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FoodTech Report

Volume 6 Issue 3

Juice extractor efficiency, reliability key to competitive edge in global market

By Donn Sabato, U.S. sales and service manager for JBT FoodTech

Citrus processing
Cost-efficiency is a must when processors are trying to stay afloat in a global marketplace. Streamlined processes, from start to finish, will ensure a profitable operation without compromising quality.

When Sunkist® Growers Inc., a large U.S.-based cooperative, consolidated its California juice operation facilities, throughput and efficiency were the top priorities. The company was questioning its competitiveness in the global citrus market and, as with any global business, felt pressure to make operations even more streamlined to continue to offer the best-quality juice at the most reasonable price.

When Sunkist closed one facility, it had to re-evaluate the operational efficiency of the remaining one. The same orange and lemon growers who utilized two facilities for processing were going to move the same amount of product through one. This meant efficiencies were needed at every turn. Fruit cannot sit too long or it will dehydrate, so an upgraded system had to be in place to unload the fruit and move it into processing as quickly as possible, even with the increased loads.

Efficiency and throughput are each a must for Sunkist, especially because its processing plant is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The extraction equipment had to be reliable and capable of handling the speed of processing Sunkist needed, which included juice extraction, waste separation, oil recovery, pulp recovery, finishing and packaging.

Based on the productivity of two existing lines that already used JBT FoodTech Citrus Juice Extractors, Sunkist decided to use JBT FoodTech equipment for all four of its processing lines. Superior equipment reliability, combined with a leasing package that includes on-site service technicians, was the solution that would offer the lowest cost per unit produced.

Greater throughput, more profitable yield

JBT FoodTech Citrus Juice Extractors are able to extract more juice from citrus fruits than any other extractor in the market, and instantaneously separate juice from the rest of the fruit at the point of extraction. The special process produces a significant increase in yield compared with other extractors in the industry. This increase can be the equivalent of $1 million USD, depending on the size of the plant.

391B Model Citrus Juice Extractor

Sunkist in California relies on the 391B Model Citrus Juice Extractor for its orange and lemon juicing operations.

Sunkist processes oranges and lemons by using the 391B Model Citrus Juice Extractor, an industry workhorse that can operate at speeds of up to 112 strokes per minute and accommodate a wide range of fruit sizes. For example, 3-inch (76 mm) cups are designed to handle fruit ranging in size from 1¾ inches (44 mm) to 3¼ inches (83 mm). A 4-inch (102 mm) cup can handle fruit from 3¼ inches (83 mm) to 4¼ inches (108 mm). The speed capabilities and size accommodation of the 391B Citrus Juice Extractor help diminish the processor’s concern for intermittent downtime when oranges and lemons are too large for the infeed area.

Part of the extractor’s process is a unique citrus oil recovery system. As the rind is separated from the fruit during the juice extraction process, the extractor can recover up to 80 percent of the essential oils right at the extractor. Other oil recovery systems require an additional process prior to juice extraction, which slows down the entire line. Essential peel oil is an important byproduct of juice extraction and a profitable alternative market for juice operations.

Reliability that makes the grade

The reliable, consistent quality that the 391B Citrus Juice Extractor produces is saving Sunkist time and money. The stainless steel construction of the extractor further increases cost-efficiency for Sunkist because it makes the extractor easier to clean. An enclosed stainless steel piping system connecting to the JBT FoodTech Citrus Juice Finisher protects the juice quality while moving through the processing line.

With consumers around the world demanding higher-quality products at competitive prices, consolidating facilities and streamlining operations to one processing equipment supplier helped Sunkist lower its cost per unit and remain a leader in the global marketplace.

To learn more about citrus juice extractors, visit the JBT FoodTech Web site.

Sunkist® is a registered trademark of Sunkist Growers, Inc.
©2008 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.

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