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FoodTech Report

Volume 8 Issue 2

Tech center upgrades lead to more profitable processors

By Li Ma, regional thermal processing engineer, JBT FoodTech
and Jan Gaydos, director of market services, JBT FoodTech

Food processing is an ever-changing environment. To be as efficient and effective as possible, individual processes must be regularly audited and analyzed, with outcomes measured and costs considered. Just as the JBT FoodTech Food Technology Centers are committed to helping processors with process improvements through testing, training and maintenance, the tech centers are also focused on their own continuous improvement to ensure available equipment and services remain relevant to the food processing industry’s changing needs.


The Food Processing Technology & Training Centers in Ningbo, China, and Sandusky, OH, U.S.A., have recently updated their equipment solutions to provide best-in-class facilities where food processors can test recipes, equipment, cleaning techniques and safety processes.  

Testing and validation in Ningbo, China

Specialists at the new Ningbo testing and training facility, which opened in January 2009, provide food technology assistance to fresh produce and canned food processors, both on-site and at customer facilities. Food technology assistance includes conducting thermal process testing for different food and packaging applications, microbiology testing in citrus wax production, and process validation for U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) thermal regulation.  

Pilot retort 

 Pilot retort

Specialists test thermal sterilization and pasteurization solutions with the JBT FoodTech® Multi-Process Pilot retort, which is a lab model retort capable of simulating agitating or static in Steam Water Spray (SWS™) and immersion processes. The Ningbo facility is utilizing the lab retort to accurately design thermal processes, study the effects of temperature and time variable on canned food products and conduct pilot plant studies simulating the type of equipment that best fits the requirements of the product. In particular, processors need to ensure correct pressure profiles for food quality, safety and shelf life as packaging formats diversify from cans to more flexible solutions, such as plastic pouches and cups.

As China continues to become a leading manufacturer of ready-to-eat foods, there is an increasing need for thermal process authority that can validate a technical thermal process to be in line with the regulations of different countries, including the United States. JBT FoodTech specialists can conduct validation tests needed for manufacturers to prepare and deliver technical reports required for FDA export regulation compliance. This certificate provides assurance that products exported to other countries meet specific U.S. regulations, and is required as part of the process to register or import a product into another country.

Equipment overhaul in Sandusky, OH, U.S.A

The Sandusky Food Processing Technology & Training Center has served meat, seafood and ready meal manufacturers since the mid-1980s. The current facility was completed in 1996. It utilizes full-sized waterjet cutting, breading, frying, oven cooking and freezing equipment supplemented by mixers, grinders, blenders, belt flatteners, Teflon® belt grills, steam chambers, char-markers and conveyors. These resources, along with chilled and frozen storage facilities, ensure processes can be reliably duplicated and studied after leaving the controlled environment of the tech center.

Because the facility uses full-sized equipment, processors are able to purchase testing equipment from the Food Processing Technology & Training Center when a short delivery timeframe is required. In the past few years, nearly all of the equipment, including a Stein™ GCO II 1000 GYRoCOMPACT® Self-Stacking Spiral Oven, a JSO™ Jet Stream Oven and a DSI™ waterjet portioning system were sold to processors for these purposes. As a result, the facility is installing all new equipment that will showcase the latest designs and technologies from JBT FoodTech.

Recent installations include a new GCO-II-1000, which features integrated MultiPhase™ cooking for versatility, consistent product quality and higher yields; and the JSO IV Jet Stream Oven, which incorporates the benefits of thermal fluid heating, high-velocity impingement and condensational cooking. Processors can test recipes on the newest oven models to determine how dynamic airflow control and production flexibility can contribute to uniform color development, reduced product cook times and significant energy savings.  

Also installed is the new Stein Ultra V™ Coating Line, which comprises the Stein Ultra V Breading Applicator and Preduster, Stein Ultra V Batter Mixer, and Stein Ultra V Batter Applicator. Processors can test coating applications, from free-flow and Japanese crumbs to flour-based coatings to analyze rapid product and recipe changes and dust containment. The flexible equipment configurations enable a variety of products to be processed in the same line.

A new Frigoscandia® GYRoCOMPACT M10 Spiral Freezer will be installed early in 2011. A new ADVANTEC™ impingement freezer, which can freeze a wide range of thin or flat products, including high-value, individually quick frozen (IQF) products, will be available in the early fall. The new freezer technologies run with increased efficiency and require 50 percent less lubrication, which translates into decreased waste from lubrication and increased production uptime.

For more information on JBT FoodTech technology and training centers, or to schedule a visit, go to the JBT FoodTech website.


JBT FoodTech® GYRoCOMPACT® and Frigoscandia® are registered trademarks of John Bean Technologies AB. SWS™, Stein™, JSO™, DSI™, MultiPhase™, Ultra V™ and ADVANTEC™ are trademarks of JBT Corporation.

©2010 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.


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