Demand for canned tuna is driving the rapid development of the global tuna industry, with the market – worth 57.96 billion in 2021 – expected to continue to grow at 5.1% annually over the next six years*. However, a more scarce supply of tuna and rising wholesale prices mean there is an increasing need for filling accuracy and getting the most out of every cake packed into a can.
JBT engineers have developed a range of solutions that enable processors to maximize the amount of tuna being added while at the same time avoiding costly giveaways or under-filling.
TunaCAL™ is a state-of-the-art yield monitoring and process control system created to optimize the tuna precooking process and provide significant benefits in yield, consistency, and quality. TunaCAL automatically adjusts for a multitude of product variables in real time and enables the scientific optimization of precooking processes without using trial and error.
Filling efficiencies can be achieved through the JBT Tuna Filler Model 3266, a high filling precision and high drain weight which can handle two or three cans simultaneously with an output of 450 cans per minute.
For the next stage of the process, the X52 Can Closer has recently been modified to become even more efficient. Launched in 2011, the modified X52 now produces 21% more BDA (before-drain appearance) grade one and two cans compared with the original seamer; crucially with less flakes on top of the tuna and without affecting the optimal seaming results.
To avoid the problem of flakes coming loose from the cake and impacting the overall appearance, JBT engineers changed the rotation of the can while also reducing the number of revolutions, all of which serve to improve the presentation of the finished product.
Auto Weight Control – JBT’s Newest Addition
When it comes to filling tuna cans, one of the most critical stages is delivering weight to a target value. Falling significantly below or above this target can adversely affect profitability, which means processors often have to carry out continual adjustments.
Understanding every critical stage of the process, the JBT team focuses on developing new solutions that improve the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their customers, adding a new solution to its range of tuna processing solutions– The Tuna Auto Weight Control – a innovative solution which automatically keeps the filling weight centered on a target value. This results in a major reduction in the weight fluctuations typically seen during tuna filling.
The Tuna Auto Weight Control is an add-on for the JBT Tuna Filler with considerable benefits. Once installed on the Tuna Filler, the Auto Weight Control’s upgrade kit can manage the filler settings using feedback from the weighing scales. In this way, it ensures high precision filling, helping processors avoid unnecessary giveaway or under-filled cans.
“One of the most important aspects of the Tuna Filler machine is the weight of the cake,” explains Gregorio Giuliese, JBT’s Tuna Service R&D Manager. “Our machine is recognized as the best on the market in terms of fill weight precision.
“During a typical production run, external factors – including differences in tuna properties and manual loading – can affect filling, meaning settings needs to be frequently corrected to keep to the target level.
“The Tuna Auto Weight Control automatically makes adjustments to keep the target weight consistent, resulting in significant potential cost savings compared with manual operation.”
*Expert Market Research, Global Tuna Market Outlook 2022-2027