COMPLETE SOLUTIONS FOR PACKING LEAFY GREENS
Since JASA was founded 35 years ago, we have been experts in manufacturing complete weighing and packaging lines for the produce sector. Whether it's a semi-automatic line or the fully automatic weighing of dry or freshly washed greens, or a packaging line for salad bowls, you'll find your innovative total solution at JASA.
JASA likes to be involved in the design of your packaging system at an early stage. Depending on your requirements, we ensure that your product is packed in the packaging of your choice. JASA always strives for maximum cleanability, short changeover times, easy to operate equipment while maintaining a high output.
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Design your complete packing line with one partner
JASA GROWS WITH YOU
Whether you are starting your growing and packaging operations, or expanding your current operations. As a system integrator, JASA takes control of the implementation of the entire weighing and packaging lines for you. Important equipment, such as tray conveyors, filling units, vertical packaging machines and sleevers, are developed by JASA in house. JASA has distribution rights for linear and carousel weighing machines. In addition, JASA determines, often in consultation with the customer, which machines are best suitable for their plant to be integrated into a weighing and packaging line and contribute to an efficient production process with good OEE values. Think of: automatic filling stations, ergonomic workstations, lidding machines, top sealers, packaging robots, de-nesters, and also platforms, and conveyors.
REALIZATION OF YOUR PACKING LINE
Single Tray Packing Line
Single Tray Packing Line
Double Tray Packing Line
Double Tray Packing Line
Bag Packing Line
Bag Packing Line
First, we assess whether we can add machines and equipment into your existing production line or should build an entirely new line. We also evaluate whether we need to design a completely new concept or can suffice with extending the current production line. In case you have a complex situation at hand, we will assign additional project leaders and technicians to the project. When the outline is set, your project will be handled and controlled by one project leader and a team of specialists who will take full ownership of the project. Your entire production line will first be set-up and tested in house at the JASA plant.
Keeping leafy greens fresh and healthy an exact science
It might not seem that impressive today, but the fact that fresh leafy greens are available all across America at any time of year is quite remarkable.
Considering that California and Arizona produce more than 90% of U.S. lettuce, if you live anywhere east of these two states, the leafy greens on your plate have traveled a long way to get there.
So how is it that they look as if they were harvested from a nearby garden just this morning? The short answer is cooperation and the right technology: Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging, or EMAP.
Equilibrium modified atmosphere packaging is technology that slows respiration and extends the shelf life of fresh produce. Unlike most food products, fresh fruits and vegetables continue to “breathe” or respire after they have been harvested. Through this process, produce consumes oxygen, creating carbon dioxide and water vapor in the process.
The primary purpose of EMAP is to keep packaged products fresh for as long as possible without harming product quality, including taste, texture and appearance, said David Bell, president of Witt Gas Controls. Witt Gas Controls manufactures equipment for gas mixing and analysis and leak detection.
“In general, the rate of respiration can be controlled by having lower levels of oxygen — usually less than 5% — in the packaging atmosphere, and increased levels of carbon dioxide, normally around 5-15%, with the balance gas being nitrogen,” said Bell.
This is not as simple as it sounds. To meet and continue to control the gas mix in the package, the process exchanges “air” made up of 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. If there’s too little oxygen in the packaging atmosphere, anaerobic respiration occurs. This process causes unwanted tastes and odors, and results in product deterioration. On the other hand, too much carbon dioxide can damage some products. Nitrogen itself has no effect on the food product.
EMAP works best when the right packaging material is used and properly sealed to prevent leaks. Permeability and breathability are important qualities in packaging, especially for leafy greens.
“If the products are sealed in an airtight package, oxygen will soon become depleted and undesirable anaerobic conditions could develop,” Bell explained. “On the other hand, if the material is too porous, the modified atmosphere will escape and no benefit will be derived.”
The target is to reach the desired range by verifying, controlling and monitoring the environment inside the package. Correct EMAP can extend shelf life up to 100%, Bell said.
Leak-Master Pro 2
Witt Gas showcased several new pieces of equipment suitable for modified atmosphere packaging at Fruit Logistica 2020. Packagers of leafy greens and other fresh produce may want to check out Oxybeam, a new non-destructive gas analyzer that uses laser technology to determine the residual oxygen in packaged food. The company also considers Leak-Master Pro 2 an essential component for quality assurance. The package leak detector is based on CO2 technology.
But, like Bell said, the success of the technology is also dependent on packaging. Companies like Coveris produce films suitable for products that require gas flushing, as well as products that don’t.
Work has been done to better understand optimal head space for leafy greens and how fast different leafy greens respire, said Eric Duncan, Head of Food Science, Coveris.
Leafy greens respire slower than other produce, which means they require assistance in reaching the optimum headspace. This includes a fine balance of proper packaging permeability and active gas flushing. In dark leafy greens like spinach, for instance, natural respiration leads to yellowing of the leaves, which leads to food waste. In pale-colored lettuces like iceberg and Romaine, too much oxygen can cause the greens to turn pink.
“What we do is we combine the correct permeability of film with a gas flush,” said Duncan. “And that will allow us to instantly reduce the oxygen to prevent yellowing and pinking, and instantly increase the carbon dioxide.”
“It’s still just the natural respiratory gases — oxygen and carbon dioxide — that we use in the gas flush, it’s just that the gas flush gets the head space to those optimal levels very quickly,” said Duncan.
While Coveris can be contacted individually for packaging solutions, when launching a new product Duncan said it’s best if equipment suppliers work together as a project management team. Ideally, that team would include the packaging supplier, the gas flushing equipment manufacturer and sealer equipment providers. For the latter, Duncan mentioned Proseal.
“It makes communication a lot better for us to have a team of technical service engineers that work closely with packaging suppliers, like Proseal, that understand what the sealing requirements are,” said Duncan, pointing to potential compatibility issues that can arise without cooperation.
Together, that team evaluates everything from line speed to temperature requirements for sealing to product respiration rates. For the latter, it helps to have the right equipment on site for testing, he said.
“The Witt mixers are really nice because they allow you to change the composition of O2 and CO2,” said Duncan.
Proseal manufactures machinery that seals films like those supplied by Coveris to a flexible tray. It also applies the pre-mixed gas necessary to modify the atmosphere within the package before sealing.
Tray sealing technology offers advantages to retailers, especially in the current crisis. Top seal packaging is secure, food-safe and tamper-evident, and it allows for modified atmosphere packaging.
“Current packaging for leafy greens is a rigid bottom with a rigid lid,” said Anna Leigh Prochaska, sales associate at Proseal. “You can’t modify the atmosphere with a rigid lid. You have to have that film seal.”
Using film seals allows customers to see if packaging has been tampered with prior to purchase as well, she said.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest from customers because they want that food safety element,” she added.
Prochaska reiterated Duncan’s comment on the importance of working together as a product management team.
“Once our customer has decided what they want, we work with their chosen film and tray suppliers to give them exactly what they want,” she said. “It’s important that all of those parties are brought together in the initial conversations. The customer has to be very involved in the process as well, because they know their product better than anyone else.”
Deliver farm-fresh taste in a sustainable package
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that between 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted.
While there are many culprits for food waste, including disease and complications in the supply chain, consumers buying more than they can eat and food spoiling in the back of their refrigerators is a major problem.
Keeping Your Greens Greener Longer
Finding the right packaging that will help keep your greens greener longer is essential for curbing the amount of produce wasted every year. At Sonoco, we’re helping growers get the produce packaging solutions they need to deliver that farm-fresh taste to their consumers.
Designed for growers, EnviroServe™ Leafy Greens, Sonoco’s leafy greens package, delivers farm-fresh taste in a sustainable package, enabling growers the flexibility and resources to deliver on their brand promise to their consumers. Our integrated container and SmartSeal® FRESH produce lidding film use a scientifically tested method to seal in crispness, reduce waste, enable automation, and deliver an enhanced consumer experience.
Leafy green package
Sonoco’s lidding film also makes it easy for consumers to use, reseal and reopen their produce with the convenience of SmartSeal technology, which also allows for tamper evidence and high-impact graphics without the need of a secondary label to be applied.
Building Sustainability into Your Brand
Not long ago, only a small percentage of shoppers sought out organic foods. But today that trend has gone mainstream.
Many of the same health-minded consumers who choose organic foods are also concerned about their environmental impact, buying local and living more sustainably.
That’s why it’s so important to build sustainability into your brand.
Sonoco’s EnviroServe Leafy Greens packaging is manufactured in the United States. The PET trays use a minimum of 30% less packaging than traditional lettuce clamshells, and an average of 70% post-consumer regrind, primarily recycled water bottles, to make our trays. At every step of the process – from manufacturing to shipping – we are constantly seeking new ways to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and waste.
Leafy greens on table
When brands choose a tray with lidding film, they don’t have to use a sticker with an adhesive label that contaminates the recycling stream. Instead, consumers can peel off the lidding film and recycle the tray. Our recyclable produce packaging gives consumers the sustainable option they want, and it keeps their salad greens fresher longer. It’s a win-win.
Partnering with Sonoco to Reduce Food Waste
Our EnviroServe Leafy Greens line of produce packaging represents more than 100 years of experience in food packaging. This next generation of salad packaging makes purchasing a fully integrated system easy for anyone – from the startups, vertically integrated, hydroponic, and large-scale farmers and offers everything today’s consumers want in their salad greens: freshness, quality, and sustainability.
Ready to find out how EnviroServe Leafy Greens can keep your produce fresher longer and help your brand meet its sustainability goals? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
TAGS: EnviroServe Leafy Greens SmartSeal sustainability Sustainable Packaging
POST-HARVEST LEAFY GREEN PROCESSING & PACKAGING
Post-harvest infeed and automated processing through case packing
Leafy vegetable washer with water recapture and recycling, plus kill step options
Multiple non-wilting dryer / de-watering options
Our leafy green washing and vibratory de-watering systems have been in market for some time. Over the last year or so, more have asked us to further remove post-harvest labor and reduce human touches to help efficiently scale operations and mWe have solutions for leafy greens from brassicas to lettuce to migrgreensitigate contamination and recalls. Also, automation helps in traceability measures.
In response, we’ve integrated additional technologies into our portfolio. Our lines reduce labor and physical interaction all the way from post-harvest through case packing. This includes infeed, washing, drying / de-watering, cutting, clamshell fillers, vertical baggers and flow wrappers, metal detectors and case packing, with some robotic functions.
We have added additional automation options to our leafy green line package. These lines and equipment include options for head lettuce, leafy greens and microgreens.
Line infeed and regulation for leafy greens
Part of this is due to requests from vertical and hydroponic leafy green growers, on top of traditional field growers. Plenty of controlled environment facilities automate growing operations, yet a significant amount still rely on manual harvesting and post-harvest processing. By applying our solutions, a crew of 25 or more can often be reduced to 2, depending on scale. Additionally, many of facilities realize that, regardless of the growing environment, there is still a need to properly wash and dry product. These customers stress the importance of reducing water consumption, not only during the growing process, but during post-harvest functions.
Today, traditional, vertical and hydroponic all have rapidly evolving needs, so we have added tumbling drums, water capture and recirculation options to several of our washers, including our leafy green models. This complete washing system, even though it is relatively compact, gently washes leafy products, filters out and removes waste and can cycle used water through particulate filters, dosing and/or additive enrichment processes in a closed system. All of these functions are tightly integrated and controlled as a holistic system.
Complete packaging solutions for leafy greens
JASA has been in the automatic packaging market for sliced vegetables for 35 years; consequently, they gained all the knowledge and expertise to pack mixed lettuce varieties in various ways.
Bags filled with leafy greens on a vertical packaging machine.
Packed in trays with a lid or top seal.
Salad bowls with various extra components such as proteins and dressings.
A sleeve around the packaging ensures the leafy greens will stand out on the shelf.
As a packager of leafy greens, JASA can put together a complete packaging solution to pack mixed lettuce at high speed. And as a system integrator, the company takes full accountability of the weighing and packaging process.
"To make the packaging process as easy as possible for the customer, we are a partner throughout the entire process," says Sandra Somford. "We listen to the customer's wishes during the building phase and contribute ideas to arrive at the best packaging solution." This total solution also looks at the best options for the production line in combination with the packaging and packaging materials; printed or clear film, labels, or action stickers. "Our complete packaging lines make it all possible."
The company uses highly accurate weighers, ideal for leafy greens. With distribution rights for weighers from various brands, JASA develops and produces multiple machines, such as vertical packaging machines, under its own brand and management. In addition, the complete packaging lines are both maintenance and user friendly. The production lines have a hygienic design and are made from stainless steel, ensuring they meet the highest hygienic and quality standards.
De-watering shaker for fruits and vegetables after washing
In many traditional lines, vibratory de-watering shakers or centrifuge dryers are utilized. However, the ProEx Food R&D group has a new cooling and drying system in development. We recognize a need to help manage the effects of environmental temperature and humidity fluctuations on the end product. Some processors have also requested lines that further reduce moisture at this stage, beyond typical market offerings. Combined, our Cool Dry System addresses these needs and reduces wilting and spoilage – extending the shelf life for lettuce heads and bagged greens.
HYDROPONIC / VERTICAL LEAFY GREENS
Are your hydroponic / vertical farms post-harvest processes completely automated in an integrated line? All the way through case packing?
We have taken our engineering and integration expertise, and applied it to tiered automation installations for hydroponic farm and vertical farm lettuce and leafy greens lines.
We have solutions for leafy greens from brassicas to lettuce to migrgreens
Leafy green options are plentiful, and include lettuce processing, salad greens and mixes, microgreens and/or other leafy vegetables processing. They also include some brassicas, typically the more leafy ones. For other brassicas processing, please see our broccoli & cauliflower line, as well as our root vegetable line. .
Leafy Green Processing by Product
Cabbage / Bok Choy
Chickory / Collard Greens / Radicchio / Escarole
Head Lettuce (most varietals)
Leafy Greens are a hot product in the marketplace, one of the fastest growing (pun intended). However, even greens grown in controlled conditions still need to be washed / cooled and cool dried at an absolute minimum. Reducing all human touchpoints through this process also helps mitigate contamination and wilting.