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Laser Food launches ‘Natural Branding vs Burnt Skin’ campaign

Laser Food, the pioneer of safe, efficient laser labelling technology for fresh fruits and vegetables, has announced the launch of a new promotional campaign to raise awareness of the differences between the system marketed under Laser Food’s own ‘Natural Branding’ name and inferior laser-burning systems which often damage the products.

Under the slogan ’Natural Branding vs Burnt Skin,’ Valencia, Spain-based Laser Food will highlight the threat posed by the inefficient laser marking of fresh produce, not just to the quality and integrity of products, but also to the reputation of the award-winning Natural Branding system.

Laser Food founder and managing director, Jaime Sanfelix, said: “With the launch of the ‘Natural Branding vs Burnt Skin’ campaign, we are aiming to illustrate the differences between burning fruit skin using a laser and the negative consequences this has for the good name for the technology and for ‘Natural Branding,’ which has been the definitive technique and for laser labelling since its introduction in 2006.”

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Key differences
With over 12 years’ experience of monitoring and controlling conditions for laser labelling as well an EU patent for its use, 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 – without harming the fruit or vegetable in any way – before applying an EU-approved contrasting liquid.

Laser Food took a major step forward in October 2018 with the Europe-wide launch of a new name for the technology, Natural Branding, which has been developed to emphasise the environmental benefits of a technique that allows customers to eliminate wasteful paper labels. Unlike the Laser Mark system, the inferior, non-patented laser-burning technique has a number of major drawbacks for producers, retailers and consumers.

Open for use, regardless of experience with the technology, the technique involves burning a brand name or information onto the skin of a fruit or vegetable. The resulting burnt skin not only harms of the image of laser labelling as a technology, but also leads to damaged products and rejections at the point of sale.

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Jaime Sanfelix added: “We are seeing the intrusion of companies without any experience or qualifications in the fresh produce sector. The danger is that this leads to a bad image for a technology that can deliver numerous environmental benefits, including a reduction in CO2, and the use of paper and plastic packaging.

“We took the decision to register ‘Natural Branding’ as a brand name to highlight Laser Food as an originator and leader in this technology, and to differentiate our safe system from irresponsible laser branding.”

Technology pioneers
As a company Laser Food works with a range of fresh produce specialists across Europe, supplying laser-labelling systems to major companies including Germany marketer of organic agricultural products Lehmann Natur, Netherlands-based Eosta (Nature & More), organic pumpkin producer Bio Freshi and organic kiwifruit specialist Agricolli Bio, as well as citrus marketers in Spain.

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Between 2010-13, Laser Food led the EU-supported Laser Mark project, which demonstrated that the product and process were commercially ready and suitable for customers’ needs. Laser Mark received the prize for Best European Environmental Project in 2013 at awards recognising successful Europe-level initiatives organised by Spain’s Valencia region. More information on the development of the project is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/projects/en/partners/laser-food

Laser Food & JBT
Laser Food’s global expansion has been made possible thanks to its worldwide marketing agreement with JBT, the food solutions specialist with a presence in 25 countries, 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 Facebook and Twitter.

Laser Food will be exhibiting with JBT at Fruit Logistica 2019 in Hall 3.1, Stand D-03 in Berlin, Germany from February 6-8, 2019

JBT to showcase Fresh Produce Technologies innovation

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From residue-free fruit labels to automatic scrubbers that can clean fruit bins vertically, JBT has introduced a wide range of Fresh Produce Technology innovations over recent months that will be highlighted at upcoming trade events, including Fruit Logistica 2019 in Berlin, Germany from February 6-8. 

The range has also been significantly expanded over the past 12 months following the acquisition of FTNON, a specialist in equipment for preparing fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.

Christina Campos, JBT’s General Manager for Fresh Produce Technologies (FPT), explains that JBT focuses on three principal product lines: preservation; produce identification; and equipment and aftermarket parts. On the preservation side, she says JBT provides a range of solutions, including food-grade waxes, both conventional and organic, which can boost yield and flavor, as well as aesthetics by improving the appearance. JBT also supplies mechanical and technical services that support the customer and ensure products are applied properly and consistently.

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Labeling solutions
Produce identification is a fast-developing area for JBT, encompassed by the recent launch of the Flex-ID labeling system, a print and apply solution which features print heads on each applicator so information can be added right before the label is applied. 

A particular characteristic that sets JBT label printing and application apart from competitors, Campos continues, is its use of flexible film labels which help avoid many of the difficulties associated with traditional paper labels. “You still see a lot of paper labels as a consumer and it can be frustrating to tear the label off and all the bottom layer and the adhesive stays on the fruit,” she explains. “In contrast, our labels come off the fruit very easily and leave no residue behind.”

Upright cleaning
Another recent addition is the V Series Bin Scrubber, adding to JBT’s existing range for produce growers and packers. Adding to JBT’s standard Bin Scrubber for the citrus industry and T Bin Scrubber for tall bins typically used by the nut industry, the V Series – standing for vertical – offers a unique solution to produce bin cleaning. “Usually the bins enter the scrubber and are dropped onto brushes, but with the V Series they remain upright and the brush moves up and down,” explains Campos. “The horizontal footprint of the V Series unit is narrower, so it’s a great solution for customers who are challenged with space constraints.”

The JBT FTNON Sweet Pepper Decorer

The JBT FTNON Sweet Pepper Decorer

New horizons
Perhaps the most exciting recent addition came with JBT’s acquisition of FTNON in July 2018. Marking JBT’s first venture into the fresh-cut market, FTNON specializes in preparation of fruits and vegetables for the fast growing ready-to-eat segment. “We wanted to get into the fresh-cut market and FTNON has allowed us to do that,” says Campos. “There’s a lot to learn, but it’s something we’re excited about.”

She adds: “There’s a lot to be gained because we have a global footprint, with sales and service in many parts of the world, whereas FTNON was limited in terms of its market access. There’s also a lot of synergies with JBT in terms of the pet food and ready meals markets.”

JBT and FTNON will be exhibiting in Hall 3.1, Stand D-03 at Fruit Logistica 2019 from February 6-8 in Berlin, Germany.

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

JBT completes world’s fastest filling line for sweetened condensed milk

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JBT is pleased to announce the completion of a landmark achievement for the company, with the official launch of the world’s fastest filling line for Sweetened Condensed Milk (SCM) currently in operation. The new high capacity line, developed for a customer in Asia, is designed to run SCM in cans at 1200 Cans Per Minute (CPM), and its launch marks the culmination of months of hard work for JBT’s Sint Niklaas, Belgium team.

In order to meet growing consumer demand for sweetened condensed milk in Asia, the customer has invested in the new high capacity line, which includes a 81-station high speed JBT Unifiller along with a JBT Seamer 1259 for automatic closing of SCM in Ø73 x 83mm cans. 

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A High Capacity Unifiller being tested at JBT’s Sint-Niklaas, Belgium facility

With JBT’s receipt of the signed Site Acceptance Test (SAT) document, the customer has now taken final ownership of the line, closing a very important milestone for JBT, according to JBT’s Business Development and Marketing coordinator EMENA, Ben Verbeeck.

“We can now proudly say JBT has the fastest filling line for SCM in cans in the world,” he said. “This is a feat JBT can be very proud of. We can also successfully turn the page on this chapter of New Product Development and congratulate everybody who contributed to making this project a success.”

Click to learn more about the JBT Unifiller and Seamer