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Sustainability was in focus when Norsk Kylling built one of the world’s most modern factories 

When Norway’s leading poultry producer Norsk Kylling planned its new production facility, the goal was clear: They wanted to create a signature building for sustainable food production and Norwegian agriculture. But they also wanted all suppliers involved in the project to be committed and engaged in developing the industry further. 

JBT had the food processing machines, experience, and innovation that measured up to the requirements and put together a dedicated team of experts that worked in close collaboration with Norsk Kylling. As an innovative part of the project, JBT redesigned their Stein® TwinDrum Spiral Oven so that it could use electric heat from renewable sources. 

“We wanted to create one of the world’s most modern and efficient factories in terms of quality and logistics,” says Håvard Staverlökk, Project Leader at Norsk Kylling. 

For Norsk Kylling, animal welfare is at the center. At the same time, they must ensure that production can meet the increasing demand for poultry products without it being at the expense of the climate and the environment. They work with circular thinking throughout the value chain, everything from what fodder the chicken eats to using the by-products from the slaughterhouse and taking advantage of biological diversity. In 2016, they began an extensive strategy work for their future development which, as a first step, led to them switching to another breed of chicken. 

“We replaced Ross, our existing chicken breed, with Hubbard,” says Håvard Staverlökk. “The Hubbard chicken grows more slowly and has a healthier appetite and better health, contributing to better animal farming. In addition, it gives a better taste. The change was an essential part of our sustainability work.” 

Early in the strategy work, it also became clear that several challenges were associated with the production facility. It was impossible to develop the existing factory to meet the sustainability standard required in the future, which led to the decision to build an entirely new one and the journey to find and select partners that could deliver machinery to meet the new standard.

Energy-smart solutions at the center 
The ambition with the new production facility was high in terms of sustainability. The goal was for it to be a model for other producers around the world when it comes to adapting to the energy systems of the future with increasingly unregulated power, such as solar and wind. 

“Among other things, we invested in electrification and focused on energy flexibility, primarily through energy storage,” says Håvard Staverlökk. “The plant is built for zero emissions and uses only renewable energy, and we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent compared with our old factory.” 

The factory has several intelligent systems for storing, controlling, and purchasing renewable energy. It uses thermal energy storage for heat, but a project is underway to develop the technology so that it can also store coldness. It obtains district heating from Elkem’s smelter on the other side of the Orkdalsfjord, whose waste heat covers the entire factory’s warming needs. Thanks to the pipeline, other factories and offices in the area can also reduce their need for electricity and fossil energy for heating. 

“The plant is built for zero emissions and uses only renewable energy, and we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent compared with our old factory.” says Håvard Staverlökk, Project Leader at Norsk Kylling 

“The pipeline results from a collaboration between local industries, energy companies, and the municipality,” says Håvard Staverlökk. “This type of cooperation is central to our ambition to be a driving force in the climate field. We have designed our environmentally friendly energy solutions so that they can share energy with other factories and offices to reduce the climate footprint further. Our ambition is for the entire area to have lower CO2 emissions than before we established ourselves here.” 

Sustainable production with a unique electric line 
Norsk Kylling has a production that includes everything in the poultry segment, from producing fresh pieces to cooked products. At the further processing side of the new plant, JBT established two integrated, electric-fed production lines with one Stein M-fryer, two Stein TwinDrum Spiral Ovens, and two Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® Spiral Freezers. However, the creative challenge was modifying the Stein TwinDrum Spiral Oven to use electric heat, says Erland Leide, R&D Manager at JBT. 

“Production plants today often use ovens with thermofluidic heat transfer, which means that oil
is heated with electricity or gas and then pumped around in loops. Norsk Kylling wanted an oven that used direct-acting electricity. The advantage of electric heating is that the efficiency is higher and the temperature control faster, which means the oven consumes less energy. They can access entirely fossil-free and renewable electricity, which makes it a sustainable solution.” 

Even when JBT first developed the Stein TwinDrum Spiral Oven, they thought about using electricity as an alternative. However, the assessment was that the technical challenges of using electric power in hot and wet areas were significant. Therefore, it was initially designed only for heating by thermofluid. Based on Norsk Kylling’s extensive requirements specification, JBT modified its basic design, making it their largest electric oven in Europe. 

“The advantage of electric heating is that the efficiency is higher and the temperature control faster, which means the oven consumes less energy.” says Erland Leide, R&D Manager at JBT. 

“A challenge with using electricity for heating is the power requirement. There is a lot of high current energy that has to go into the oven”, says Erland Leide. “Thus, for example, eight thick cables were required to enter and feed the heating elements. In other electric heated ovens, the cables are run from the ceiling down to the hood where heating elements are located, making them move when it lifts, which we wanted to avoid. We designed a solution that made it possible to run the cables inside the oven instead. In this way, we kept them static and reduced wear and tear to increase service life and minimize maintenance.” 

A developing collaboration for both parties 
JBT had an ongoing dialogue with Norsk Kylling about where to locate the equipment, install the connection to the electrical system, and meet other requirements.   

“We tailored the location of the control cabinets and the connection, but the solution for the oven itself is more standardized,” says Erland Leide. “Even when we originally designed the oven, we thought modularly, so there was no need for special adaptations. The collaboration with Norsk Kylling led us to develop the oven further as we adapted it based on their actual needs and input. Their detailed requirements specification and our dialogue gave us valuable information on how to develop our equipment better to meet our customers’ requirements and needs.” 

Norsk Kylling had a clear vision for how they wanted the solutions to work. They also wanted everyone involved in the project to understand it, be commit- ted, and develop the industry further. For them, JBT was a supplier who had the experience and food processing systems that could measure up to their requirements while at the same time being flexible and innovative enough to be able to deliver value to the project. 

A partnership without prestige 
To make sure the project would be as hassle-free as possible, JBT had set up a dedicated team that worked closely together with the team at Norsk Kylling, creating a personal yet professional relationship. 

“During the whole installation and start-up phase, we were almost constantly at the site, which created a real team spirit and a lot of engagement,” says Teddy Svensson, Engineering Manager at JBT. “For us, the main focus is the customer. If there were any problems and we weren’t there, we immediately traveled up to Orkanger to solve it.” 

It’s essential to focus on problem-solving to maintain a good relationship and create a successful project. “When we all work as a team without prestige, we can find the optimal solutions and learn from each other.” says Teddy Svensson. 

JBT also helped Norsk Kylling develop recipes for the highest yields and trained its staff to use the CIP systems to optimize the water, detergent, and energy consumption. 

“The collaboration with JBT has been perfect, although I think we sometimes both felt this was a demanding project,” says Håvard Staverlökk. “You have to acknowledge that there are challenges and find solutions together. I would say that both JBT and Norsk Kylling have taken turns solving our challenges in the project, and in this way, we have together managed to complete it in the best possible way.” 

Zamil Food: how JBT aided company’s leap to the big time

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This article was originally published on the JBT Plant-based Blog. Visit the blog for more information on how JBT has helped companies succeed in the emerging plant-based market.

In 2013, Zamil Food in Saudi Arabia was a small, low-producing company with no significant position in a very competitive market. By investing in the right people and the right partner of equipment solutions, the business went from almost no production into one of the big players within the food processing industry in the Middle East. And according to Mr. Yanal Halasa, General Manager at Zamil Food Industries, JBT has played a significant role in their journey to success. 

Zamil Food is a business-to-business wholesaler processing poultry, red meat, dairy, and plant-based products. Since the company started in 1978, the production has been small-scale, focusing on the local market. Mr. Halasa launched an ambitious expansion with machinery from JBT that could realize higher capacity, hygiene criteria, and quality to meet the high-end market demand.

They chose to trust JBT’s expertise and have never looked back since. The investment quickly resulted in large contracts with high-profile retail companies in the local and regional markets. Zamil Food succeeded in making a turnaround, and in 2021, the factory reached its total capacity of 1350 tonnes per month. 

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The first significant investment with JBT was a full multi-purpose further processing line, including sophisticated solutions for coating, frying, cooking, and freezing. Satisfied with the performance of the machinery, Zamil Food looked to further improve its products and production line. The solution was found in JBT’s DSI Waterjet portioning system, which achieved a better product, met hygiene criteria while reducing staffing and product waste, saving time, and optimizing sales. 

Zamil Food was one of the first food processing companies in the Middle East to invest in JBT’s high-technology automated portioning system. They believe that the decision has contributed to their increased market shares. The DSI portioning system provides the existing line with increased yield, accuracy, and capability to meet the high profile quick service restaurant (QSR) group’s demand with a short investment payback time. 

Maintaining trust
According to Mr. Halasa is the partnership with JBT has helped the company maintain quality at all times in order to build trust with clients. “While having discussions with colleagues, I have compared JBT to a Rolls Royce,” he says. “JBT has the highest product quality and service level. Whenever we need a machine, we just call our sales representative. And when we need to stand to a higher level in our production line, JBT knows how to succeed.”

Zamil Food provides clients with a complete solution from concept development to a final product ready to market. The added capacity from JBT’s machinery has made it possible to target large food producers. For several clients, Zamil Food works as the backup kitchen. “The flexibility of JBT’s machines has made it possible for us to cope with the large variety of applications that we need to run. We must be able to handle quick turnarounds to keep our promise to the clients,” says Mr. Halasa. 

Service and support
JBT supports Zamil Food with project management, installation, implementation, and training. The high-tech, connected machinery enables instant remote support and a continuous overview of the machines’ performance. JBT’s service technicians make regular inspections and keep spare parts in store, managing the risk for lengthy and costly breakdowns. 

“We need quick service to keep downtime to a minimum,” Mr. Halasa explains. “In 2017 we signed a PRoCARE service agreement with JBT, which has minimized our corrective maintenance cost and maximized our running time. PRoCARE has kept the machines running to our requirements and the manufacturing standard, enabling us to utilize the machines fully and keep optimal performance at all times.

“An example of JBT’s dedication and support was shown when we experienced a last minute power supply change related to purchasing a new deep fryer. This issue led to a delay in delivery, but JBT supported us to have the fryer delivered by air to meet our production deadlines. Our partnership with JBT builds on trust; they always stick to their offers and commitments. They even exceed our expectations.”

Future projects
Zamil Food plans to expand the business further and tie stronger bonds with local producers in the coming years. The partnership with JBT will continue, and currently, there are several new machines on their way to Zamil Food’s production sites that will increase their capacity by 40%. “JBT is a strategic partner that provides the best machines, solutions, and support,” Zamil Food concludes. 

READ MORE about JBT and Plant-based foods

Marlow Foods & JBT: a plant-based partnership

This article originally appeared on the JBT Plant-Based Foods Blog. Please visit the blog for more information on JBT’s solutions for plant-based foods!

The story of Quorn started in the 1960s with one man’s vision of protecting the world from food shortages. His name was Lord Joseph Arthur Rank, chairman at a company called Rank Hovis McDougall, and he made it his mission to find a new, sustainable source of protein. And after his scientists screened over 3,000 soil samples from around the world, he discovered a microorganism in the fungi family called Fusarium venenatum.

In a joint venture with the company ICI, Rank Hovis McDougall founded Marlow Foods to develop the product, and in 1985 the mycoprotein-based meat substitute Quorn was launched in the UK. The product became a success, and the growth since then has been massive, introducing new variants over the years.

At JBT, we are very proud to have been a part of Quorn’s success. We are privileged to have a productive partnership with Marlow Foods, supporting them with equipment, service, maintenance, and our Food Tech Center expertise. To learn more about how Marlow Foods views our partnership and how they benefit from it, we talked to Mark Anderson, Chief Engineer at Marlow Food’s Stokesley site.

How would you describe the partnership with JBT?

From my perspective, JBT has a lot of technical and process knowledge, especially the key people we work with here, both from JBT central headquarter and the local technicians.

They have supported us for a number of years, building a working knowledge of our processes, products and machinery. JBT’s PRoCARE service contract provides us with essential preventive maintenance, optimisation, training, and spares to maximize uptime in our production process.

In what way does JBT contribute to your uptime?

Maximizing uptime is critical to any business. In our PRoCARE service contract, JBT guarantees our uptime, and in the last couple of years, they have helped us maintain a very low downtime in the areas they are responsible for. It is currently running at less than 1% due to the partnership with JBT.

They have an excellent network, call in expertise from the UK and Sweden, and use a very competent subcontractor. I have never had an issue where they could not respond within the contractual terms. Usually, it’s much quicker than that, often within a couple of hours, which is very positive.

JBT PRoCARE: a partnership helping keep Marlow Food’s downtime at less than 1%

Do you have any examples of how PRoCARE has benefitted you?

Over time, Quorn will be focusing on Vegan products, which runs at higher temperatures. JBT has helped us ensure we are in a position to run these products without the worry of downtime.

PRoCARE has been invaluable in quickly getting service personnel to the plant, providing technical support and solutions. Another benefit is the predictive nature of the contract, where they provide early identification of potential failures so they can be addressed, avoiding downtime. With JBT’s regular inspection of things like belts, rails, balls, and guides and replacing them in a timely manner, we avoid potential contamination and minimize any downtime issues. 

Does JBT contribute to your sustainability in any way?

From a sustainability perspective, Quorn is a fantastic product in its own right. For example, Quorn Mince uses 94% less land, produces 95% fewer carbon emissions than beef, and the water footprint is 12 times lower than that of beef mince. But of course, we also constantly striving to make our business more sustainable by purchasing green energy for our plants, shifting to electric cars, and going heavily into sustainable programs to save energy. We also work with our production process, and here we’ve made great use of JBT’s experience. They have helped us identify and develop solutions, in line with our sustainability goals, around the most efficient way to run our chillers, steamers, and freezers.

In what more areas do JBT support you?

We have used the JBT Food Tech Center to test various products like Quorn sausages and mince. We also use their application specialists to investigate how we can run our chillers and freezers more efficiently, for example, by proposing better ways of running using different temperatures without impacting the product quality.

JBT not only reviews our equipment from an engineering point of view, but they also help us with training. Their cleaning specialist has taught us how to clean the machines optimally. It’s a challenge because Quorn being very sticky, hardens on the belts especially when cooked, and the residual debris can be very difficult to remove. It’s good to better understand how we should clean and what chemicals are best to use.

JBT has also trained many of our engineers, which is essential because it allows us to ensure that they can complete PMs more effectively and quickly repair any faults when necessary.

In my opinion, JBT works very hard to ensure that we have a good relationship, and I see it as a partnership. JBT is probably the one company we have the most interaction with because of the criticality of our spiral freezers.

JBT Food Tech Centers: helping Marlow Foods effectively test new Quorn products

How do you think the partnership with JBT and the market for Quorn will develop in the future?

I think JBT offer an excellent service and that their skills and knowledge is invaluable for what we’re doing, so I would like to continue our partnership. In the future, we will be looking at replacing equipment as it comes to the end of its life and we also look at establishing new lines as product demand grows. During this process we will use JBT’s expertise in technology to find solutions that are suitable for our operation and environment, safe and easy to operate, providing maximal uptime and minimal service.

When it comes to Quorn, it has a massive potential to grow, and I believe it will do so. People are becoming increasingly aware of meat consumption and manufacturing’s impact on the climate, so they are moving to alternative vegetarian and vegan protein sources. A cost-effective vegetarian product that tastes great with a natural texture that feels good in the mouth will always be in demand. And in my opinion, Quorn hits all those buttons.

REQUEST INFORMATION on how JBT can support your Plant-based food operation

Planterra: how JBT is supporting a major player in plant-based foods

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Planterra Foods is a plant-based protein company with grand ambitions and a key differentiator within the industry: its focus is on creating the best tasting, crave-worthy and quality products in the fast-growing, plant-based market. Planterra believes in promoting a flexitarian lifestyle and the incredible power of food that people everywhere can feel good about eating and sharing with their families, covering everything from burgers to taco fillings.

JBT has provided technologies and support to Planterra covering the company’s recent growth and developments, and is working closely to support exciting product launches for the months ahead.

Driven by changing consumer perceptions around meat substitutes and healthy eating concerns, the global plant-based meat substitute market – valued at an estimated US1.9 billion in 2021 – is forecast to be worth US$4 billion by 2027, according to Market and Markets Research. Lafayette, CO-headquartered Planterra and its OZO™ brand have emerged as a leading light in the category with their innovative, delicious, meat-substitute range of products.

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Realizing possibilities
Olugbenga “Olu” Diyaolu, Planterra’s Head of research & innovation, may have only joined Planterra in July 2020 after 20 years in the dairy and beverage industry, but he has been a key driver in pushing the company forward over the last 12 months. “My role when I joined Planterra was identifying ingredient and processing technology for three-five years down the pipeline, looking at how Planterra can be at the forefront of innovation and building a strategy around it,” Olu explains. “Coming into the meat-alternative world was new for me, but I understand processing and ingredients, so I started to figure out what we should be going into.”

Olu approached Tricia Harlan, a JBT Meat Scientist and Applications Engineer, to discuss how to add grill marks to Planterra burgers and other products, with JBT providing the solution in the form of the Double D Chargrill & Bar Marker

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Where it all started: the JBT Double D Chargrill & Bar Marker

“The initial conversation was around how we can add grill marks, but then we started to talk about what we were trying to achieve, and how I wanted the product to look like a typical plate where you have chicken breast, broccoli, and so on,” recalls Olu. “We wanted to take the chicken breast and replace it with plant-based protein that has the same profile, juiciness and texture as that product.”

“As I showed Planterra the possibilities of what we could get, it went from delivering this project in 2025 to delivering it by 2021: bringing it forward by four years based on the solutions we were being shown by JBT,” he reveals. “We started making different protein blends and brought them to JBT, and have carried out a trial every month since August 2020. From those trials, our sales teams have been able to offer new products to customers.”

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Solutions-oriented
Olu describes Planterra’s working relationship with JBT as being solutions-oriented, examining the problem and collaborating to solve that problem. “It felt like an extension of Planterra that was trying to make me successful, rather than ‘I have a shiny new piece of equipment, and it will do everything in the world’,” Olu laughs. “It was all about how we can help you achieve what you need, so you can be successful. The people at JBT and their availability has been beyond anything we could have expected.”

Olu says Planterra’s goal has been to provide the ultimate plant-based solution for consumers without sacrificing taste or quality. “When you go to a store, you have traditionally either been a meat lover or a vegetarian. We wanted to have a third option in the middle – for flexitarian consumers – that although non-meat, tastes as good as meat and matches it for nutrition and versatility,” he continues. “We wanted to compete in traditional meat segments such as burgers, taco meat and chicken patties. But then once we had established our baseline products, we started talking about where we wanted to go next.”

LEARN MORE about JBT and Plant-based foods

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Healthy eating: how JBT is delivering a winning formula in the Middle East

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Healthy eating has over recent years emerged as a key trend shaping food buying and dining habits across the Middle East region, with consumers and restauranteurs alike seeking new cooking options for chicken, meat, fish and other meals. JBT is ideally poised to benefit from this trend with healthy cooking solutions that enable processors to deliver products that retain all the flavor and juiciness consumers expect.

Set to be highlighted at Gulfood Manufacturing from November 7-9 2021 in Dubai, JBT’s unique healthy cooking line can contain a combination of several different value-adding systems, including the Formcook Contact Cooker for pre-oven product sealing, the airjet-powered Double D Revoband Continuous Protein Oven and the Double D Chargrill & Bar Marker, the solution for adding extra color, flavor and juiciness to chicken and steaks.

“Our unique cooking line offers very good value for customers, increasing yield by between 3-5%, developing color and delivering a uniform, consistent cooking time,” explains JBT’s Regional Director for the Middle East & Africa, Rabie Rawand. “There is increasing demand in the Middle East for roasted, healthy, non-fried products, and we have the right combination to support and meet customer requirements.”

Winning combination
“When you watch any cooking program on TV, you will find that before the chef puts the piece of meat in the oven, they will put it in a fryer with batter to seal the product, so it doesn’t lose its juiciness in the oven,” Rawand continues. “And this is what we are doing for the industry: we pass the meat or chicken through the teflon-coated Contact Cooker to seal the product, so that when it is cooked in the main oven it retains its water and juice.” 

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“These are cooking lines for non-coated, healthy products,” says Rawand. “Catering and quick-service restaurants want to have a good market share and to do that, you have to have a good cooking line.”

In a demanding market for high-quality products, with a fast-growing quick service restaurant industry, JBT’s innovative solutions have been continuing to find favor with companies large and small, largely thanks to the systems’ ability to deliver consistent results, Rawand adds. “Customers and consumers in the Middle East appreciate quality rather than being price conscious, and this has created a very positive opportunity for JBT,” he concludes.

LEARN MORE about JBT’s range of ovens and cooking systems

JBT will be exhibiting at Gulfood Manufacturing 2021 from November 7-9 in the Dubai World Trade Centre in Hall 4, Booth D4 – 52.

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