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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

LEARN MORE about Planterra Foods

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.

HKScan now cutting chicken with waterjets

Vinderup, Finland-based HKScan has replaced the sharp blades in its chicken processing plant with high-pressure DSI waterjets. The new technology cuts the chicken loin with the cleanest cut the producer has ever seen, René Wibholdt for Food Supply Magazine reports.

HKScan is undergoing a comprehensive transformation, with the major challenge of using raw materials optimally. In short, the upheaval must ensure that several years of red figures on the bottom line are replaced by black ones. And in this context, the new investment in a waterjet plant is a perfect fit.

Whereas the slaughterhouse in Vinderup previously used industrial knives in the processing plant to cut chicken fillets into cubes and strips, the cutting work is now done by high-pressure water jets. Technically, the new plant is equipped with a robot arm with several adjacent nozzles, which emit high-pressure water jets that execute the variable cutting functions.

Inspiration from Sweden
With the remodeling in and around the processing plant, the waterjet solution, which was delivered before Christmas 2020, cost DKK 9.3 million, of which the major part of the investment has gone to the new cutting unit. The repayment period is expected to be two to three years. According to HKScan, the plant at the Vinderup slaughterhouse is the only one of its kind in Denmark.

“The idea for the investment came after a trip to Sweden, where we went around to see the shops. There, we quickly came across the beautiful cuts on the strips and cubes lying in a refrigerated display case. So we decided that such high quality is also something we would like to offer our customers,” said Sales Director Morten Cederberg, HKScan Denmark A/S.

With the new technology, HKScan is beginning to deliver to the convenience store category. Photo: HKScan

“We currently sell cubes and strips, but the cuts themselves are not as attractive and uniform when done with a knife. So with the new technology and high quality, we are confident that we can increase future sales in this category. This is also absolutely necessary in order to recoup the investment,” he added.

In addition to strips and cubes, the plant can also cut the breast fillets crosswise (horizontally). This cut gives the consumer a minute fillet that fits ideally with the convenience trend. “It reduces the cooking time, and consumers can now prepare the product in half the time. We believe that many consumers will be pleased with this in their busy workday,” said Cederberg.

New category in place
The next step for HK SCAN is the launch of ready-fried strips and cubes. “Here we are looking at a category characterised by foreign products. Fortunately, our customers are asking for Danish chicken, and we can now help them with this. Basically, importing chicken meat transported over long distances makes no sense. So we strongly believe that Danish consumers will support the new products. The category of ready-fried strips and cubes will be brand new to us. Now we will have exposure on the cold-cuts shelf,” explained the Sales Director.

Until now, the chicken producer was not able to offer ready-fried cubes and strips, but this is now possible with the investment in a new frying line, which is located at the factory in Skovsgaard.

The bag has been shaken
Morten Cederberg expects strong growth in the brand new category, where the products can be eaten directly from the pack or used in a salad or packed lunch. 

“That’s what works. Consumers demand convenience, and therefore we must do much more in processed foods”, he said. The number of chickens slaughtered in Denmark remains unchanged at HKScan.

“To meet the demand for the waterjet range and the ready-fried variants, we will move meat from individual export markets and instead sell it in Denmark. It is basically a question of where we can earn the most from the meat,” Cederberg indicated.

The transformation must simply put a large full-stop on the number of years with a deficit.

Cederborg explained: “By focusing more on refined and specialised products, our production becomes more complex. We have to move the raw materials from Vinderup to Skovsgård, but that’s how it is. We have decided on a new strategy, and now we must concentrate on getting the initiatives to succeed.”

Investments in welfare
HKScan is also ready with welfare chickens, which are currently being launched in the grocery retail chains. It’s a different breed – Range Gold – than the conventional chickens. They weigh pretty much the same, but get more space in the chicken house and access to the outside area. They are slaughtered after 46-47 days, whereas for conventional chickens it is typically 34 days. Welfare chicken is produced by farmers who have previously supplied organic chickens to HKScan.

“We are in a transformation process where we must focus on where we can basically earn the most from our raw materials,” Cederberg said.

Reference: Original article, ”Nu skærer HKScan kylling med vandstråler” af René Wibholdt for Food Supply Magazine / Jern & Maskinindustrien under Nordiske Medier

JBT PROCARE helps Nabil Foods run 24/7

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Unexpected delays can be significant for any food processing company, but for Nabil Foods, the largest producer of chilled and frozen food products in Jordan, running 24/7 to meet production schedules and deliver high quality, consistent products means there is no room for unplanned downtime.

JBT’s PRoCARE® Service Agreements are about making sure equipment and production performs to an optimum level, while minimizing downtime, and in recent years its focus on preventative maintenance has developed into a key component of Nabil Foods’ business.

Crucial support
Nabil Foods produces a high-end range of beef and chicken burgers, nuggets and ready meals, as well as desserts, which are supplied to retail and foodservice customers across the entire Middle East and North Africa region. The company has long worked with JBT, and in fact JBT has been Nabil Foods’ sole supplier of coating, frying, cooking and freezing equipment for more than 15 years.

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However, having a JBT PRoCARE Service agreement in place has been vital in keeping the company’s 10+ production lines running 24/7, according to CEO Ahmed Sallakh. “We are very pleased with JBT and the direction of our partnership,” he said. “The machinery is performing at its best, but as important, is the support from JBT’s after sales service. We are able to run 24/7 because of JBT.”

With Nabil Foods currently achieving double digit sales growth, Mr Sallakh stresses that such support is crucial to ensuring production does not slow down, while maintaining the firm’s leading position in the market.

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Preventative maintenance
In 2018, Nabil Foods was faced with several downtime challenges following postponement of the renewal for its PRoCARE service agreement with JBT. A lack of preventative maintenance led to a number of technical issues and breakdowns during the years, with the unplanned downtime starting to affect revenue. Nabil Foods renewed its PRoCARE agreement in early 2019 and has since seen unplanned downtime dropping by 48% compared with 2018, with worn parts being replaced before potential problems become a reality.

Mr Ahmed Hussein, Engineering Manager at Nabil Foods, said: “JBT has supported us with patience, knowledge and generosity to resolve an array of challenges we were facing and to continuously develop our equipment and internal engineering services. Fundamentally, they have become a key partner for our organization, and from my standpoint, I couldn’t have expected better.”

Find out more about Nabil Foods

Learn more about JBT PRoCARE Service Agreements

JBT iOPS helps Öresundschark boost capacity and production hours

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Utilizing production capacity to its maximum and avoiding unplanned downtime is essential for any protein producer, and having the tools in place to make this happen can bring both piece of mind and help increase profits. This was certainly the case for Swedish meatball producer Öresundschark AB, which has recorded benefits for its business from opting for JBT’s innovative Industrial Internet of Things performance optimization platform, iOPS®.

Öresundschark AB connected their Frigoscandia freezer to iOPS two years ago and since then their capacity utilization has increased significantly and made life a lot easier for Production and Maintenance Manager Johan Rulander. By having machinery connected, Rulander has been able to monitor and detect worn parts or potential issues before they become problems, enabling him to improve the overall efficiency of his operations and avoid unplanned downtime. 

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Öresundschark’s Johan Rulander with the JBT iOPS platform

Furthermore, Rulander can now quickly trouble-shoot and easily provide remote support to his production team when needed, by having machine and system data in real-time through an app on his mobile phone. “I can quickly identify the issue by checking the alarms and give advice how to fix it without having to drop what I’m doing and rush down to production to solve the issue personally,” he says. “This gives both me and the team piece of mind, and they are not as reluctant to call me and ask when issues arises and I’m reassured production will run smoothly without my presence.” 

New methods
JBT iOPS® has led to a completely new way of planning production and machine maintenance through predictive data for Öresundschark, according to Rulander, who regularly consults the live data feed on his phone. “I check how the machine has been running on the late shifts and I can see cleaning stops and estimate drying time to know when I can start-up production again in the morning,” he explains. 

iOPS allows for connected equipment and operation monitoring, providing food manufacturers with new and unique possibilities to ensure sustainable and profitable growth through insights and proactive actions that would not have been possible to achieve in a profitable way before.

“I keep an eye on the air temperatures inside the freezer, and if they are running high for a longer period, we plan for extra defrost programs to maximize running time,” continues Rulander. “Over time, the freezing belt wears and overstretches and with inductive sensors I can monitor this and plan maintenance stops when I want them, and adjust it in good time before issues arise.”

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Every food processing company knows that the key to a successful and profitable business is to keep production running without disruption. Every extra hour of production equals profit and money in the pocket.

“We run at a high pace and during certain periods we produce seven days a week, so at these times there is no room for downtime,” says Rulander. “Timely maintenance and proactively replacing parts before they break plays a major role in minimizing downtime and saving money.” 

About Öresundschark
Öresundschark AB has been a high valued partner of JBT since moving to Malmö, Sweden in 1999. A local family-owned business founded in 1997, Öresundschark’s high quality products have been awarded with the EU Ecolabel, a mark of environmental excellence. They produce a wide range of meat patties, chicken- and meatballs and supply the largest convenience retailers all over the region. Around 30 employees work at Öresundschark AB and their production plant generates 5,000 tons of fried, frozen and chilled products every year, all of which are processed using JBT equipment. 

Öresundschark is aiming to expand its product portfolio to also include vegetarian alternatives and to ramp up productivity to reach a yearly production of 8,000 tons. “JBT ́s iOPS will help us achieve these targets faster by enabling us to run our production longer and more efficiently,” adds Rulander. 

For more information about Öresundschark AB, visit: oresundschark.se 

Find out more about JBT iOPS

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