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JBT launches breakthrough solution 
for pouch packaging

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JBT has announced the launch of a new solution for filling flexible pouches commonly used in the infant nutrition and sports drinks categories, which could spark further market growth for the sector. The JBT AsepFlex™ Linear Pouch Filler has been developed to overcome problems associated with current pouch packaging, including a high rejection rate and low capacity.

The market of flexible packaging is growing, with pouches becoming the preferred option for processors and consumers thanks to their non-breakable, lightweight, easy to open, and easy to empty (squeezable) characteristics. In the infant nutrition category, the market share for flexible pouches is expected to grow by 10% each year.

However, growth in the category has been restricted by limits to current pouch filling technology. The two existing shelf stable pouch solutions both suffer from significant drawbacks. Solutions using an aseptic form fill seal typically have a low capacity and a high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to a high rejection rate. Hot fill with retort sterilization solutions, meanwhile, often have low (120 ppm) capacity and low product quality.

The JBT AsepFlex Linear Pouch Filler has been developed to solve the problems with these existing solutions by substantially improving capacity and operational performance. With a capacity as high as 500 ppm – or 30,000 pouches per hour – the fully aseptic solution is designed in accordance with the FDA guidelines for low acid aseptically filled food products and can achieve an impressive operational performance, with a 95% efficiency rate and a typical reject rate of only 0.5%. 

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“Apart from capacity and aseptic integrity, the AsepFlex Filler offers flexibility,” explains JBT Product Manager, Bert Krakers. “Pouch formats and sizes can be changed on the fly without the necessity to change parts.”

The AsepFlex system, he says, can fill a wide range of products from water-like liquids through to high viscous products, such as smoothies with particulates. It can also be equipped with a nitrogen dosing system to reduce the oxygen in the headspace of the pouch, which limits the chemical deterioration (oxidation) of the product, helping maximize product shelf life in the process. 

The JBT AsepFlex Filler has been designed for use with infant nutrition products, such as fruit and vegetable purees, and ready-to-drink baby food, as well as sports and breakfast drinks ‘on-the-go’, and nutraceutical products. A first AsepFlex filling unit in Europe has recently been supplied to a leading specialist in infant nutrition.

Learn more about the JBT AsepFlex Linear Pouch Filler

JBT’s READYGo JUICE MJE: the flexible solution for future expansion

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JBT has announced the launch of the latest member of the JBT READYGo™ JUICE Family: the READYGo JUICE MJE, a flexible, modular extraction system that has been designed to offer customers a complete juice line solution enabling them to “hit the ground running”. 

A significant addition to JBT’s READYGo JUICE Family line, the MJE is based on a proven solution, but with the extra benefits of a faster installation time thanks to its modular design and a lower startup cost in the field. The READYGo JUICE modular design also means smaller customers can start with a single extractor and then add further units to the line as their business grows.

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According to Michael Mas, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Fruit & Vegetable Processing, the READYGo JUICE MJE offers a faster installation time at a lower cost, with fewer complications and troubleshooting required as it is fully tested in-factory before shipping. 

A flexible solution, which is compatible with other systems in JBT’s READYGo line, such as the READYGo d-LIMONENE system and the READYGo CYCLONE, the MJE delivers a tailored fruit handling, washing, grading and sizing solution. 

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Rapid expansion
“After having success with our first two READYGo JUICE offerings, which were designed for one or two extractors, we saw demand for a solution that enabled you to start with a smaller line and have the ability to expand to a greater number of extractors in the future,” explains Mas. “The READYGo JUICE MJE comes with controls, pumps and all you’ll need to start small and then grow.”

The MJE was initially developed for a customer in Mexico that asked for a skid-based solution that would be able to expand as its business developed. An initial three extractor unit was quickly expanded to four, before the company grew to encompass six extractors twelve months later.

“We presented the concept to the customer and they saw an opportunity to get started quickly with the MJE,” says Mas, who adds that the solution has since received interest from Asia, Europe and the US.

READ MORE about the JBT READYGo™ JUICE Family

Endura-Fresh and Freshgard: making produce protection simple

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No one involved in the fresh produce sector can claim it is an easy or straightforward business. Plant disease, mold and fungus pose a daily risk for growers and packers, potentially leading to costly withdrawals and even more damaging losses in reputation. When it comes to JBT’s extensive line of Fresh Produce Technologies (FPT), the emphasis is very much on delivering a level of service and expertise that helps produce companies get their products to market in the best condition possible.

Charlene Jewell, JBT’s FPT Research and Development Manager, explains that two of JBT’s most enduring FPT product ranges – Endura-Fresh™ coatings and Freshgard® decay control – are not only effective, but also benefit from an unequalled support network.

An edible fruit coating, the Endura-Fresh line can be formulated for the requirements of specific types of produce, improving product appearance, shelf-life, and guard against weight loss.  “For example, with citrus fruits, a shine is desired, so we develop coatings that have a nice shine,” says Jewell. “In all cases, moisture loss is generally protected with the coating. In the case of tropical fruits, it could help control the rate of ripening.”  Whatever the specific needs of the product are, coatings are formulated to help meet those needs.

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Combined action
The Freshgard range comprises decay control and sanitation systems that work to control fruit decay, as well as help destroy organisms in the wider environment so they don’t infect the fruit. Typical citrus diseases such as green mold, blue mold, and sour-rot can be treated, as well as grey mold and some other diseases commonly found on other fruits. Endura-Fresh coatings can also be a carrier for some Freshgard decay control products. “Often Freshgard products are applied in the coating, and that’s a nice way to apply because you can really control how much you are applying,” she explains. “As much coating goes on, a corresponding amount of fungicide is applied.”

However, Jewell emphasizes that what makes the products really stand out is the level of service and expertise behind them from JBT, which makes growers and packers receive optimum benefits from the systems. “Sometimes there’s not a lot of differentiation between products on the market. JBT’s strength is in delivering service and expertise in coatings, decay control, and application systems.” 

Learn more about JBT’s range of Fresh Produce Technologies

JBT iOPS: Empowering customers to drive success

Collecting and learning from data drawn in real-time from systems and machinery can detect potential issues before they become problems or even improve the overall efficiency of operations. This is the theory behind Intelligent Operations or iOPS, the latest stage in delivering more joined-up, efficient system management solutions, which is now being offered by JBT to customers worldwide.

As Matthew Jin, JBT’s IoT (Internet of Things) Program Manager explains, JBT iOPS systems collect information and data from equipment as part of a solution that enables customers to make vital, timely decisions to improve operational running or deal with problems.

“JBT iOPS delivers a connected device experience where we can collect data and convert it into actionable insights,” he says. “Through decades of industry know-how and expertise, we can analyze and detect issues before they become a bigger problem. Through analytics, we can detect issues quickly to keep equipment running efficiently day in and day out.”

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JBT iOPS can check the functionality of systems throughout a facility

Data visualization
Provided as a turnkey solution, JBT specialists visit customers to install iOPS hardware and software, which enables the collection of up-to-the-second information from equipment and machinery. Once completed, customers can access the information through their laptop, mobile device or tablet where a program will enable them to visualize the data. JBT can customize and tailor information displays into dashboards and reports, which provide customers with vital data covering everything from yield to production to alarms and errors.

“Customers can’t afford to have downtime and they need critical equipment to be running at optimum levels, so being able to monitor key performance indicators from those processes helps customers drive throughput, improve yields and where possible avoid defects,” explains Jin.

“With real-time notification and smart reporting, iOPS empowers our customers to drive success.  In the end, everyone’s a winner when we let data do the talking.”

Matthew Jin will be delivering a presentation on IoT and iOPS as part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) 2019 TechTalks Showcase. The Tech Talk, ‘Smart IoT Made Simpler’, takes place at 3.10 PM on February 13 at Booth B8725, IPPE 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia.

Click to request more information about JBT iOPS

FLEX-ID: The labeling system that improves traceability and saves time

JBT’s FLEX-ID Labeling System is a high-speed, innovative solution for fruit and vegetable producers that can boost efficiency and improve traceability. With pressure on producers to trim costs while at the same time tackling the threat of food-related illnesses, the system is not only a highly-efficient labeling option, but also a means of tracking down problematic shipments.

JBT Product Development Engineer Jonathan Stokes, who was involved in the development of the system, explains that FLEX-ID helps obtain variable and trackable data on an individual piece of fruit. It is also able to reach the labeling speeds that customers are looking to achieve.

Instead of a typical speed of 600-700 pieces of fruit – or cups – per minute, FLEX-ID can label 1,000 pieces of fruit per minute, which Stokes describes as being at the “really high end” of what labeling systems are able to reach.

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Effective traceability
However, FLEX-ID’s ability to deliver a flexible, user-friendly labeling system is the key selling point for the technology. Enabling customers to create their own label layout, FLEX-ID helps keep track of where individual produce originated from by adding in a lot code, as well as standard data such as the Price Look-Up (PLU) code and quantity. 

“Our system keeps track of the lots,” Stokes explains. “Let’s say it’s December 14 and you are running lemons, and four months later, someone gets sick. They can track down the lemon which made the person sick to the batch and a particular time, and that’s what gets recalled.”

With an estimated 48 million people taking sick and 3,000 deaths each year in the US due to foodborne illnesses, Stokes emphasizes there is clear need for effective tracking and isolation of any potentially contaminated products.

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Time savings
FLEX-ID also allows customers to make significant time-saving and logistical savings by eliminating the need for manual replacement of labels. “Say I’m running large lemons which have their own PLU number, and then halfway through the day I switch to running small lemons with a different PLU number,” says Stokes. “Typically what happens is you have to have someone walk out to the machine, pull off those labels, grab a new cassette with the new labels, drop it on the machine, and make sure it’s all good, which all takes time.”

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“These labels are preprinted, so they don’t have any tracking information. With the FLEX-ID system, you go to your computer, change to running small lemons, add in the PLU code and the lot number and it ends the previous lot, keeping track of when that lot stopped, records the new lot and sends the new label. 

“From a logistics point of view, this also saves on having to stock rolls of 40 or 50 different labels.”

Download the JBT FLEX-ID Brochure

JBT will highlight FLEX-ID, alongside other solutions for the fresh produce sector, at Fruit Logistica 2019 from February 6-8 in Hall 3.1, Stand D-03

READYGo FVP: the new, complete solution for cold-extracted juices

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JBT has announced the launch of an innovative new system for cold-extracted fruit and vegetable juices, which is designed to overcome complications with traditional bag presses. Capable of processing everything from whole watermelons to carrots, beets and berries, the READYGo FVP™ offers continuous, hygienic juice extraction at up to five tons per hour of raw product.

The result of two years’ research involving prototypes and precursors, the FVP (Fruit and Vegetable Processing) skid incorporates JBT’s proven chopper pump, the FVX-5, with an external FVG flow-through grinder and a UCF110 screw finisher. No heat is applied during extraction, making the juice or blends suitable for immediate bottling followed by HPP processing with JBT’s Avure high-pressure processing systems.

Proven solution
Danny Milla, JBT’s New Product Development Manager for Fruit & Vegetable Processing, said: “The idea for this skid is to provide a modular system that can process any fruit and vegetable in a hygienic fashion. Three pieces of equipment are mounted on the skid and together provide the solution. 

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“Based on research and testing over the last two years, we have proven the concept and now we have created a new product that encapsulates this equipment on a single skid at a single price.”

Unlike a traditional bag press – an accordion-like structure, which squeezes the pulped produce through a nylon cloth – the FVP does not require emptying and refilling after each batch. Instead, the FVP offers continuous processing, which is hygienic and easy-to-clean, while at the same time – unlike a bag press, which is exposed to the atmosphere – being completely enclosed.

Easily automated, the FVP can also handle up to five tons per hour, and delivers a yield of anywhere between 50% to 92% across a range of commonly processed fruits and vegetables. Depending on the product it can generate up to 20 gallons per minute of fresh juice.

The first completed FVP skid is expected to be ready for commercialization in January 2019.

Read more about the READYGo FVP

FTNON continues fresh-cut expansion with new onion and bell pepper processors

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JBT’s recently-acquired FTNON fresh-cut machinery business has announced the launch of two solutions designed to make life easier for onion and bell pepper processors, both of which have been developed to include easy-to-clean features that comply with the highest hygienic standards. 

Introduced by FTNON at its recent customer open week, held in Horst, The Netherlands from October 29-November 3, the two systems place an emphasis not just on effectiveness and reliability, but crucially also on ease-of-use and cleanability.

Cleanability factor
The newly-launched FTNON Sweet Pepper Decorer, designed to be very hygienic and completely cleanable, has been developed to remove cores and problematic seeds from bell peppers in the most efficient way possible, while also leaving a small footprint. 

According to FTNON’s Lars Heuvelmans, the compact machine, which can handle two bell peppers at a time, uses pneumatic coring devices remove the center of the peppers, before a high-pressure air system cleans out the remaining seeds. Leftover seeds, stems and cores are then removed outside the machine using a scraper.

The JBT FTNON Sweet Pepper Decorer

The JBT FTNON Sweet Pepper Decorer

In the next step, the cored and cleaned bell peppers are cut lengthwise into pieces by a mechanical segmenting station, which enables the peppers to be divided into halves, quarters or eights.

However, as well as its efficiency, a key feature of the decorer is its cleanability. “It’s easy to access all areas of the machine – you just slide out the drum and you have access to the inside, the drills and the knives,” explains Heuvelmans. “If you look at a bell pepper, inside there are a lot of small seeds which will get into every part of the machine, so cleanability is a very important feature.”

The JBT FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler

The JBT FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler

Reduced costs
Developed by FTNON in collaboration with US-based Gills Onions and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the FTNON Magnetic Onion Peeler focuses on yield, hygiene and convenience with the design, components and materials specially selected to ensure the machine gets a very high score on all points. 

By employing super magnetism, the system eliminates the need for wires, tubes, belts and springs, resulting in a machine with frictionless components, which has the effect of tremendously reducing maintenance costs. 

With hygiene requirements in the food sector becoming ever more stringent, Heuvelmans says ease-of-cleaning is also a key feature of the stainless steel Magnetic Onion Peeler. Waste and the peeled product are separated at the earliest possible stage, meaning the risk of contamination or waste peel reaching other areas of the machine is greatly reduced, while the design has eliminated chains and other hygienically vulnerable components. Both of which, adds Heuvelmans, make a very real difference, not only for improving hygiene but also for overall cleanability. 

Click for more information about FTNON solutions

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