JBT’s Food Technology Centers (FTC) provide a resource where customers can view JBT equipment and solutions first-hand, see how they work, and even run their own products through the system to experience the kinds of results that can be achieved. One of the longest-established is the JBT FTC in Helsingborg, Sweden, which has served as a popular destination for hundreds of food processors for more than 40 years.
The Helsingborg FTC gives customers the opportunity to test, simulate production, conduct research, as well as optimizing and developing new applications and products using JBT’s latest processing solutions.
“We can demonstrate equipment to customers, show them how it works, and also run their products in the machine, so it’s possible to see the results they will get,” explains Martin Andersson, JBT’s Application Manager of Value Stream Spiral Freezers and head of the Helsingborg facility.
“If a customer is hoping to achieve a certain color with a grilled chicken piece or wants to see if it’s possible to achieve a certain coating, texture or quality on a battered and breaded product, they can visit the Food Technology Centre and we can show them what’s possible with our machines.”
The Helsingborg FTC started life in the 1970s as a laboratory for measuring freezing times, but as the facility has grown and added more equipment over the years, it has evolved into a resource where JBT not only showcases solutions, but also refines applications and assists customers with food product development.
The 2000m² test area is now equipped with fully functioning JBT processing equipment in order to provide customers with a complete food processing plant.
“We are now up to a facility with the ability to run a full TwinDrum Oven, we have a Double D Revoband cooker, we have Formcook Contact cookers, coating lines, a full GYRoCOMPACT Spiral freezer and a complete Advantec impingement freezer,” says Andersson. “We can also show FloFREEZE freezers in our assembly facility, plus we have a full-size Stein TFF fryer there for demonstration, as well as a smaller FA5 fryer.”
Although it might not always be possible to replicate precisely the same pre-processing of products in Helsingborg compared with a customer’s own facility, Andersson says technicians at the FTC are relentless in trying to achieve exactly the correct taste, finish and texture.
But if the exact product cannot be reproduced at the FTC, technicians can bring equipment to the customer’s site for testing in their own environment. “We are not satisfied until the customer is,” Andersson adds.