United Fresh 2011: Notes from the show floor

05/10/2011 02:15:00 PM
The Packer Staff

Apio also introduced a new packaging look to its three snack tray items.

The company's Chipotle salad kit is now offered in smaller retail packs of 12 ounces, rather than just the club store size of 2 pounds. The 12-ounce pack serves four, Tanguay said.

Best Sorting

Having just rolled out their Gemini Primus sorters earlier this year, Belgian company Best Sorting announced additional new sorting capabilities at United Fresh 2011. Known for the laser technology on berry sorters, Best is now offering the ability to sort produce by shape, said Peter Dries, area sales representative based in Belgium.

“We are now getting into fresh carrots and sorting for shape and blemishes,” Dries said. “Users can dial up or down the machine depending on what percentage of blemishes or ill-formed produce they want to be accepted by the machine.”

Best is also expanding its manufacturing operation in Denver. The company custom designs each piece of equipment it builds, said Bill Crowley, sales manager for the southeast U.S.

Biosafe Systems

Testing water in produce processing equipment is an absolute necessity for food safety, and many traditional methods rely on test strips that change color depending on the level of contaminants. But Rob Larose, owner of Biosafe Systems, East Hartford, Conn., knows personally what a challenge it is to match test strips to a color chart — he is colorblind.

When he heard about a way to test that didn’t rely on an ability to distinguish shades of color, he knew it was a winner. With a hand-held electronic device, testing can be done through the packing stage.

The device can hold and read up to five test strips at a time and it stores up to 50 readings per slot. Each reading takes about 20 seconds from pre-test to result. Similar technology has been in use in the health care industry for some time.

Biosafe’s introduction of the technology, which is used in conjunction with its peracetic acid solution (instead of chlorine) was one of the nominees for a product award at the show.

California Strawberry Commission

The California Strawberry Commission, Watsonville, is releasing a recipe book.

The book, available in print and as an e-book, features recipes with creative ways to serve strawberries, said Pam Yanez, category and development manager.

“All these young moms love to download recipes to their iPhones,” she said.


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