Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 66

EQUIPMENT
where peeling of fresh vegetables
is done, Cullen said.
Smaller kitchens that used to
do their own peeling are now
finding that it's more efficient
and less wasteful to have a large
processor that can peel three
tons or more per hour do it.
" They're buying chilled peeled
product with 7 to 10 days of shelf
life, " he said. " It gives them more
flexible, and the ability to react
better to changing demand. "
More cooking at home =
more demand for peeled
As the pandemic starts to
recede, consumers will still be
interested in trying new foods
in their own kitchens, Cullen
said. That spells continued high
demand for peeled, fresh product
merchandised at retail grocery.
" The innovation we're seeing
now in foods is phenomenal.
It's never been as great as what
we've seen in the past year.
And going forward, that level
of interest in new products and
flavors will only increase. Food
is very interesting and exciting
right now. "
Consumers are seeking out
fresh peeled product for other
reasons besides flavor, Cullen
added. The interest in having
clean, defect-free product has
also never been higher.
" No black spots, no foreign
materials, " he said. " The
combination of peeling and
sorting is very important. "
Tomra sees steam peeling and
sorting as a combined operation
becoming essential to many of
today's processors. And with
fewer workers in processing
plants due to the labor crunch,
the demand for automatic sorting
will also continue to surge.
Leading the way in these
developments will be Artificial
Intelligence and other cuttingedge
technologies that are, at
the present at least, more talked
about than done.
" AI and Internet 4.0 has been
spoken about with foods but not
integrated yet, " Cullen said.
Many retailers, particularly
those with multiple locations,
already use data in sophisticated
ways to track all kinds of things.
If they took that same approach
to tracking their use of peeled
product, it could produce huge
food safety and other benefits,
Cullen said.
Tomra is currently working
on a connector kit that can be
attached to equipment, extract
data from it and use to build
reports for customers. And some
of the machine learning that has
been so successful in the berry,
nut and other industries could
be applied to steam peeling with
excellent results.
When that happens, the steam
peeling half of the peeling/
sorting joint operation will start
to catch up with the sorting half,
Cullen said.
" In the past steam peeling has
been more of the lower-tech part,
where sorting is more high-tech, "
he said.
The innovation is being driven
by the big french fry processors
Cullen said. Once they get fully
on board, the technology will
trickle down to companies like
Mrs. Gerry's that supply valueadded
products to instore delis
and other areas of the fresh
perimeter.
Also on tap for Tomra
going forward is even greater
commitment to reduce energy
use. The latest version of Tomra's
eco peeler, for instance, reduces
the use of steam in the peeling
process by 20 to 30%. That has
been achieved by more closely
measuring steam pressure
- when a certain pressure is
reached, the process stops,
saving energy that formerly
would have been wasted.
Peeling fruit instore with an Astra peeler engages consumers and can
lead to big sales gains.
66 - OCTOBER 2021
Enhancing the
instore experience
A Japanese retail customer of
Japanese manufacturer Astra
Inc., which has US headquarters
in Torrance, Calif., recently began
using Astra peelers to peel its
pineapples instore.
supermarketperimeter.com
The result? A 30% increase in
sales, said Ryo Takeshita, Astra's
sales manager. The retailer
reported that customer reactions
focused on two words: " fresh "
and " new. "
Some of Astra's Taiwanese
customers also use Astra peelers
for similar purposes. It's all about
bringing a touch of theater to
the brick-and-mortar grocery
perimeter experience. While the
customer watches, her or his
pineapple is peeled in less than
10 seconds.
" Our peeling machines can
create new customer experiences, "
Takeshita said. " Before using our
machines, the format was selling
whole pineapple or fresh-cut diced
pineapple. This gives them a new
format. "
Astra is constantly upgrading
its peeling machines, Takeshita
said. In fact, stay tuned for a new
model of its pineapple peeler
coming " very soon, " he said.
Astra's large, industrial peeler,
the FAP-1001, is used in fresh-cut
food commissaries and other
large-scale facilities, like pie
production plants and plants that
produce value-added foods for
hospitals, luxury ships, in-flight
meals and other applications.
Astra's tabletop model,
the KA-700H, is used in juice
bars, cake shops, fruit stores,
supermarkets, restaurants, hotels,
school lunchrooms and more.
In 2019, the company
introduced the KA-750, a peeler
designed for pineapples, mangos
and melons.
Astra's peelers use a peeling
blade, a method that more
closely replicates a person
hand-peeling a piece of fruit.
By contrast, other peelers use a
round-type peeling unit, which
is easy to manufacture but show,
cutting yields. In addition, peeled
surfaces are bumpier and more
juice is lost in the process.
ASTRA
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Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021

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

Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 14
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Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 21
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