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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

The post-pandemic food industry: reasons for optimism

Green plant in light bulb silhouette on soil background

Carlos Fernandez, JBT Executive Vice President and President, Liquid Foods, outlines why he believes that in spite of some significant challenges and undoubted changes to the ways we live and work, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future of the global food industry.

An abridged version of this article was published in Food Logistics Magazine.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact across most industries worldwide, and the food sector has not been immune to its consequences. In particular, for foodservice operators – and the restaurants, cafes and bars they supply – the spread of the Coronavirus has been quite challenging. Despite this – and although it is clear there will be important changes to the ways we live and work – I believe there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the food industry. While impossible to say that it is 100% recession-proof, it is a critical, essential industry for everyone. But at the same time, the industry will change and evolve.

Carlos Fernandez

Carlos Fernandez

In the short-to-medium term, the pandemic will bring about significant changes to the food processing industry, the supply chain and consumption. On the consumer side, I think the trend towards cooking and eating at home will stay with us for the foreseeable future, along with consumer trends toward healthy food options. Health and nutrition will continue to grow in importance and will influence the decisions consumers make in choosing food and beverage products. On the retail front I also expect to see changes in packaging formats from larger bulk sizes to smaller packs.

“The trend towards cooking at home will continue for the foreseeable future”

Across the food supply chain, we are likely to see significant changes to the IT, sanitation, and automation infrastructures with the goal of creating greater efficiencies and improvements in hygiene and food safety. Uncertainty over short- and long-term sustainability issues is likely to lead to more replacement investment, and we at JBT believe this will take on the form of additional capital spend on new factories. Achieving efficiency is not just a question of generating more savings, it also has to do with finding the right balance of people and skills. If this was difficult before, it will become even more of a challenge as the levels of contagion in many food processing facilities are potentially very high.

And, of course, food safety will be of fundamental importance. There will be an even greater focus on traceability, while cleaning systems and hygiene will be critical. At JBT, we are focusing on all three areas with dedicated laboratories and scientists, as well as continuous testing verified by the FDA.

Tomatoes Cherry on Vine Pulp Tray Photo - Proseal

JBT Proseal offers sustainable packaging options

To reduce the amount of human contact with food products there are going to be a lot more individual packages and a large-scale shift from bulk packaging to grab-and-go. JBT is well positioned to participate in this trend with automated solutions from our Proseal branded tray sealing technology. Proseal is a leader and an innovator in environmentally friendly packaging systems manufacturing in Europe, the US and Australia.

“There will be an even greater focus on traceability. Cleaning systems will be critical.”

Other important trends can be seen when we look at product categories such as shelf-stable foods and orange juice. Both have experienced a widespread revival and I believe this is a trend which is here to stay. Shelf stable foods provide safe, processed products that can be stored at home for extended periods of time, while orange juice is benefiting from increased consumer awareness of its nutritional and health benefits. Orange juice, of course, also contains high levels of vitamin C, and consumers are becoming more aware of the fact that instead of taking a vitamin supplement, they can receive the same benefits through a natural product.

Sustainability
Related to all the above is the topic of sustainability. I believe we are going to see further movement towards improving energy-efficient technologies and decreasing water consumption in food processing, supporting more sustainable packaging alternatives, as well as developing more sustainable detergent and cleaning solutions for end-products and equipment.

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JBT’s PRoSIGHT Augmented Remote Assistance smart glasses

At JBT we find ourselves at the center of this area in terms of equipment, solutions, and systems that support food processors’ ambitious environmental goals. Throughout the pandemic JBT’s product development and production facilities have continued to work continuously, with a particular focus on remote service and local assistance. This has included the launch of solutions such as our PRoSIGHT™ Augmented Remote Assistance platform which makes use of smart glasses and mobile devices to enable expert JBT technicians to inspect machinery and equipment from afar. 

“At JBT, we find ourselves at the centre of sustainable alternatives in terms of solutions that support ambitious environmental goals.”

This is critical during pandemic-driven travel restrictions, but instrumental in driving greater travel-related emission reductions in the future. Remote support and operational efficiency are also the focus of JBT’s own Internet of Things solution, the iOPS® Gateway, and we expect to see a lot more demand for the iOPS solution and in the whole area of improving connectivity with customers moving forward.

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Additionally, plant-based drinks and foods will continue to increase in market share, thanks to their perceived health and sustainability benefits, and JBT participates broadly with customers on meeting this growing consumer demand. There will also be more, smaller processing and packaging facilities focused on maximizing flexibility, lowering throughput and distributing local products within a particular region.

In summary, though our world has been rocked by the pandemic, people still need to eat! I still feel strongly that the food industry in general, and JBT, are well positioned to withstand the challenges we are faced with and will continue to weather the storm.”

JBT’s solutions for a post-pandemic future promise fruitful results

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For the global juice industry as it operates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of ensuring stringent food safety – combined with sustainability – has surely never been more important. But given the economic challenges many companies face, the ability to become more efficient during processing and keep waste to a minimum is arguably just as crucial.

JBT’s approach to both food safety and sustainability is encapsulated in six key Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles for juice processors: aiming for food security and nutrition; ensuring economic viability; encouraging good governance; being environmentally responsible; creating acceptable working conditions; and promoting the transfer of knowledge.

“One of the six principles of sustainability is food safety: that foods are not just sustainable, but that they have to be safer,” explains JBT’s Technology Assistance Manager for Liquid Foods, José Lorente. “If you don’t clean properly, you can’t be sure of eliminating micro-organisms, and if the sterilization process is not adequate, this can result in serious problems.”

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Improved profitability
While food safety is undoubtedly important, another significant element of achieving sustainability is maximizing yield. Getting more out of the same volume of fruit – including valuable by-products or ingredients – means far less wastage and potential contamination, and improved profitability at the end of the process; a massively important consideration given the current economic pressures driven by the global pandemic.

“Recovering by-products, such as citrus essential oils, generated during citrus juice processing, enables companies not only to be more environmentally friendly, but also more profitable by being more efficient during the extraction process using the same raw materials,” explains Lorente.

“Over recent years, we at JBT have been working on maximizing and optimizing yield by developing solutions that help customers obtain more juice and by-products. Being efficient is part of sustainability. The more efficient a company, the more sustainable it becomes and the more profitable.”

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Significant benefits
A clear example of how JBT solutions can help juice customers maximize yield is when it comes to essential oils, which can be recovered during the extraction process. These include valuable d-Limonene, a natural organic solvent used as an ingredient across a wide variety of applications, from cleaning products to the aroma industry. However, what makes JBT solutions different from standard extractors is their ability to recover significantly more essential oil.

“With a standard extractor, you can recover around 55% of the essential oil present in the fruit, but thanks to the efficiency of JBT’s ORES (Oil Recovery Extraction System), customers can recover up to 65%,” says Lorente. “You have to bear in mind that otherwise this 10%, which is a contaminant, would be thrown away. By recovering that extra 10%, customers not only earn more money, they also help protect the environment.”

To achieve even better results, JBT has developed the MORE (Modular Oil Recovery Extractor) system, which recovers essential oil before it reaches the extractor. By softly scraping the peel, without damaging the integrity of the fruit, more than 90% of the essential oil available can be recovered.

Learn more about JBT and sustainability

JBT backs greater sustainability for global juice industry

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Leer la entrevista en español

Interview originally published by asozumos.es and is reprinted with kind permission.

Interview with Francisco Purroy Balda, JBT EMENA Sales & Accounts Manager – Citrus & Juice Processing Technologies and Iberia Sales Manager – Liquid Foods.

1. Could you tell us briefly about your company?

JBT is an American, NYSE-listed corporation, headquartered in Chicago, and is one of the principal manufacturers of technologies for juices and beverages based in Florida, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and China. JBT has fruit, vegetable and juice extraction technology centres in Murcia, Spain and Parma, Italy, as well as in Florida, Mexico, and other locations. JBT emerged as a spin-off business from FMC, a company well-known in the citrus world, which has grown since then, reaching many other areas of food technology both organically and as a result of being very active in purchases and acquisitions. JBT’s current turnover has reached $1,900m USD, with some 6,500 employees worldwide. 

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2. What values define the philosophy of the company?

Pancho Purroy

JBT’s Pancho Purroy

Our values are Integrity, Responsibility, Continuous Improvement and Teamwork, but most importantly Putting the Customer First. Since its very beginnings, JBT has been an organisation with a laser focus on sustainability, driven by solutions such as food preservation – covering thermal and non-thermal, and including pasteurization, sterilization, cooling and freezing, autoclaves, hydrostatic towers, and High Pressure Processing (HPP) – and fruit and vegetable extraction solutions with the clear objective of maximizing yield and minimizing waste.

We continue to work very hard not only on the aforementioned where there is always scope for new solutions, but also on helping customers make energy and water savings in processing lines and through achieving added value from byproducts. 

How HPP works_Avure

HPP technology from JBT Avure is finding greater acceptance in the juice industry

3. Taking into account the current situation, what are your company’s short, medium and long term objectives?

In the first place we continue to have our foot on the accelerator developing new technological solutions at the same time as we move forward with projects for achieving organic growth, efficiencies and synergies at an already significantly-sized company. JBT will also continue to move forward with our strategic acquisition programme, while ensuring we maintain our long-term goal of achieving greater ESG and sustainability. 

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JBT is involved in the roll-out of new, remote assistance technologies

4. From your point of view, what are the principal challenges currently affecting the juice industry and why is it important for the industry to support the work of ASOZUMOS?

The serious global crisis caused by COVID-19 is changing the working models every day for more and more industries. In ours, there are the classic problems and challenges of sugars and the image of juice, as well as price and quality inconsistencies in fruits and vegetables which vary from season to season, and the threat from Brazil and other places where things suddenly seem to take a left-turn with consumers buying up long-life juice, supermarkets closing all point-of-sale juicers, the industry wondering if there will be manpower available for produce harvesting, and prices for concentrate recovering quickly.

In whatever case, I believe it is imperative we all work together in ASOZUMOS to face the challenge that remains before us of educating consumers about the benefits of 100% juice, while avoiding confusion, misconceptions with triggers for obesity or diabetes, and wrongful associations with sugary beverages.

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5. What would you say are the skills and abilities being developed at an industry level and what opportunities are there to use them for the common good?

Economy and marketing of scale firstly. A common front against false news and hoaxes. And a strong defence of the industry against the threat posed by supply from emerging markets to the principal markets of consumption where ASOZUMOS members are located. We must do everything we can to achieve on the one hand an unimpeachable industry, 100% transparent, and on the other to make sure this industrial sector really thinks about and works towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Millennials and the ‘Generation Hashtag’ won’t accept anything else.

JBT respalda más sostenibilidad para la industria global de jugos

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Read this interview in English

Artículo reproducido con permiso de asozumos.es

Una entrevista con Francisco Purroy Balda, EMENA Sales & Accounts Manager – Citrus and Juice Processing Technologies, and Iberia Sales Manager – Liquid Foods.

1. Presente brevemente su compañía (tamaño, ubicación, idiosincrasias, etc.). 

JBT es una corporación americana cotizada en el NYSE, sede corporativa en Chicago, principales fábricas para las tecnologías de zumos y bebidas en Florida, Brasil, Italia, Holanda, Bélgica, Sudáfrica, China… centros tecnológicos para las tecnologías de fruta y verdura, extracción de zumos en Murcia y también en Parma, en Florida, en México y otras localizaciones. JBT surgió tras una spin-off de la también muy conocida FMC, referente sobre todo en el mundo del cítrico, y ha ido creciendo desde ahí a muchos otros segmentos de tecnologías alimentarias, tanto orgánicamente como mostrándose muy activa en compras y adquisiciones. Actualmente la facturación alcanza los 1.900m USD y somos unos 6500 empleados.

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2. ¿Qué valores definen mejor la filosofía de su compañía?

Pancho Purroy

Pancho Purroy, JBT

Nuestros valores son Integridad, Responsabilidad, Incesante mejora continua, trabajo en equipo y en fin, el Cliente primero. Pero sobre todo hay una cuestión básica y es que desde sus principios ha sido una organización con un enfoque nuclear sobre la sostenibilidad, siempre liderando las tecnologías por un lado de de conservación de alimentos (tanto térmicas como atérmicas, pasteurización, esterilización, enfriamiento y congelación, autoclaves, torres hidrostáticas, Altas Presiones – HPP) como por otro en las soluciones de extracción de fruta y verdura con el objetivo claro de maximizar el rendimiento y por tanto minimizar el desecho.

Seguimos de lleno en esos aspectos y ahora trabajamos muy duro no sólo en todo lo anterior donde siempre queda margen, sino obviamente con igual ahínco en eficiencias energéticas de las líneas de procesado, en ahorro de agua, en valorización de subproductos…

JBT Avure at ProPak Asia

JBT Avure es un líder en la tecnología de Alta Presión (HPP)

3. Teniendo en cuenta la coyuntura actual, ¿cuáles son los objetivos de su compañía a corto, medio y largo plazo?

En primer lugar tenemos el pie en el acelerador en todo el desarrollo de nuevas soluciones tecnológicas, se están asimismo ejecutando iniciativas en pos del crecimiento orgánico y de las eficiencias, sinergias en una compañía que ya tiene un tamaño importante. Se va a seguir avanzando además en todo el programa de compras, muy estratégico. Y no podemos quedarnos nunca atrás en ESG, sostenibilidad: las metas deben ser responsables y largoplacistas.

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JBT ahora ofrece opciones de mantenimiento virtual a larga distancia

4. Bajo su punto de vista, ¿cuáles diría que son los principales desafíos a los que se enfrenta actualmente el sector de los zumos y que se abordan mejor todos juntos contribuyendo al trabajo de ASOZUMOS?

Esta profunda crisis global del COVID-19 está cambiando día a día los paradigmas que asumíamos en tantos y tantos sectores. En el nuestro, los clásicos problemas y desafíos sobre los azúcares y percepción de los zumos, de inconsistencias de precios y calidades de fruta y verdura en las diferentes campañas, la amenaza brasileña, u otros, de repente parecen dar un giro con consumidores acopiando zumo de larga vida útil, con supermercados clausurando todas las exprimidoras en punto de venta, con la industria pensando si habrá mano de obra disponible para las cosechas hortofrutícolas, con las cotizaciones del concentrado repuntando veloces.

En cualquier caso un reto que me parece imperativo afrontar todos juntos en ASOZUMOS es todo el trabajo que sigue quedando por delante hasta conseguir que los consumidores entiendan los beneficios del zumo 100%, sin confusiones, sin asociaciones o percepciones erradas con las bebidas azucaradas, ni con desencadenantes de obesidad o diabetes.

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5. Así mismo, ¿cuáles diría que son las fortalezas que se generan a nivel sectorial y las oportunidades que identificaría para utilizarlas por el bien común?

Economía de escala y marketing de escala por supuesto. Frente común ante las noticias falsas y los bulos. Y defensa fuerte del sector frente a la amenaza que supone el suministro desde mercados emergentes hacia los principales mercados de consumo de los miembros de ASOZUMOS. Debemos hacer lo posible para que éste sea por una parte un sector intachable, 100% transparente, y por otra un sector industrial que realmente piensa y se ocupa de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS). Millennials, generación hashtag etc no van a aceptar otra cosa.

 

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).

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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 boosts sustainability credentials with ambitious solar project

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JBT’s Sint Niklaas, Belgium facility is close to completing of one of the company’s most ambitious sustainability projects, with the installation of over 1,000 solar panels that will – once in operation – account for 25% of the 260,000 sq ft center’s total energy usage. The culmination of months of careful planning, the project is part of a large scale move to bring Sint Niklaas, and other, older JBT facilities, in line with JBT’s overall Sustainability strategy for 2020.

JBT’s internal Energy Action Plan falls within the Sustainability strategy and includes substantial work undertaken to reduce heating, fuel and electricity usage at locations such as Sint Niklaas. As part of the plan, older roofing at the site is also being replaced and improved insulation added; an effort which has so far helped bring down Sint Niklaas’ heating costs by approximately $150,000 per year.

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Solar panels at JBT Sint Niklaas, Belgium

“At Sint Niklaas, we are in a very big, but old facility, so over recent years we have been renovating the shell and the roofing, and this has given us the opportunity to also install solar panels,” explains HSE and Facility Manager Jan Vangansbeke. “Here in Sint Niklaas, we are located in a residential area and in that context, we want to carefully consider the surrounding environment and our Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Putting in place a total of 1,048 solar panels, capable of generating a total of 330 KWp or around a quarter of the facility’s total energy consumption per year, involved close communication between all partners from the beginning which ultimately helped deliver extremely good results, according to Vangansbeke. 

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View of JBT Sint Niklaas’ recently-installed solar panels

However, the project was not without its challenges. “We have insulated, steel deck roofs with connecting flexi-panels in between to allow for more natural light, but these posed a danger during installation,” he explains. “What we did was to put in place galvanized mesh wire – as they use in concrete – which was fixed to the roof so the solar panels could be installed and maintained safely.”

Looking ahead, Vangansbeke says JBT will continue to work on the building shell in Sint Niklaas with the remaining, older roofing gradually replaced as part of the overall drive to achieve more sustainable heating and electricity usage at the site. Other future initiatives include the installation of charging stations for electrical vehicles.

Learn more about JBT and Sustainability

 

JBT puts sustainability at heart of 2020 goals

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Improving and promoting sustainable practices is a key focus for JBT going into 2020, with initiatives to improve sustainability in the processed food and beverage segment as well as internally within JBT facilities. From assisting customers in the reduction of their energy footprint to improving JBT’s own internal practices, sustainability is moving to the forefront and will feature strongly over the coming 12 months.

“There are four key areas in which JBT is involved in sustainability,” explains Douglas Woodruff, JBT’s Director of Research & Development for Liquid Foods. “Firstly, we provide our customers with solutions that reduce the total cost of ownership in terms of energy, water, and steam, enabling their operations to become more sustainable. Secondly, we have a number of new product offerings that help our customers reduce food waste in food production and the delivery chain.”

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A third area, he continues, is that of adapting highly efficient solutions to the plant-based beverage and food segment. The fourth, in contrast, is concentrated on improving sustainable practices within JBT facilities worldwide, an effort that has included simple changes to grander undertakings. “Our internal initiatives have included everything from putting in light sensors that switch off if there is no-one in the area, installing new heating systems that significantly reduce consumption of heating oil and reduce corresponding emissions, and installing solar panel systems at some of our larger manufacturing sites,” says Woodruff.

“JBT is focused on improving operational efficiencies, for both our customers and ourselves. These improvements often lead to more sustainable operating conditions while also providing financial value,” he adds. “Another bonus is that these developments help our customers – large and small – fulfill their own sustainability objectives, whether that be reducing resources required for production of safe food, reducing food waste, or efficient production of plant-based beverages and/or foods.”

JBT alliance strategy delivers ‘win, win’ for customers and collaborators

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Alliances have formed a key part of JBT’s expansion strategy over the past six years, helping bring major innovators such as Laser Food, Ice Gen and Aurratech to the JBT portfolio and providing these companies, in turn, with access to sales, service, manufacturing and sourcing operations that span 25 countries. 

Under the leadership of Carlos Fernandez, JBT Liquid Foods has pursued a strategy of expansion through acquisitions, but also – equally importantly – through strategic alliances with well placed, global innovators.

“We have had a clear growth strategy under Carlos as JBT Liquid Foods President, whether through new product development, acquisitions or by working with companies that either have solutions that complement our existing core technologies, can help us get into a new area, or explore the edges,” explains Sam Mudgal, JBT’s Alliance Coordinator for Liquid Foods. 

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The ‘Fog-In-Place’ system from JBT and Aurratech

Alliances, he says, provide JBT with a faster means of entering new markets than new product development. “We do both renovation of our existing product line and innovation, and that requires a significant investment of finances, resources and time,” continues Mudgal. “Alliances are a really quick way of bringing new technologies to our customers in a shorter space of time.”

Profitable relationships
Such arrangements, he says, have a clear strategic objective of supporting JBT’s aim of market expansion by providing valuable exposure to new markets and customers, while helping expose JBT customers to the latest market trends. Alliances, explains Mudgal, enable JBT to become a major distributor – generating potential financial rewards in the process – of a cutting-edge technology, and at the same time allowing the allied company to benefit from worldwide sales network, marketing potential and, when applicable, manufacturing capabilities.

“It’s a win, win, win,” says Mudgal. “A win for JBT, a win for participating companies and a win for our customers.” Of course, such arrangements are not purely altruistic, but rather have a very solid financial justification. According to JBT data, alliance-sourced commissions increased by 60% year-on-year in 2018, proving they are not just viable arrangements, but profitable ones too.

Mudgal says JBT alliances can take many different, multi-faceted forms, from co-manufacturing, joint product development to a joint sales strategy. “An alliance relationship can provide an easy, quick, less risky, and adaptable access to a technological solution or a product offering,” he adds.