JBT has committed to continuing to support customers worldwide in improving sustainability through an increase in yields, a reduction in unnecessary wastage and greater control of energy usage, which the company strongly believes will mutually benefit all areas of the industry.
From systems that recover valuable essential oils from citrus peel to solutions that get the maximum possible yield out of fresh-cut salad and vegetable processing, JBT has long been a prominent proponent of sustainability in the international food and beverage business. However, amid concerns over the environment and the tightening of budgets due to the Covid-19 crisis, JBT has given a fresh commitment to further boosting sustainability practices, both internally and externally.
Internally, according to JBT Liquid Foods President and EVP, Carlos Fernandez, JBT has made significant strides building on an already strong record for sustainability, from altering daily working practices within the company to major infrastructure projects at manufacturing sites. “At JBT, we have undertaken a number of important sustainability initiatives over the past 12 months, beginning with a profound analysis of the company – looking at where we are and how we can improve – and including a much improved information campaign both internally and externally,” he says.
“We are carrying out sustainable initiatives at an internal level, from changes to daily working practices, such as minimizing the amount of paper used, to larger-scale projects including the installation of solar panels at several of our manufacturing facilities.”
Externally, Fernandez says JBT is continuing to assist customers in improving sustainability by helping reduce energy consumption through solutions like the Heat Recovery System (HRS) for Continuous Rotary Sterilizers for canned foods, which has been developed to maximize heat recovery during the sterilization process.
However, this is the mere tip of the iceberg. Proseal, a specialist in technology solutions for the packaging industry which became part of JBT in 2019, offers a number of innovative systems which can reduce the use of plastic. Proseal has been a major driving force in solutions that significantly reduce plastic in packaging, replacing clamshells with micro-perforated film, which helps products such as berries and mushrooms ‘breathe’ at a controlled rate, extending shelf-life at many points in the value chain including for the consumer. Meanwhile, JBT solutions such as READYGo CIP and CITROSAN help producers and processors cut bills by reducing the amount of water and chemicals needed by making caustic and rinse water safe for reuse.
JBT’s many alliances have also played a major role in boosting sustainability. Laser Food‘s laser-labelling technology for fruit and vegetables can all but eliminate the need for traditional labels, while Aurratech – originator of the Fog In Place disinfection system – typically helps companies save between 80-90% of water and 80-90% of chemicals in the fumigation of facilities. IceGen similarly can help achieve a 70% reduction in freezing time for orange juice enabling considerable energy savings, while JBT’s newest ally – SmartWash Solutions – is assisting companies in the fresh-cut produce sector in improving throughput by 30%.
Fernandez adds: “These alliances, acquisitions and solutions are part of a larger JBT strategy, making sure JBT is at the forefront of the trends driving growth in the food industry. Sustainability is not only part of JBT’s philosophy, it is something positive for the world and indispensable for the industry as a whole. What we do is reduce waste, increase the recovery of products or by-products and achieve a more efficient industry. We want to achieve this hand-in-hand with our customers.
“We are not doing this because it is a fashionable or trendy topic, we are doing this because it is essential for the health of the food industry. JBT’s technologies are key to this focus, providing solutions to maximize yield, minimize wastage and preserve food in all its forms to increase shelf-life.”