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From demonstrations to innovations: JBT’s Food Technology Centers

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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.

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“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.”

Complete solution
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.

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“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.

JBT also has FTCs near Edinburgh in the UK, Sandusky, Ohio in the US, and an Innovation Center in Kunshan, China. 

Learn more about the JBT Food Technology Centers

PRoCARE: the benefits of preventative maintenance

PRoCARE® is perhaps one of the most innovative and certainly among the most valued services that JBT offers. An aftermarket initiative that has been running for over a decade, PRoCARE has been developed to help make sure JBT systems and equipment are kept in optimum conditions and any downtime – in the form of costly system failures – are kept to a minimum.

“What we do is offer the customer piece of mind by taking care of the equipment we manufacture,” explains JBT Customer Care Manager Elizabeth Monasterio. “We go to the customer’s site and inspect the equipment, they receive an inspection protocol and also a service report on the visit with written recommendations. Based on that the customer may or may not have to do some repairs and we follow up to make sure they do what needs to be done.”

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Visits can vary from twice to four times a year, but in the case of the most sophisticated equipment, JBT technicians visit every month for four days on average, checking the equipment, calibrating and changing any parts that need attention.

Covering across JBT’s protein portfolio, JBT PRoCARE works with customers from bakery and pizza producers to manufacturers of ready meals and chicken, meat, fish and frozen vegetable processors offering a flexible program dependent on customer needs.

“We make PRoCARE flexible to customers’ needs,” says Monasterio. “On Gyrocompact freezers, we offer an Extended prorated warranty on the belt, chains and rails.  Level One offers inspections and a minimum eight hours training a year, while Level Two includes spare parts, typically in the form of a yearly package with parts stored on site. As well as a discount on original spare parts, PRoCARE also offers a discounted rate for customers for emergency service repairs.”

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However, one of the most important services JBT PRoCARE provides is preventative maintenance, which allows customers to control costs by taking care of equipment before it is damaged. “When equipment goes down in a plant, it’s the worst thing that can happen because you start losing production,” says Monasterio. “Preventative maintenance removes the risks of things like that happening and having to call for an emergency service, which normally involves rushing a technician out to a customer, often from an installation.”

“What customers have told us many times is it ensures a good night’s sleep,” she adds.

CONTACT JBT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PRoCARE

Wolf-tec: bringing temperature innovation to JBT

 

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JBT Wolf-tec is one of the true innovators in the JBT family of companies. The company, which is probably best known for the Polar Technology brand, revolutionized deli and cured meats through the development of its own, patented Temperature Guidance system, which has helped processors deliver products with exactly the right color, flavor, texture, yield and temperature that customers demand. But more than this, Wolf-tec continues to be an innovator in ensuring product flavors remain intact despite any cooking failings a consumer might have.

Highly efficient
The Kingston, New York-based business joined JBT in 2014 after close to four decades producing quality-constructed and precision-engineered solutions for the meat, poultry and fish industries. As division product manager Chris Mason explains, Wolf-tec provides system solutions covering everything from whole muscle processing to standalone machines for brine mixing, injection, maceration, massaging.

“We marinate meat and poultry products to add yield, flavor and tenderness, using injection or massaging technology. In addition, we create high quality deli and cured meats using our whole muscle processing systems incorporating brine injection, maceration and massaging,” he says. 

Wolf-tec works closely with the deli meat industry, providing massaging, brine mixing and injection, and maceration systems to producers of ham, chicken and turkey deli meats with anything from simple, standalone machines to fully-automated solutions, both of which are highly efficient in terms of both time and yield.

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Patented innovations
Temperature Guidance is Wolf-tec’s patented, signature system, which is used to add warmth to products during the early part of the massaging cycle. This, says Mason, helps delay protein extraction and enhance the water holding capacity of the product. It also helps accelerate color development of cured meats.

The system then reduces product temperature towards the end of the cycle. This is where JBT Wolf-tec extracts protein and facilitates water binding in order to deliver products in the correct conditions for customer needs. “This is a pretty unique system and where it really scores is that a traditional ham operation would generally need 24-48 hours in a cooler for that color development to take place; in this case, we’re accelerating that whole process, so customers can go direct to the next stage,” says Mason.

Polar Technology is another Wolf-tec brand, which has made a profound impact on the meat processing industry. Developed as the Polar Massager in 1997 when the company was a small, family-owned business, Mason says the system revolutionized the industry by putting an emphasis on temperature management. Although created for a single product, the name stuck and has since been expanded across a range, which now includes the Polar Dissolver brine mixing systems, the Polar Massager and the Polar Flexcarve Macerator. In fact, Mason says many customers now simply refer to the products as ‘Polars’.

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Quality assistance
Wolf-tec’s injection and marination systems are used by a wide range of customers including meat factories injecting beef steaks for foodservice and others adding flavor or moisture to chicken products for retail. “A lot of the chicken you buy in store is already injected with a brine solution that helps to extend shelf life and add moisture to the product,” explains Mason. “Typically, a lot of people don’t know how to cook these days, so thermal abuse of products is something we are trying to avoid by adding moisture into the product. This means that by the time it’s cooked, it’s still a moist, tender and flavorful piece of meat.”

Click to learn more about the Wolf-tec range

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