GEN lettuce

Technology solutions provider JBT Corporation, and food safety technology specialist SmartWash Solutions have announced the start of a new European alliance between the two companies.

According to the groups, the partnership has been developed to bring a combination of science, technology and engineering to fresh-cut produce processors within Europe.

Originally launched in the US in 2009, SmartWash Solutions’ patented SmartWash delivers control to food processing wash water systems, mitigating cross contamination while improving food safety.

The system is now used by over 50 per cent of the US fresh-cut produce industry, leading to expansion to Europe with the opening of SmartWash Solutions BV in the Netherlands.

Ewoud Buter, general manager of SmartWash Solutions BV, said that with the announcement of the alliance, the company anticipates further expansion with the leveraging of JBT resources in Europe and beyond, which will enable it to significantly scale-up its activities.

“Through our alliance with JBT, we will be able to make many more people in the industry aware of the benefits of SmartWash by leveraging the resources of JBT worldwide,' he outlined.

Carlos Fernandez, JBT's executive vice-president, said: 'Food safety is a mega-trend that will transform the marketplace over the next generation. We're thrilled to partner with SmartWash Solutions and offer this breakthrough to our customers.”

Buter explained that the solution is designed to increase and maximise the effectiveness of the most powerful anti-microbial weapon in existence – chlorine – by combining chlorine-based washes with patented SmartWash chemistry.

“The components of our patented SmartWash solution help to alleviate the challenges associated with fresh-cut produce, comprising a high level of pathogen control that allows us to mitigate the risk of cross contamination and in the process reduce the probability of outbreaks occurring,” he said. “The wash water used in fresh-cut processing can get extremely dirty, due to soils and other contaminants entering the system.”

SmartWash Solutions’ process control systems provide high process control while also withstanding the challenges of working in a wet and cold environment, common in fresh-cut processing.

Additionally, SmartWash Solutions has helped customers realise cost savings in labour, productivity and utilities by improving the efficiency of wash systems and increasing the process control to levels previously impossible in the industry, Buter added.

SmartWash systems now treat an estimated five billion pounds worth of fresh-cut produce in the US every year, as well as 'significant volumes' in Canada, Australia, China and Spain.