Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 57

SPOTLIGHT

INSIDER
PACKAGING

OPERATIONS

Trends

Organic

FRESH-CUT
PRODUCE
by Andy Nelson

WITH LABOR AND FOOD
SAFETY CONCERNS more
important than ever, more
and more grocery retailers
are looking to commissaries,
central kitchens and other offsite
facilities to provide their fresh-cut
fruits and vegetables instead of
handling those tasks in-store.
Japanese manufacturer Astra
Inc., which has US headquarters

ASTRA, TOMRA

Laborand timesaving peelers
from Astra pay
for themselves
quickly.

in Torrance, Calif., has the perfect
solution for commissaries and
central kitchens looking to save
time and labor.
Astra's fruit-peeling machines
peel the skin off fruits faster,
among other advantages
compared to other methods of
peeling, said Ryo Takeshita, sales
manager.
In a few months, he said, Astra's
peeling machines can pay for
themselves in saved labor costs.
Astra got its start as a
manufacturer of persimmon
peeling machines. Japanese dried
persimmon is deeply loved in
Japan, and Astra has more than
a 70% share of the persimmon
peeling market, Takeshita said.
In 2015, the company decided
to expand its business to include
peeling machines for other fruits.
Because persimmons are on
the pricey side, Astra developed
high-quality, high-speed

equipment to peel the fruits. That
translated well to other fruits.
" That high peeling quality was
highly accepted by the market,
especially for kiwi peeling, " he
said. " By 2019, our product mix
became 50/50, half persimmon
peelers, half peelers for other
fruits. "
Also in 2019, Astra introduced
the KA-750, a peeler designed for
pineapples, mangos and melons,
a machine that Takeshita said will
change Astra's product mix in the
near future.
What separates Astra peelers
from its competitors', Takeshita
said, is a basic design difference.
Most peelers use a round-type
peeling unit, which is easy to
manufacture but slow, cutting
yields.
In addition, peeled surfaces are
bumpier and more juice is lost in
the process.
By contrast, Astra's peelers use
a peeling blade, a method that
more closely replicates a person
hand-peeling a piece of fruit.
" The blade method makes
the peeling speed faster and
the surface more beautiful, and
there's a higher yield rate and less
juice dripping. "

supermarketperimeter.com

Tomra rolls out new
steam peeler
The Odyssey Steam Peeler is the
newest addition to the Steam
Peeling portfolio of products
from Norway-based Tomra used
to process fresh-cut product
in commissaries and other
production facilities.
" It's the ideal cost-effective
steam peeling solution for
seasonal processing companies
and emerging markets, "
according to Tomra. " It's a highquality peeler designed explicitly
for seasonal processors of fruit
and vegetables such as potatoes,
red beets, pumpkins, celeriac,
kohlrabi, papaya, mango, and
chilies. "
Tomra's latest
raises the
bar on steam
peeling


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Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 1
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