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FoodTech Report

Volume 7 Issue 3

Ask the Expert:
Tips from tech center specialists


To seamlessly update, optimize and streamline a production process takes time, research and specialized testing. Often, processors don’t have the luxury of shutting down a line for two weeks to conduct tests. So to keep their lines running while analyzing for potential changes, many processing customers rely on the network of eight JBT FoodTech research and testing facilities located around the world. Food Processing Technology Centers can duplicate just about any process configuration a food processor would have on the production floor.

The Food Processing Technology & Training Center in Sandusky, Ohio, U.S.A., specializes in cooking, coating and frying. More than 120 processors per year visit the center to test new recipes, train personnel, refine processes and find ways to maximize their equipment operating potential. 

Todd Gerold, process technologist, Bob Stacy, manager, sales support, Stein equipment and Ramesh Gunawardena, manager, technology and process development, answer frequently asked questions from visitors to the Food Processing Technology & Training Center.

Q: In the cooking process, how can I improve oven capacity without increasing my line footprint?
Gerold: The answer to increased capacity does not necessarily require a larger oven. Processes such as improved oven steam containment, which maintains higher moisture volumes at higher speeds can improve product yield without impacting product quality. Also, implementing the right heat transfer mechanism at the right time in the process can allow a processor to cook a product in the shortest amount of time, improving product yield.

The JBT FoodTech Stein GCO-II GYRoCOMPACT® Oven provides maximum cooking flexibility through independent controls for the cooking and finishing environments. A positive zone separation between the spiral stack and the optional impingement zone, combined with a reversible air flow path during processing, allows for more consistent and repeatable results. By enabling the right process at the right time, the GCO-II oven increases product throughput and yield, cooking all products uniformly and with desired color consistency — even the difficult-to-brown and more challenging products. The processor can meet throughput objectives with a fewer number of tiers, thus improving the prospect for future throughput expansion without increasing the footprint.

Q: How do I reduce product damage in my hand-breaded-style recipe?
Stacy: Products with a hand-breaded-style coating typically utilize a rotary drum breader to achieve the look and feel of homemade chicken wings, popcorn shrimp, breaded vegetables, etc. Products are placed in the rotary drum, tumbled with coating and placed back onto the conveyer belt. However, this process can slow production because the rotary drum breader requires manual intervention to spread coated product out in the full belt width. It also can increase product damage in both the tumbling and output.

 Stein 5-Star Home Style™ Breader

The Stein 5-Star Home Style™ Breader

In 2008, JBT FoodTech introduced the Stein 5-Star Home Style™ Breader for flour and home style coating. The 5-Star design in the Home Style Breader gently tumbles product for the same homemade effect the rotary drum breader creates. Instead of manual intervention, the breader delivers product directly onto the width of the belt for a continuous production line with optimized product yield.

Q: What are some ways to manage oil use and improve oil quality during frying?
Gunawardena: Now that many processors have transitioned from using partially hydrogenated oils that contain trans fat to trans-fat-free oils, oil management is more important than ever. Trans-fat-free oils are more susceptible to breaking down during processing than partially hydrogenated oils. This breakdown results from the three major chemical reactions — hydrolysis, oxidation and polymerization — that take place within the fryer. To extend the “fry life” of the oil and make sure it maintains quality during the production cycle, the chemical reactions that cause the breakdown need to be minimized and/or controlled.


The Stein TFF-IV THERMoFIN® Fryer

The JBT FoodTech Stein TFF-IV THERMoFIN® Fryer and MX Series MICRoMax™ hot oil filtration system are equipped with features to minimize the adverse chemical reactions, extending the oil life. The system offers a two-zone temperature control for more consistent frying temperatures across the belt width and along the length of the fryer. Also, the temperature control has an extremely fast response to changing heating requirements, which prevents hot spots and maintains oil flavor. The new filtration technology complements the fryer through continuous filtration of the cooking oil by removing particles down to a single-digit micron level for improved oil quality.

To learn more about JBT FoodTech Food Technology Centers, visit the JBT FoodTech Web site.

Do you have a food processing question that you would like a JBT FoodTech expert to address in the next issue of FoodTech Report? Submit your question.

GYRoCOMPACT® and THERMoFIN® are registered trademarks and 5-Star Home Style™ and MICRoMax™ are trademarks of JBT Corporation.

©2009 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.

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