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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

Model R: an alternative option to acquire JBT filler-seamers

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JBT fillers and seamers can make a tangible difference to the effectiveness and efficiency of food and beverage processors’ operations, but budgets do not always stretch to cover the cost of new machinery. JBT’s Model ‘R’ or ‘Rebuilt’ offers a means of acquiring warranty-protected JBT equipment, comprised of new electronics and components in an existing frame, at an attractive price for smaller and mid-sized companies.

“We can compare it with car manufacturers who offer a complete overhaul when they want to bring older cars back on the road,” says Rex Pattyn, Customer Care Sales Manager for JBT. “This is exactly what JBT is doing. These are machines that we buy back from customers who don’t need them anymore and – after the thorough overhaul – we are able to offer them to other customers, with the result that these customers are getting a machine that is nearly new.”

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Industry-standard solutions
As Pattyn explains, the JBT Model R program retains the original filler and seamer frames and some parts, but brings in all-new, state-of-the-art electronics and components, with wear and tear elements discarded. A risk assessment is also carried out on all recycled parts, with everything updated to current standards before being reinstalled on the filler or seamer.

“Model R signifies ‘Rebuilt’ and the price of these machines is typically new minus approximately 30%,” says Pattyn. “The cost is less than that of manufacturing a new machine because the frame and critical parts are already there, while all the rest is replaced.

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“Customers get a true industry-standard JBT machine complete with warranty at a very attractive price. This helps customers who want to buy a genuine JBT machine but don’t have the budget available to buy new.”

“We don’t just clean a machine and give it a new coat of paint, we completely strip the components, deep clean the machinery, coat it, and bring everything up to current industry standards, so it’s a completely different approach from that of a normal second hand machine trader,” adds Pattyn. “It’s treated and quality checked like a piece of new equipment.”

Learn more about JBT’s Model R program

IceGen: A revolutionary breakthrough for liquid foods

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JBT ally IceGen is a specialist in Liquid Ice generation, an innovative technology which provides a wide variety of applications to extend shelf life and aid in product transportation. Through IceGen’s alliance with JBT, the system is now being made available to a far wider customer base across the global liquid foods sector and is poised to bring tangible advantages to juice and liquid food producers and exporters.

IceGen’s scraped surface, heat exchangers create Liquid Ice that is used to increase quality, speed up processes and significantly increase savings within the juice industry.  The Liquid Ice is an energy efficient, cost effective system that delivers results that far outweigh those of traditional systems. 

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Cost savings
Using considerably less energy than conventional systems, the technology has significant cost saving advantages for juice or vegetable producing companies. When filling tankers with an IceGen, juice can be shipped for several weeks without the need of refrigerated trucks. Juice is cooled inline and drums are frozen in a fraction of the time.

According to Motti Einhorn, president of IceGen Corp, the moment a product enters the IceGen, the water particles within the product are instantly frozen creating millions of tiny ice crystals that act as heat exchangers. The cooling power of these millions of crystals is huge.

 “You can keep food and juice cool for a month without any refrigeration by using Liquid Ice,” Einhorn explains. “The crystals within the juice or product use their latent cooling power to maintain the cool temperature without the need for additional cooling. We are able to load a tanker at 30ºF and 30 days later receive it at the same temperature.”

The Juice plants using an IceGen save money by removing the need for refrigerated transport and by freezing drums in a fraction of the time. 

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IceGen supplied machinery to convert Liquid Ice into snow for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Homogenous freezing
Liquid Ice is pumpable like any other liquid, yet it has more cooling power than solid ice. When freezing a drum with Liquid Ice, the juice or liquid will freeze homogenously, without any separation of water and sugar particles as is seen in traditional freezing. This preserves the taste, aroma, color and overall quality of the product. When a drum, frozen with Liquid Ice, is removed from the freezer it defrosts homogenously too and it tastes as fresh as did when it was frozen. The ‘pineapple effect’ is avoided and there are no interior pockets of warm juice when freezing.  

 “It works much better than a blast freezer because it’s much softer on the product and much faster,” says Einhorn. “The product comes into the machine and goes out with every part of the product at the freeze point. It is as effective on greens and vegetables and purees as it is on juice. We are even using it now on chunks of fruit and vegetables with the same success. Customers have also complained about a ‘frozen taste’ with products that go through a blast freezer – with Liquid Ice you never have that problem.

“Customers have told us: ‘When buying from other growers inevitably we end up purchasing products that have come through an IceGen because the product quality is so superior'”.

IceGen’s worldwide footprint is truly global with almost 100 machines in every continent.  With more people becoming aware of the many advantages of the IceGen, that number is growing daily.

Request more information about IceGen’s 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

HPP and South Africa: the inside story

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Heinrich Zandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of High Pressure Processing (HPP) South Africa, a company – known as a toller – which makes JBT Avure HPP technology available for small to medium sized food and beverage processors. In an exclusive interview originally published in Avure’s Bon Appetit newsletter, Zandberg explains how he first became involved in HPP and why the technology is rapidly gaining acceptance in South Africa.

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(l-r) HPP South Africa’s Heinrich Zandberg, Willie Brand and Claudio de Freitas

Q: How many years have you been working with HPP technology?

Heinrich Zandberg (HZ): It’s been three years now, but our first installation was in the first quarter of 2017. I went to the University of Pretoria, studying Investment Management for two years, and then my entrepreneurial spirit took hold of me and I stopped. This eventually resulted in me working in the HPP industry in South Africa.

Q: Why did High Pressure Processing South Africa decide to buy a JBT Avure HPP machine?

HZ: In the early days, I did a lot of research on HPP and HPP equipment. It was clear that the JBT Avure HPP equipment had a better reputation and that the vessel itself will last north of 250,000 cycles, whereas the next best option would last only 80,000 cycles. For that reason, as well as the lower running cost of the JBT Avure equipment, it made sense to go with the JBT Avure machines for our business model (Tolling).

Q: In Africa, how long has HPP been a food safety technique?

HZ: HPP has been around in South Africa for about nine years now, but it only recently became popular for food safety because of the Listeria outbreak we had in 2018. Before that, HPP was primarily used on avocado pulp.

Q: Are any other popular foods, unique to Africa, being processed using HPP?

HZ: We have a product called a Vienna sausage that I think is unique to South Africa. It’s mainly made out of pork MDM (mechanically deboned meat), and it is an inexpensive source of protein for a large part of our population.

Q: As an HPP Toller, what are the top three reasons you see sparking HPP’s fast growth?

HZ: In South Africa the top three reasons would be the following:
1. The increasing demand for food safety from retailers and the reduction of salt in products like processed meats and cut meats.
2. Product lines that weren’t previously possible without HPP – for example, cold-pressed juice in retail spaces.
3. The cost of HPP equipment makes it almost unattainable even for big companies in South Africa, so the Tolling model opens a lot of doors for them.

Q: What HPP products do you have in your fridge?

HZ: Vienna sausages (My kids and I like them for hot dogs), cold-pressed juices, avocado pulp and guacamole!

Learn more about JBT Avure and HPP

JBT’s Madrid Citrus & Juice seminar to focus on positive solutions

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JBT will be bringing annual Citrus & Juice Seminar roadshow to Madrid, Spain this month, with a focus on how new filling technology is helping comply with market demands and how JBT can help achieve better tasting, more nutritious products with the minimum of processing.

Taking place in the Hotel NH Nacional, Atocha in Madrid from July 16-17, the event, which has previously taken in visits to Israel and Greece, will feature sessions on market trends and technology solutions and is open to customers and non-customers alike in Spain.

Talks will include a look at non-thermal technologies, including High Pressure Processing (HPP) from JBT Avure and cooling solutions from JBT ally IceGen. Food sterilization using innovative Ohmic heating, as used in the JBT Sterideal® Ohmic Heat Exchanger, will also be discussed.

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The event will also focus on how to get the most out of citrus waste and by-products, examining the possibilities for reusing waste peel and extracting valuable d-LIMONENE oil, cloudy peel juice and comminute – a puree that is derived from whole citrus fruits.

According to JBT’s Francisco Purroy, the seminar will also feature a look at the recently-launched AsepFlex™ Linear Pouch Filler, a solution that has been developed to overcome typical problems with aseptic pouch filling, such as a high rejection rate and low capacity. “The market is demanding a huge variety of formats, SKUs, bottles and pouches of all sizes and shapes, so we are adapting our aseptic filler to be the most versatile on the market,” says Purroy.

Given recent media reports on juice sugar content, Purroy says there will also be discussion on how to transit the message that citrus juice is a healthy product, with no added sugar. JBT, he says, can help support producers through solutions that deliver an improved product with better flavor and better nutrition, with the minimum of processing.

Request information about the seminar

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