacity for continuous processing is what makes the Hydro Sterilizer so unique,” he explains. “This is a tremendous advantage over batch-type sterilizers.” Because the system can run 24/7, you only need to heat the entire system once, after which it stays at a stable temperature and energy is only used to heat the product. “We can further take the heat from the product after sterilization and use it to pre-heat new product when it enters the system and, by doing that, reduce energy consumption in a very efficient way.”

“Overall, the hydrostatic sterilizers shows energy savings of 30-50% when compared to classic batch retort systems, which is a very substantial amount.”

Because of the presence of stable processing conditions, Brouwer continues, the Hydromatic Sterilizer provides an identical process to each package, which gives a highly consistent product quality. Hydrostatic sterilizers are typically suitable for high throughputs, while also offering great flexibility in container size and type of processing.

Brouwer adds: “JBT has been working with this system for over 50 years and there is hardly any product we have not touched, but some of the most common include canned beans, vegetables and soups, dairy and soy milk, and non-carbonated beverages.”