Monthly Archives: December 2018

Versatile pump range offers solutions for food industry

Pumps are an essential part of many food processing lines: not just for liquids, but also viscous materials such as spreads and dips, and materials containing solids such as fruit and vegetable mixes. Using the wrong pump can have expensive consequences in terms of both potential damage to products or equipment, or higher than expected energy costs. That’s why HRS offers a full range of hygienic positive-displacement pumps for a wide range of products and uses.

All HRS reciprocating positive-displacement pumps feature a hygienic design incorporating a separator to ensure that there is no contact between the product and the hydraulic oil. Once the pump is in operation, no part which comes into contact with oil comes into contact with the product.

Following the success of the standard BP Series in a range of applications worldwide, HRS Heat Exchangers have developed three other variants for use in a range of specific situations.

A positive solution

The standard BP Series has an adjustable flow rate of between a minimum of 200 litres/hour and a maximum of 12,000 litres/hour, and features a high pressure drop of up to 30 bar. It is suitable for a wide range of high viscosity, shear sensitive and large particle-containing fluids. Clap valves allow pumping of whole fruits or vegetables, and an alternative piston pump with a pneumatic cylinder can be supplied for low pressure applications of less than 5 bar.

Multiple production lines, one pump

The BPM Series is a mobile version of the standard BP Series pump. This is mounted on a mobile skid unit for easy movement, allowing it to be used across multiple production lines and locations, something which is increasingly popular with food manufacturers producing short runs of specialist products. With the BPM Series, companies can enjoy the benefits of a BP Series pump across multiple production lines without the need to invest in a dedicated pump for each line, resulting in considerable capital savings.

Viscosity no problem

The second addition to the range is the BPSC Series. This has been specifically designed for highly viscous products, such as hummus, and especially those which are produced and packed at low temperatures. When dealing with highly viscous materials, particularly at low temperatures, the product’s thickness can make it hard to prime the pump when starting production. The new BPSC uses a gravity-fed hopper together with a screw conveyor to overcome this and initially push product into the body of the pump. Once the cavity on the suction side has been filled, the pump is primed and will then operate as normal with a constant stream of product.

Putting the pieces in place

The final addition to the HRS range of positive-displacement pumps is the BPH Series, a horizontal version of the BP pump with a vertical inlet. This has been specifically designed for products with larger sized pieces, such as fruit mixtures and coleslaw. To prevent damage to large particles, an automatic ball valve is used instead of the standard clap valve and there is also the option of a feed hopper.

With the addition of the BPM, BPSC and BPH Series of pumps, HRS Heat Exchangers are now able to offer an increased range of pumping solutions for a variety of uses in the food sector. The post Versatile pump range offers solutions for food industry appeared first on HRS Heat Exchangers

Worldwide fruit could stockpile fruit if ‘no deal Brexit’

Worldwide Fruit has said that it could consider stockpiling fruit in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal being agreed, although such a step would not be ideal and is full of complications.

Talking to the Fresh Produce Journalat the National Fruit Show in October, Worldwide’s technical and procurement director Tony Harding warned that without a suitable trade and customs deal there was a real danger that supply chains could break down.

Mitigation strategies being considered by the fruit supplier, which sells imported and UK fruit, included stockpiling, although Harding acknowledged that a lack of storage capacity and technical challenges to preserve fruit quality would make such an approach extremely difficult.

“It’s not an ideal solution at all,” he said. “What we hope to see is some kind of workable status quo in terms of how we currently do business.”

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New Covent Garden traders take market to court

The Covent Garden Tenants’ Association (CGTA), which represents wholesalers based in the market, has begun a legal appeal at the High Court to prevent the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market, which has been ongoing for some time.

Speaking to reporters, CGTA chairman Gary Marshall, who is also managing director of wholesaler Bevington Salads, said that the relationship between the market and its traders was at an “all-time low.”

CGTA, which claims to represent around 90 per cent of the traders at New Covent Garden, said the move came as a last resort due to the “unwillingness” of the Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) and its development partners  Vinci UK and St. Modwen (VSM) to “cooperate, consult and disclose information.” A particular flash-point has been the Southern Vehicle Car Park, which was closed off at the start of October; something which CGTA says has severely disrupted trading activity in the market as customers have been unable to park.

Gary Marshall said, “What they are considering building is simply not fit for purpose. Customers are openly writing to us to say they might have to go elsewhere because they can’t operate effectively from NCGM,” revealed Marshall. “If traders at NCGM can’t do the job, someone from New Spitalfields or Western will. It’s put business continuity at great risk.”

GGMA CEO Daniel Tomkinson said, “We regret that some of our valued tenants have seen fit to take this action, and we hope to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we will continue work on the much-needed development of the Fruit and Vegetable Market.”

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Mixed season for Kentish growers

It has been a very mixed season for growers in the Garden of England, with topfruit and berry produces reporting a vintage year while vegetables, particularly salads and potatoes, have suffered.

Protected soft fruit had somewhat reduced yields due to the hot summer, but quality was good, while apple crops have widely been reported as being amongst the sweetest and juiciest crops seen in years, while volumes have also been higher than last year.

Like other parts of the UK, root crop yields have been down and potato growers are reporting quality issues as harvesting in the UK draws to a close. One producer said they were seeing, “sprouting and secondary growth, all down to the heat this summer.”

Despite the costs of irrigation, asparagus and squash growers have reported good crops, while salad growers have struggled to meet high demand for their crops all summer due to the hot weather conditions.

Photo Caption: Topfruit has been one of the successful crops this year in Kent

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PO funding guaranteed until end of parliament

Defra has pledged to maintain current levels of funding for recognised producer organisations (POs) until the end of the current parliament following Brexit.

The announcement means that the government will take over the £35 million of funding, which is currently provided via the EU Fresh Fruit and Veg Scheme until 2022. The funding will continue to be matched by growers in the 33 UK POs.

NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair Ali Capper said that she was delighted by the news, adding it would provide “much needed clarity and certainty for the grower-members of producer organisations which sell 50 per cent of all British fruit and veg.”

Photo Caption: There are 33 producer organisations in the UK.

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Phytophthora infestans identified early in tomato season

AHDB Horticulture has reported that symptoms of Phytopthora infestans causing late blight on tomato crops have been seen earlier than usual this year.

According to reports, symptoms seen on young plants included some leaf spotting and widespread stem lesions, usually starting just above the graft union. According to AHDB: ‘These early symptoms resulted in significant plant losses, though some plants survived while still exhibiting brown stem lesions.  Browning on stems is not deep and doesn’t appear to penetrate to level of the vascular tissues. The browning spreads right round and then along affected stems and bears a superficial resemblance to Botrytis stem rot, although generally stems of plants that have survived the initial stages of the disease do not wilt and die off like Botrytis-affected stems.’

A post on the levy board’s website also confirmed: ‘On one nursery assessed during May 2018, all symptomatic plants were exhibiting symptoms at a comparable stage with no visible evidence of secondary infection, although the browning was still extending at a rate of several cm per week. Immunodiagnostic tests were carried out to compare swab samples from plant surfaces and various surfaces within the greenhouse, with stem tissue scrapes and leaf samples. These tests showed strong presence of P. infestans in the brown lesions and no presence in any green tissues tested.  Two infected plants have been tested by The James Hutton Institute, who have identified them both as belonging to the EU 39 A1 genotype.’

Photo Caption: Early season infection has been characterised by stem lesions

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Climate change could benefit UK apple production

A new series of experiments at Brogdale, funded by the National Fruit Collections Trust, aims to test the theory that future changes to the UK’s climate could be beneficial for apple production.

Professor Paul Hadley of the University of Reading, and an NFCT Trustee, said, “Climate change is affecting top fruit already. Our data shows that apple varieties are now flowering on average 17 days earlier each spring than 60 years ago. There are pros and cons to changes to apple flowering and harvest times, but these are likely to change the face of apple growing and lead to different varieties of UK fruit on supermarket shelves in the UK. This research will enable both professional growers and gardeners to learn how to adapt production techniques to cope with possible changes in the climate, and also identify varieties which are suitable for the UK’s future climate.”

The experiments will be carried out in a new 0.6 hectare facility under polythene covers, with trees of more than 15 varieties of apple. The varying conditions produce diverse flowering and harvest times, as well as growth habits and winter chill requirement. Earlier blossom and harvest times may affect fruit quality and storage potential, but how significant these changes will be is not yet known.

Tim Biddlecombe, of the Fruit Advisory Service Team and Secretary to the National Fruit Collections Trust, added, “Over the last 20 years, growers have been adapting to earlier seasons, but it is important to understand the implications if this trend continues. Obvious changes like earlier flowering could increase the risk of damage from frost during blossom, while earlier harvest would provide English apples to consumers earlier in the year and so extend the marketing period for UK apples.”

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