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JBT & Aurratech: bringing fog sterilization & sanitization to the globe

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JBT’s alliances are all about bringing complimentary solutions and technologies to its global customer base, which is why innovative sanitization specialist Aurratech looks certain to be a perfect fit over the coming years. Aurratech is the company behind Fog-in-Place™, a pioneering sterilization and sanitization system that guarantees 100% surface contact plus airborne disinfection with a fraction of the water and chemicals typically consumed by traditional technologies.

Fog-in-Place (FIP) can be used by food, beverage, produce, and protein processors to sterilize or sanitize equipment, piping, tanks and entire processing areas by turning biocide solution to fog in form of billions of micro-particles.

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According to company founder Caio Agmont, FIP produces low weight particles that achieve 100% surface contact by remaining suspended in the air for long periods of time through which it can reach all areas of a facility, including around odd shapes, that need to be sanitized.

FIP also reduces more than 99% of the water, waste and sanitizing solution typically associated with traditional liquid based Sanitize-In-Place (SIP) procedures, making major savings in time, energy, solution and water, with negligible environmental impact. The system can be used effectively by both food (meat, fish, eggs, bakery, fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy) and beverage (wine, beer, juice, non alcoholic and general beverages) processors, while it also has applications in the cut flower industry.

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International interest
Far from limiting FIP’s potential applications, Agmont says its possible uses are huge and constantly expanding. “FIP is already in use among the major protein players in Brazil in the beef, pork and poultry industries for ambient disinfection,” he continues. “With our new company in Spain, we have now started supplying FIP to Spanish protein companies.”

The technology is also gaining ever greater attention in South Africa. After a listeria outbreak in 2018 – the country’s largest ever – FIP was chosen as the primary decontamination tool for big protein players in South Africa. “Aurratech just finished a new project for a dedicated FIP unit to be installed in tunnels and gyro freezers,” says Agmont. “This will enhance food safety in the freezers and create a ‘listeria free’ environment.

“Listeria is a major concern at protein industry today – everyone knows how hard is to guarantee complete disinfection inside a freezer, but with FIP, we can delivery an extra layer of protection for industry against listeria.” 

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FIP is in use among major players in the beef, pork and poultry industries

FIP applications
In Spain, Aurratech has started researching the use of FIP for lactic acid application in beef, with processors set to benefit from the system’s ability to deliver a uniform layer of the right amount of lactic acid without any wastage.

In Brazil, the company has recently finished a one year investigation with the world’s largest broiler egg company looking at the use of FIP and peracetic acid solution as an alternative to formaldehyde disinfection. The results, reveals Aurratech’s Latin America Manager Pedro Girardelli, were impressive, with better ratios than formaldehyde. “Sooner or later the formaldehyde will be banished from market, as has already happened in Europe, so it’s important the industry is prepared with an alternative technology,” he predicts. “FIP has proven to be a serious candidate for this next step at hatchery industry.”

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FIP and peracetic acid are replacing formaldehyde in Brazil’s egg industry

Proving that the technology has huge scope for possible uses, Agmont says FIP has also been employed by nursery greenhouses for fertilizer and fungicide application with great results, while it has proven effective in combating botrytis in rose production facilities in South Africa.

In the bakery sector, Agmont reveals that FIP also has been used to reduce contamination in coolers and enhance product shelf life.

However, although Aurratech is still focused on disinfection, Agmont says he has seen a shift in customer demand towards using FIP as a delivery tool for applying chemicals to products. “As with lactic acid in beef, we have also been investigating using FIP to deliver other products for cheese, dry meat, fruits and eggs to reduce the microbiology count on product surfaces and increase product shelf life,” he adds. “This could open up a titanic market for Aurratech in the near future.”

Learn more about Aurratech’s Fog-In-Place

JBT showcases solutions for the future

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At the IFFA 2019 international trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany, the JBT team (pictured above) introduced smart and innovative solutions covering the food processing chain and adding value through yield, flexibility, automation, high-hygiene, food safety, clean label and consistent end-product quality. 

Together with customers, JBT is reshaping the food processing landscape of tomorrow by designing innovative solutions setting the standard for the food industries growing expectations, needs and demands.

Among the solutions highlighted at the show was the world-renowned range of Frigoscandia® freezing systems, which continue to be a flagship brand for JBT, with the latest model the GYRoCOMPACT® 40 Spiral Freezer showcased during the fair. The Spiral Freezer is a more compact version with even more hygiene benefits and new freezing technology with the highest capacity of any comparable system.

Volume and accuracy
At IFFA 2019, JBT also had the pleasure of demonstrating the capabilities of the DSI® 800 Series Waterjet Portioning System. An automated solution for portioning and trimming, the DSI Portioner has proven to consistently improve product yield and increase productivity. Built for high volume portions, the portioner functions as a precision machine for high accuracy intense cuts. 

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JBT_iffa3Processing Power
During the show, JBT’s TIPPER TIE invited visitors to experience live demonstrations of their impressive clipping and packaging solutions. One of the highlights was the worldwide debut of the new SVU6800 high speed automatic double clipper designed for large products such as pumpable ham, large slicing logs and whole muscle loins. It delivers consistent length every time thanks to the strong voider even with sensitive casings. 

JBT’s meat marination specialist Schröder showcased the full scope of cutting-edge equipment for meat marination and preparation, focused around hygienic design, easier handling and less operational amounts of brine. 

On Trend
Meanwhile JBT Avure demonstrated their compelling High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology. With more than 60 years of experience and expertise in HPP science and manufacturing, Avure specializes in HPP systems for food and beverage processing with the fastest and most reliable systems in the industry. Avure helps producers implement HPP from recipe development and process validations to installation, regulatory affairs, and post-installation support.

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Other products exhibited from JBT’s portfolio included the Formcook® 618 Contact Cooker for efficient sealing and searing of products and the XVision™ CCPX Pack, an industry leading technology of X-ray Inspection Systems for contaminant detection in ready meals, and heat and eat products that is making its European debut.

JBT offers customized solutions to food processors at every stage of the production process, including portioning, injection, marination, coating, frying, cooking, freezing, chilling & proofing, inspection, clipping & packaging and high pressure processing ensuring the final product is delivered as requested.

JBT acquires poultry solutions provider Prime Equipment Group

JBT Corporation announced it has purchased Prime Equipment Group Inc., for $65 million. Prime Equipment is a manufacturer of turnkey primary and water re-use solutions to the poultry industry, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

“The acquisition of Prime advances our goal of becoming the preferred provider of full-line solutions for poultry customers with the addition of Prime’s primary processing capabilities,” said JBT Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Tom Giacomini.

“Prime’s latest technologies address pressing needs in the poultry industry in the areas of automation and water re-use which will further strengthen our customer relationships,” said JBT Executive Vice President and President, Protein Paul Sternlieb. “Prime’s revenue is primarily concentrated in the U.S., and we look forward to leveraging JBT’s global reach to accelerate the deployment of the automation and water technology for growth outside the U.S.”

JBT has also announced completion of the previously announced acquisition of Proseal UK, a provider of tray sealing technology for the food industry, for about $280 million.

Learn more about Prime Equipment

 

JBT seals deal to acquire Proseal, an innovator in food tray technology

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JBT has announced completion of the acquisition of Proseal UK, an innovator in environmentally-friendly packaging systems with a manufacturing presence in Europe, the US and Australia. The purchase price for Proseal was £220 million, before customary post-closing adjustments.

Proseal is the leading manufacturer of tray sealing equipment for a range of protein food products including categories such as Red Meat, Pork, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Ready Meals and produce categories such as Soft Fruit, Fresh Produce, Prepared Produce, Sandwiches, and Snack Foods. Proseal has been at the forefront of developing systems that improve product shelf life whilst minimizing the use of plastic at the same time.

With machines capable of handling 240 packs a minute, the Adlington, UK-based company has experienced strong growth in export markets through the design, manufacture, assembly and servicing of high-quality tray sealing systems and turnkey production line solutions. Used predominantly for food packaging applications, Proseal is continuing to drive growth by developing systems that deliver important sustainability benefits through food preservation techniques and reduced energy consumption.

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Carlos Fernandez, JBT’s Executive Vice President and President, Liquid Foods, said: “The Proseal acquisition provides JBT with a significant platform in the packaging space adding complementary solutions and value adding technologies to many existing customers across JBT’s Liquid Foods and Protein business segments. 

“Tray sealing contributes to JBT’s efforts to provide greater sustainability as well as extending the shelf-life of foods, providing more labeling space on the package and enhancing product appearance. In particular, Proseal’s tray sealing technology pairs extremely well with current initiatives in the fresh-cut produce and case ready protein markets.”

As well as its UK site, Proseal operates manufacturing facilities through its Proseal America subsidiary in Richmond, Virginia, and a further site in Melbourne, Australia operated by Proseal Australia.

Learn more about Proseal’s range of products

JBT’s ADVANTEC system makes thin slicing simple

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Being able to achieve thin slicing of meats without a resulting loss in yield is a key requirement for many processors serving the ready-to-eat market, but until recently this was not always simple to achieve. However the recent introduction of Surface Stabilizing technology as part of JBT’s ADVANTEC™ series of impingement freezers has gone a long way to making thin slicing a relatively straightforward – and speedy – process.

JBT has also launched the Super-Chilling application for the ADVANTEC range; an innovation that enables warm products to be cooled quickly without jeopardising product quality. 

According to Stefan Paulsson, JBT’s Director of Value Stream & Global Product Line for Cooking & Linear Freezers, both applications have been introduced to meet the needs of processors seeking practical, effective solutions for ready-to-eat products.

Surface Stabilizing can be used with products such as deli meat where you are looking to cut it into very thin slices,” explains Paulsson. “This can be quite hard, but if you freeze the surface around it, then you can cut it very thin without suffering any yield loss and you will get a much nicer slice surface as well.”

Likewise, Pausson says Super Chilling can be employed by processors who want to quickly cool warm products without freezing them. “Super Chilling freezes the surface of the product, before the temperature is evened out as a whole, resulting in a chilled product that has quickly been taken from warm to cold,” he says.

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Quick freezing
The story of the ADVANTEC Impingement Freezer range can be traced back to the Frigoscandia Flat Product Freezer (FPF), a system which was created in the 1990s to offer a more cost-effective solution than cryogenic freezing for meat patties. 

Launched in the year 2000, the Frigoscandia ADVANTEC Impingement Freezer was introduced with the aim of being more suitable for a broader market and a greater range of applications and products.

“Impingement freezers are good for quick freezing of thin products,” says Paulsson. “ADVANTEC uses impingement sheets, which are sheets of metal with multiple holes. Through this, a jetstream of air hits the products at high speed, so it cools and freezes really quickly. This compares to many competitors who use air-knives instead, where you only freeze the product when it’s actually underneath the air-knife. Using the ADVANTEC impingement system, products are continually exposed to cooling air.”

As well as being faster and more effective than an air-knife freezer, Paulsson adds that ADVANTEC’s metal sheets are also more hygienic and easier to clean a sheet than a series of air-knives.

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The JBT Frigoscandia ADVANTEC Impingement Freezer

Flexible solution
Now sold worldwide, ADVANTEC is available in two different belt widths – 1250mm and 1800mm – and one to four separate modules, meaning customers can have ADVANTEC in the length and width required for their needs.

JBT also markets the ADVANTEC Compact Chiller, a smaller unit, which is particularly suited to surface stabilization where companies are looking to freeze product surfaces to achieve thin slices.

Learn more about JBT ADVANTEC freezers

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

JBT’s PRoCARE®: working to eliminate downtime from the equation

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Downtime, for many processors and producers, is an inevitable part of the production process, which – in addition to cutting into productivity, scheduling and labor hours, to say nothing of the expense – is viewed as a phenomenon that has to be endured. But what if there were a means of limiting downtime to an absolute minimum or, better still, eliminating it almost completely? This was the objective JBT Customer Care had in mind when they set about launching PRoCARE; an ambitious initiative that aims to make downtime a problem of the past for JBT customers.

Irrespective of the pedigree of systems or equipment, the need for maintenance, regular or irregular, is a fact of life. With the best will in the world, it is unavoidable that parts become worn, equipment becomes damaged, or machinery does not always perform as expected. Such occurrences often result in downtime, with production being shifted, reduced or even halted completely while the problem is fixed.

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JBT’s PRoCARE Program is focused on taking the unpredictability of maintenance difficulties out of the equation. Instead of waiting for problems to occur, JBT Field Service Engineers take preventative action as part of the program, visiting customer facilities on a scheduled basis to tackle any weak spots before they develop into a problem.

Relieving the burden
As an annual, auto-renewal program, PRoCARE offers levels of service specifically suited to the needs and wants of each plant. With features ranging from inspections, documentation and recommendations in Level 1; up to Level 5 which includes preventative maintenance, 24/7 monitoring, guaranteed response times, training and an annual pool of service and/or automation hours to use at their discretion, there is a great solution for any budget, explains Emily Lossman, Customer Care Manager at JBT’s A&B Process Systems.

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“The PRoCARE Program takes some of the burden off maintenance staff and removes the need to keep as many components on the shelf,” she says. “It also means customers will suffer fewer unexpected downtime issues and benefit from a longer equipment life.”

As well as new customers, Lossman says, JBT is reaching out to existing and previous customers, and letting them know that this is a program that can be implemented at their facilities.

Preserving reputations
The practice of preventative maintenance becomes even more important when viewed against the considerable threat posed by involuntary lapses in food safety, lapses that can lead to product recalls and potentially damaged reputations and lost clients. “Older equipment and machinery can suffer wear that can lead to potentially harmful contamination issues,” says Lossman. “Stainless steel surfaces can get scratched and these crevices can harbor bacteria that can be missing during Clean-In-Place (CIP) procedures.

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JBT can provide riboflavin testing to verify cleaning efficacy and hydrostatic or dye penetrant testing to identify flaws. They will also provide recommendations on how to maintain that level of cleanliness.

“We also check and calibrate instrumentation, which has positive implications for product consistency: we make sure instruments are correctly calibrated, so customers achieve a consistent product every time.”

In short, Lossman says the PRoCARE Program offers headache-free ownership. With JBT effectively taking care of systems and equipment during their entire active life, customers avoid the need to pull resources off key projects, help safeguard their reputation and, as much as possible, eliminate costly, avoidable downtime.

Learn more about JBT’s PRoCARE Program

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