A more scarce supply of tuna and rising wholesale prices are swiftly becoming a reality for global tuna processors, and with it has come an increased need to get the most out of every tuna cake packed into cans. Now JBT engineers have been able to devise a solution which significantly improves the appearance of the tuna cake, bringing added value for customers.
Developed for a large tuna producer in the Indian Ocean which exports most of its products to Europe, the modified X52 Seamer is expected to produce 21% more BDA grade 1&2 cans compared with the original seamer; crucially with less flakes on top of the tuna and without affecting the optimal seaming results.
“A significant trend that we have seen in the tuna industry is that tuna is getting more scarce and the price is going up, so processors want to put less tuna into each cake in a can,” explains JBT’s Luc Plasschaert. “If because of economic reasons the tuna cake becomes less compact, the flakes come out when you open the can, and it negatively impacts the overall appearance.”
To tackle this problem, JBT engineers have changed the rotation direction of the seamer so the can goes through clockwise while the seamer seals the lid counterclockwise, while also optimizing space available for seaming and adding a new seaming cam design.
“By optimizing the revolutions the can goes through, we have reduced the number of revolutions by more than 30%,” says Plasschaert. “Also by using the clockwise-counterclockwise process, we have seen that the quality of the tuna cake is much better than with a standard seamer.”
Following the initial success with a trial seamer, JBT is now assisting the customer in upgrading all of its JBT seamers to the new concept, with the anticipation of across-the-board improvements. “The customer carries out a quality tasting and visual inspection during every run of 50 cans and then grades them on their appearance,” Plasschaert adds. “With the modified seamer we have seen quite an improvement when you open the cans.”