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JBT launches superior organic fruit coating

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JBT has introduced Sta-Fresh 2850 OR, a new, certified coating for organic fruits, offering superior shine, blush and moisture-loss control than most other organic coatings. Approved for use in both the US and the EU, the solution also provides significantly improved defect resistance compared with previous JBT organic coatings as well as much improved storage performance.

Developed by experts who have helped JBT lead the postharvest market for 90 years, Sta-Fresh 2850 OR has been specially formulated to help minimize moisture loss and maximize flavor preservation, while maintaining a fresh, natural appearance and enduring high shine from the packhouse to the export market destination. 

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John Siddle, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Fresh Produce Technologies, says the coating delivers a significant advantage over JBT’s previous organic coating line, from both a practical and an aesthetic point of view. “Sta-Fresh 2850 OR is a lot shinier so it has a much better appearance, and it also has much better defect control, which means that it doesn’t blush as much as other organic coatings and it holds up better during storage.  The result is that the fruit should arrive at market in much better condition,” Siddle explains. 

“Having better shine, blush and defect resistance will provide our customers with much better value with regard to appearance, moisture-loss control and fruit taste.”

All ingredients used in Sta-Fresh 2850 OR are verified compliant with USDA National Organic Standards and the European Union’s approved list for fruit coatings.

Learn more about Sta-Fresh 2850 OR

JBT and SmartWash alliance to take fresh-cut food safety technology into Europe

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JBT and food safety technology specialist SmartWash Solutions™ have announced the start of a new European alliance between the two companies, which has been developed to bring an innovative combination of science, technology and engineering to fresh-cut produce processors within Europe.

Originally launched in the US in 2009, SmartWash Solutions’ patented SmartWash delivers Pinpoint Process Control™ to food processing wash water systems, mitigating cross contamination while improving food safety. The system has proven so effective in curbing cross contamination that it is now used by over 50% of the US fresh-cut produce industry, leading to expansion to Europe with the opening of SmartWash Solutions BV in the Netherlands.

Ewoud Buter, General Manager of SmartWash Solutions BV, said that with the announcement of the alliance, the company anticipates further expansion with the leveraging of JBT resources in Europe and beyond, which will enable it to significantly scale-up its activities. He said: “Through our alliance with JBT, we will be able to make many more people in the industry aware of the benefits of SmartWash by leveraging the resources of JBT worldwide.”

Carlos Fernandez, JBT’s Executive Vice President and President, Liquid Foods, said: “Food safety is a mega-trend that will transform the marketplace over the next generation. We’re thrilled to partner with SmartWash Solutions and offer this breakthrough to our customers.”

Alleviate challenges
Buter explained that the solution is designed to increase and maximize the effectiveness of the most powerful anti-microbial weapon in existence – chlorine – by combining chlorine-based washes with patented SmartWash chemistry. 

“The components of our patented SmartWash solution help to alleviate the challenges associated with fresh-cut produce, comprising a high level of pathogen control that allows us to mitigate the risk of cross contamination and in the process reduce the probability of outbreaks occurring,” he said. “The wash water used in fresh-cut processing can get extremely dirty, due to soils and other contaminants entering the system.”

SmartWash Solutions’ process control systems provide high process control while also withstanding the challenges of working in a wet and cold environment, common in fresh-cut processing. Additionally, SmartWash Solutions has helped customers realize cost savings in labor, productivity and utilities by improving the efficiency of wash systems and increasing the process control to levels previously impossible in the industry. 

So successful has the technology been that SmartWash systems now treat an estimated five billion pounds worth of fresh-cut produce in the US every year, as well as significant volumes in Canada, Australia, China and Spain. 

Learn more about SmartWash Solutions

JBT’s Complete Spare Assembly: the innovative solution to reduce seamer downtime

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Downtime can be frustrating and expensive for any food and beverage processor, but when it comes to the high-value infant powder segment, the experience can be doubly so. Keeping lines running and downtime to an absolute minimum is essential for powder processors, which is why JBT’s recently-introduced Complete Spare Assembly for JBT Seamers is proving invaluable for companies in the sector.

At its worst, downtime for a powder seamer can last 50 hours while equipment is maintained or repaired and finally brought back online, amounting to a very costly amount of lost production. As JBT’s Customer Care Manager for Filling, Closing and Sterilization, Johan Van Riet explains that the Complete Spare Assembly was borne of a desire to help customers that found themselves in this situation. 

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“The Complete Spare Assembly can reduce downtime tremendously,” he says. “The idea was triggered by powder industry customers who use seamers for cans of infant formula. This is a high value product, so downtime is very costly. We have customers running seamers with 6,000 or 7,000 hour production hours per year, and they were asking what could be done to reduce downtime.”

JBT engineers started to think about how they could tackle the problem, and began to look at full assemblies and rotation kits as an answer. The result is the JBT Complete Spare Assembly which only takes an hour and a half to put in place and get up-and-running on average.

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“We are talking about losing almost a complete production day per event, which is a lot of money” says Van Riet. “In terms of Return-on-Investment, that can be paid back in one to two years.”

As well as doing away with the necessity to store spare components, the Complete Spare Assembly also provides piece of mind as customers can have the confidence of having a ready-made replacement on hand should their seamer break down, continues Van Riet.

The response from the industry, he says, has been very positive, with eight customers now having a Complete Spare Assembly in place. The next step could now be the dairy industry, where Van Riet says customers have also shown a strong interest in the solution.

Learn more about the JBT Complete Spare Assembly

JBT & Aurratech: bringing fog sterilization & sanitization to the globe

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JBT’s alliances are all about bringing complementary solutions and technologies to its global customer base, which is why innovative sanitization specialist Aurratech looks certain to be a perfect fit over the coming years. Aurratech is the company behind Fog-in-Place™, a pioneering sterilization and sanitization system that guarantees 100% surface contact plus airborne disinfection with a fraction of the water and chemicals typically consumed by traditional technologies.

Fog-in-Place (FIP) can be used by food, beverage, produce, and protein processors to sterilize or sanitize equipment, piping, tanks and entire processing areas by turning biocide solution to fog in form of billions of micro-particles.

According to company founder Caio Agmont, FIP produces low weight particles that achieve 100% surface contact by remaining suspended in the air for long periods of time through which it can reach all areas of a facility that need to be sanitized, including around odd shapes.

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FIP also reduces more than 99% of the water, waste and sanitizing solution typically associated with traditional liquid based Sanitize-In-Place (SIP) procedures, making major savings in time, energy, solution and water, with negligible environmental impact. The system can be used effectively by both food (fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy) and beverage (wine, beer, juice, non-alcoholic and general beverages) processors, while it also has applications in the meat, fish and bakery sectors, among others.

International interest
Agmont says FIP has received a positive response from companies worldwide, including from leading wine producers in South Africa and fruit packers in Spain. “FIP is a great alternative to Clean-In-Place (CIP) programs and can save 99% of the water and chemicals used by CIP,” he says. “We have been working with a major wine company in Cape Town, South Africa where they have a huge problem with drought. Saving water is very important for them as they clean and disinfect several tanks and lines per day. FIP can save a huge amount of water and eliminate the need for waste treatment.”

With FIP now approved as meeting USDA Organic Standards 205.272 and 205.605 in the US, the technology is also seen as having great potential to replace chlorine dioxide gas sterilization processes for organic products.

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Aurratech is helping wine producers in South Africa save water

Airborne disinfection
There are also significant benefits, continues Agmont, in using FIP as an alternative to steam sterilization. “In Spain, we are using FIP with several companies for aseptic tanks,” he says. “Normally these companies use steam for the sterilization process. With FIP we can save steam (which is expensive), energy on air conditioning for cold rooms (FIP does not increase the room temperature), nitrogen (a huge amount is used to cool tanks during steam sterilization), water and we eliminate the risk of tank collapse.”

FIP is also being used by Aurratech customers for airborne disinfection, sterilizing ambient bottling plants which do not have aseptic fillers. “If the fillers are not aseptic, companies need to achieve a better air quality control to avoid any kind of contamination,” says Agmont. “Using FIP, we can deliver airborne disinfection by creating ‘aseptic’ ambient conditions.”

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New applications
Proving that the technology has huge scope for possible uses, Agmont says FIP has also been employed by nursery greenhouses for fertilizer and fungicide application with great results, while it has proven effective in combating botrytis in rose production facilities in South Africa.

Significantly, Aurratech is also planning research and investigation in Spain examining how FIP can be used to treat fruits during the postharvest stage to reduce decay. 

“The challenge here is to find the right chemical that doesn’t leave any residue on the fruit,” says Agmont. “Especially in Europe, there is a move towards residue free fruit, so companies must be much more aware about cold room and bin disinfection to eliminate any cross contamination or ambient contamination during storage. 

“We believe FIP can bring about new options to this field in terms of ambient disinfection.”

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Aurratech is researching post harvest applications for fruits

Tremendous progress
Sam Mudgal, JBT’s Alliance Coordinator for Liquid Foods, describes JBT’s role as increasing Aurratech’s reach and profile as its exclusive Global Sales Representative, assisting the company with sales, marketing and opening new doors. “We have a well-defined scope for Aurratech in terms of applications and territories, and it has already made tremendous progress in Spain and South Africa,” he says.

Mudgal says Aurratech alliance-sourced global sales have grown seven-fold since beginning its collaboration with JBT, and he predicts the current figure will double before the close of 2019. In fact, to manage its expansion, Aurratech now offices in Brazil, the US, Spain and South Africa, while a fifth is in the pipeline for Chile. 

However, yet more ambitious expansion is on the table for the next 12 months. Following completion of a Fog-In-Place demonstration unit and the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, Aurratech is readying a move into the lucrative North American market. “Our goal over the next six months is to turn that non-binding agreement into a permanent one and start manufacturing in North America,” adds Mudgal. 

LEARN MORE about Aurratech’s Fog-In-Place

JBT and SafeTraces’ global alliance to revolutionize food safety & traceability

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JBT and SafeTraces, a leading food safety and traceability solutions provider, have announced a global alliance to integrate SafeTraces’ breakthrough, patented DNA-based technologies into JBT’s solutions portfolio for worldwide distribution. 

The strategic alliance will focus on incorporating SafeTraces’ groundbreaking food safety and traceability technology into JBT FoodTech businesses, including fresh produce technologies, fresh-cut technologies, and coating equipment solutions, enabling rapid verification of sanitation processes and item-level tracking and tracing of food materials.

Instead of waiting for days or weeks to verify food safety, sustainability or purity, the integrated solutions will provide the food industry with actionable results in minutes, fundamentally changing the way safe, sustainable food is produced and delivered.

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According to The United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), food-related recalls have risen at 10% in the United States from 2013 to 2018. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) also estimates that each recall results in over $10 billion in direct costs not including indirect costs related to long-term damage to the brand reputations of food industry actors. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly called on the food industry to embrace new technologies and innovations focused on improving its ability to secure the food supply chain and engage in more effective tracking and tracing of food from farm to fork.

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SafeTraces’ technologies will be applied to JBT fresh produce solutions

JBT is committed to continued innovation by applying differentiated and proprietary technologies to meet its customers’ food processing needs. It continually strives to improve its existing solutions and develop new solutions by working closely with its customers to meet their evolving needs. 

“Food safety and traceability is a mega-trend that will transform the marketplace over the next generation,” said Carlos Fernandez, JBT’s Executive Vice President and President, Liquid Foods. “Consumers are increasingly rewarding food companies that provide greater transparency on how their food was produced and leaving behind those that don’t. SafeTraces has developed a game-changing technology that has wide-ranging applications across our business. We’re thrilled to partner with them and offer this breakthrough to our customers.”

“On-product, item-level traceability is the holy grail of source assurance, and rapid on-site verification of sanitation process is the holy grain of safety assurance,” said SafeTraces Founder & CEO Anthony Zografos. “We’re the first company to develop a technology that is commercially viable, scalable, and delivers clear benefits and a clear return on investment to customers. Partnering with a renowned market leader like JBT presents a tremendous opportunity to commercialize and distribute our technology at a global scale.”

Learn more about SafeTraces

JBT’s XVision: cost-effective x-ray technology makes European debut

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JBT’S innovative XVision™ system, whose unique modular design has helped make x-ray technology more affordable for food processors, is now available for the first time to customers in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East after finalising EU CE certification. The technology, which has already achieved considerable success in the US where over 250 units have been sold, has been installed in JBT’s Helsingborg, Sweden Research & Technology Center where customers can view the system in an active production environment.

XVision’s European debut comes ahead of the launch of a new version of the machine later this year for wet foods, amid growing interest across the international food and beverage processing industries in the multiple applications of x-ray technology and it’s ability to safeguard against costly recalls or even lawsuits.

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Key advantages
Dino Carbone, Division Product Manager for JBT XVision, says Low Cost of Ownership as a result of the innovative modular design is one of the advantages offered by the system. “Customers are able to replace key components of the machine, so there’s no need for expensive technical support,” he says. “It’s completely plug-in and go.”

However, cost is far from XVision’s only advantage. The system, continues Carbone, delivers excellent detection performance being capable of identifying stainless steel – the most common metal contaminant found in production facilities – with three times more accuracy than standard metal detectors. 

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The XVision CCPX Clean and Bulk

Crucially, XVision is also simple to operate, with the emphasis on making it as straightforward to use as possible. “We’ve really taken a lot of the complexity out of the operation,” says Carbone. “Once the machine is trained, it’s less likely the end user will have problems with the settings.”

Reputation protection
XVision is capable of identifying metals, stones, calcified bone, glass and other contaminants across a wide range of products from bagged and pouched foods through to ready meals, protein bars, candies, nutraceuticals, and fruits and vegetables. The system can also be used to carry out process quality checks by accurately measuring the weight of objects and filled pouches to within 2-3% of the optimum fill level.

“We are seeing an increasing level of interest from customers in XVision because of both it’s versatility as a technology and it’s ability to protect brands against recalls or even lawsuits, which can be very costly and damaging to reputations,” adds Carbone. 

Learn more about XVision

JBT’s cutting-edge CoreTakr technology makes full commercial debut

JBT FTNON has announced the full commercial introduction of the CoreTakr CTI Series 3, an innovative robotic system that uses advanced 3D camera technology to accurately and speedily remove unwanted cores from lettuce heads used in the fresh-cut and ready-to-eat segments. The Series 3 CoreTakr units are the first to be made widely commercially available following extensive production testing with customers in the Netherlands and the UK.

Capable of handling 1500 heads of lettuce per hour, the CoreTakr, which decores automatically with no employee interaction necessary other than a single operator, typically increases yield by between 3-9%, while at the same time significantly improving factory safety and forming an extra barrier against diseased produce.

“The machine works by using 3D cameras and advanced robotic technology,” explained Wilco Fauth, Global Product Line Director for JBT FTNON. “Iceberg lettuces drop automatically into the system with no people involved. A 3D camera will take a look at the lettuce and determine where the core is and it’s size. The lettuce then moves into the decorer which is extremely accurate in removing the core.”

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Improved safety
Consistently accurate, each lettuce head receives an additional visual check before being inserted into the decorer. Once inside the machine, the system uses two sharp clinical knives to make sure only the undesired part of the lettuce is removed.

Hygiene is another key element of the CoreTakr, with the machinery designed for daily cleaning in accordance with stringent food safety standards (CE 2004/1935).

A further advantage, according to Fauth, is the CoreTakr’s capacity to identify and remove diseased products. “The moment the CoreTakr encounters a lettuce that is diseased, this is removed to prevent it going through the system,” he said. “This enormously improves food safety across the whole factory and allows customers to build up a full picture across the whole year, enabling them to provide feedback to the grower or seed company.” This, continued Fauth, is particularly important for safe, fresh-cut bagged or boxed salads, destined for sale in the chilled section of supermarkets.

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Ongoing commitment
However, JBT FTNON’s commitment to CoreTakr does not end with the purchase of the system, but remains ongoing during the life of the machinery. FTNON remotely monitors CoreTakr units to plan timely service and maintenance, and make sure the machinery is running effectively. The vast amounts of data that the CoreTakr produces – up to one terabyte per unit each day – is collected remotely by FTNON before being analyzed and shared with the customer.

The first examples of the Series 3 CoreTakr CTI have now been installed with customers in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria.

Learn more about the CoreTakr

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