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JBT acquires Alco-food-machines

JBT has announced the acquisition of Alco-food-machines GmbH & Co. KG (Alco), a leading provider of further food processing solutions and production lines, which is expected to help JBT expand its solutions for ready meal and plant-based protein processors.

“Alco has been a family business for generations and over time has built an excellent reputation in the market for providing leading further processing technology solutions with strong ties in the DACH region,” said Brian Deck, JBT President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Alco represents the ideal fit for JBT where our family of brands approach and our broad food and beverage platform offers a compelling succession opportunity for companies with leading technology and food domain expertise.”

“We are excited about the possibilities in the next phase of growth for Alco,” said Alco Managing Director, Thomas Kleine-Ausberg.

“The acquisition of Alco complements and expands our product offering in further processing, in particular, expanding our offering in convenience meal lines as well as alternative and plant-based protein technology,” said Bob Petrie, EVP and President, Protein.

“Bringing our companies and technologies together supports our vision to be the preferred solutions partner for our customers, backed by unparalleled application expertise and best-in-class local service support. Alco also further strengthens our presence and capabilities in the important German market,” added Petrie.

Alco was founded in Bad Iburg, Germany in 1977 based on the idea from Heinz and Gertrud Algra to make the best machines in the industry, which today, produce everything from noodle sauces, and pizza to convenience and snack foods.

“JBT has always been viewed as a leader in food processing, and its approach to preserving the Alco brand and continuing the family legacy of technology and service was of the utmost importance in finding the right partner to acquire the business,” said Isabelle Kleine-Ausberg, former shareholder of Alco.

Alco expects 2022 revenue of approximately $35 million with EBITDA margins in the low double digits prior to synergies.

FIND OUT MORE about Alco-food-machines

Keen for a slice of the plant-based protein market? Meet JBT to find out more

Looking to take advantage of the fast-growing market for alternative, plant-based proteins? JBT will have a full range of solutions on show at the forthcoming IFFA 2022 trade exhibition, as well as innovative systems for conventional meat processors, from intelligent cutting machinery to solutions offering connectivity across a production facility.

The market for plant-based protein products is significant and growing. In fact, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.7%, the market is expected to be worth $23.4 billion by 2028, according to a recent report published by Meticulous Research. 

Save labor and improve yield
JBT solutions ideally suited to both plant-based and meat products alike include the DSI Waterjet Portioning System, which can improve yield, decrease a reliance on manual labor and increase productivity by determining optimum cut strategies using proprietary DSI Q-LINK™ Portioning Software. For the plant-based industry at IFFA 2022 in particular, JBT will be demonstrating how the Waterjet Portioning System’s cutting patterns are ideal for the consistent portioning of products such as tofu. 

Other featured solutions include the Formcook Contact Cooker, an innovative method for sealing moisture into protein products which is perfect for healthy cooking. Using teflon belts, the Formcook Contact Cooker can improve both yield and flavor, while delivering a healthier cooking experience, thanks to a minimum need for oil. 

Further down the production line – and as applicable for meat as it is for plant-based protein – is the Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® 70 Spiral Freezer, an innovative, self-stacking freezing system, which delivers advances in food safety, performance and space optimization. Already being successfully used by customers like Marlow Foods (the company which gave the world Quorn), the Spiral Freezer provides quality, food safety, reliability and operating simplicity at its core.

Proven solutions
In addition much of JBT’s family of companies will be showcasing winning solutions for protein processors at IFFA. Tray sealing specialist Proseal will be highlighting its leading role in fast, efficient and high-quality meat and poultry packing, including the proven GT2e tray sealing machine and recently launched CP3™ case packer.

High Pressure Processing (HPP) solutions provider Avure will be showcasing its end-to-end systems that deliver a more natural appearance and are capable of doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling a meat or plant-based product’s shelf life. For meat processors of all sizes, TIPPER TIE will be displaying a full range of automated and semi-automated clipping solutions, while Schröder will be highlighting its favorably-priced injector systems for companies large and small.

Unrivalled connectivity
A key area being highlighted by JBT at IFFA 2022 is connectivity, and the ability of JBT to provide customers with instant access to joined-up, up-to-the minute performance data. The newly-launched JBT OmniBlu platform – a subscription-based service including best-in-class support, parts availability, and machine optimization capabilities – features a powerful digital backbone leveraging AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

The OmniBlu solution enables customers to have a complete picture of the current performance of all equipment, enabling them to achieve optimum product results and tackle any potential problems. Learn more about OmniBlu HERE.

JBT will be exhibiting at IFFA 2022 in Hall 8.0, Stands J90 & K90 at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main, Germany from May 14 – 19, 2022.

Book a meeting at IFFA and find out how you can grow with JBT!

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

Développement durable : aider les clients à atteindre les objectifs fixés pour 2022

Read this article in English

La capacité de JBT à fournir des solutions de production durables et décarbonées sera l’un des messages clés délivrés aux clients lors du Salon CFIA 2022 Rennes du 8 au 10 mars 2022. De plus, JBT présentera des systèmes sur mesure pour les aliments d’origine végétale pour permettre aux transformateurs de tirer parti d’une tendance qui prend de l’essor en Europe.

L’intérêt pour le développement durable, combiné à la nécessité de réaliser des économies d’énergie, s’est considérablement accru en France et dans toute l’Europe ces dernières années, sous l’impulsion des consommateurs et des transformateurs. 

Lors de sa participation au Salon CFIA, JBT affichera sa capacité à fournir une production décarbonée sous la forme du nouveau four électrique TwinDrum, une solution qui permet aux transformateurs d’utiliser des sources d’énergie durables. Autre élément clé de la stratégie de JBT en faveur du développement durable, l’accent accordé à l’accroissement de la capacité de l’usine de plus petite taille. Exemple clé de cette stratégie : le GYRoCOMPACT GC70 de Frigoscandia, une solution qui apporte durabilité tout en augmentant la capacité dans un espace plus petit. 

Alternatives à la viande
L’alimentation végétalienne est une autre tendance importante sur le marché français, avec un nombre toujours croissant de demandes d’alternatives à la viande, selon Philippe Barillet, directeur des ventes de JBT pour la France et la Belgique. « J’estime qu’entre 50 et 70 % de nos clients recherchent au moins une alternative végétalienne », confie-t-il. 

Pour aider les clients à trouver la solution végétale qui leur convient le mieux, M. Barillet explique que JBT travaille en étroite collaboration avec ses clients dans ses centres de recherche et de technologie internationaux

La plateforme d’optimisation des performances basée sur le cloud iOPS de JBT, une technologie sécurisée d’analyse du big data qui recueille et analyse les performances des équipements et des processus de JBT en temps réel, constitue le point d’orgue. « iOPS rassemble les données de toutes les machines connectées pour fournir des données de production et de service directement sur le téléphone du client », ajoute M. Barillet.

JBT sera présent au Salon CFIA 2022 Rennes du 8 au 10 mars 2022, au stand B7, Hall 7 du Parc Expo Rennes Aéroport

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

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