Produce Processing

May/June 2021

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26 M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 1 T H E P UL S E N E W S F R O M A R O U N D T H E I N D U S T R Y I N D U S T R Y INSIDER Fresh packaging produce to see growth, study shows A new Freedonia Group analysis projects U.S. sales of fresh produce packaging to grow 3.7% per year to nearly $7 billion in 2024, as demand continues to rise among both consumers and foodservice establishments for produce sold in some form of packaging, including pouches, bags and rigid plastic containers. Among the key drivers of growth will be increasing sales of ready-to-eat (RTE) salads, as well as pre-cut produce such as apple slices, melon spears, and carrot sticks — which are typically sold in clamshells, cups, and other plastic containers. Sales of these and other prepackaged fresh produce have soared during the pandemic due to: • Surging grocery sales — including more packaging-intensive online grocery orders — as consumers began eating out far less and cooking in way more. • Increased concerns about the safety of loose bulk-bin items that have been handled by others in stores. • Rising demand for convenience foods, including RTE produce, which require minimal or no prep before consumption, unlike their unpackaged counterparts, which often need to be washed, peeled and/or chopped. Kronen updates pepper processing system Kronen and partner HiTec Food Systems have announced an updated version of the bell pepper-processing system PDS4L. The new version of the PDS4L can de-core and segment up 3,600 bell peppers per hour and can be operated by just one person, who places the peppers on the pocket lane by hand to be transported to the core-and-cut section of the system. Peppers can be halved or quartered. The product is moved step by step by servo-controlled motors (standstill, displacement, standstill, etc.), making it very easy and controllable to place the product to be cut. Some highlights include: • PDS4L is equipped with a servo driven conveyor belt with pneumatic-cutting section. Sixty bell peppers can be processed per minute. Thanks to the mature construction the product is perfectly oriented and de-cored as well as segmented. • The system allows simple operation and cleaning and can be operated by one person. The cutting inserts are very easy to change and have a long service life. MORE ONLINE Get all the latest news and updates online at + • The machine is robust and reliable meeting the European safety standards. It is entirely constructed of stainless steel AISI 304 and food grade material (HDPE) meeting the requirements of Hygienic Design and CE compliancy. Taylor Farms expands Canada presence with acquisition Taylor Farms has announced the acquisition of FreshPoint's Toronto operations, which was effective March 28. The fresh-cut vegetable operation will continue to serve current FreshPoint customers and facilitate further growth of Taylor Farms in Canada. "We are excited to add our first operation in Canada to the Taylor Farms North American Network and grateful to Sysco and FreshPoint for working closely with us to ensure a smooth transition for associates and customers," Bruce Taylor, chairman and CEO of Taylor Farms, said in a news release. Mark Campion, president of Taylor Farms Retail, will have leadership responsibility for the Taylor Farms Canada facility and Kevin Silver has been appointed as general manager. Taylor Farms is a North American producer of salads and healthy fresh foods. The company is family-owned and based in "The Salad Bowl of the World" Salinas, California. California LGMA endorses pre-harvest testing guidelines The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) board endorsed new Pre-Harvest Testing guidance in an effort to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with leafy greens. The guidance calls for pre-harvest testing of leafy greens products when risk assessments deem it necessary, specifically when grown in proximity to animals. In addition to the Pre-Harvest Testing Guidance document, the LGMA Board endorsed several other updates to the food safety standards that are currently being developed by the LGMA Technical Committee and expected to become a requirement in the coming months. Projects currently under development include: • An adjacent land risk assessment tool • Root cause analysis requirement for high-risk food safety incidents • Major revision to existing standards for soil amendments and crop inputs These important tools and revisions have been in development for several months and they represent input from food safety experts and researchers throughout the industry.

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