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Features of the process

The appropriate combination of preparation, processes, and equipment depends on multiple variables, for example the fruit to be processed, the fresh fruit capacity of the plant, the harvesting and delivery methods, the in-coming and out-going percentage of solids, discharge temperature, concentration, finishing, boiler capacity, pressure and volume, type and size of containers and ambient storage temperature range. But some steps are common to different processes.

Receiving, Washing, Grading, Preparation and Sorting

Fruit is delivered to the plant and transferred to flumes or conveyers through manual, mechanical or hydraulic means. Fruit is conveyed to the washing and sorting area. Field material is removed from the fruit that is then sorted by manual or electronic system. Typically, fruit preparation includes a combination of peeling, coring, de-stoning, crushing, slicing, deaerating and refining, as well as additional grading and sorting.

Evaporation

Water is removed from the juice stream to concentrate the product. The specific evaporation method to be used depends on the desired final product. The highest quality is achieved by removing water, preserving the color and the organoleptic properties of the fresh fruit. After evaporation, the product can be made shelf stable by sterilizing in-container or aseptically.

In-container Filling, Closing and Sterilization

Fruit and juices are conveyed to the appropriate types of filling machines where containers are filled at preset ratios. The containers then enter a closing machine where a lid is added and seamed to the can. The closed containers are conveyed to a cooker where the product is heated to sterilization temperature, held, cooled, and made ready for labeling and warehousing.

Aseptic Sterilization and Filling

In a closed aseptic system, the fruit is heated, held at temperature to obtain commercial sterility, and aseptically cooled to ambient temperature. Certain fruits are cooled and/or stored at ambient temperatures to inhibit chemical alterations that affect appearance. The product is then filled into aseptic drums or aseptic bags; 300 gal/1000 liter bags are filled in boxes; 55 gal/200 liter bags are filled in drums. Now with the new space aseptic filler, JBT is also able to fill 20l down to 3l spout-less pouches. Drums, bins or pouches are labelled and made ready for shipment and/or storage at ambient temperature.

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