Page 25 - Food & Drink Magazine May 2021
P. 25

                                                                           packing equipment to provide on demand heating for product as required,”
“Different programs for different product types have also been created and selected at the touch of a button by operators, ensuring the correct temperature range is achieved and adjusted to reduce risk of fruit damage.
“The new drying tunnel system has removed some of the high-risk volatile goods (such as gas and ammonia refrigeration), which has typically been within proximity of people, and is now
zippak.indd 1
in a centralised plant room.” The implementation of
the refrigerated Automatic Storage Retrieval System (ASRS) has also “significantly improved the overall productivity and safety of
the bin retrieval process,”
says Townsend. The ASRS is 21-metre-high automated cool room, which helps to reduce the building footprint, and in-turn reduces the energy required to refrigerate.
The Montague family has been in the fruit business since 1948,
and today grows almost five million apple trees across six states in Australia. In the past 70 years, it has expanded into stone fruits, pears, exotics, as well as juices and ciders, and the new Narre Warren North facility is set to enhance these capabilities even more.
Investing in the site has increased Montague’s apple packing capacity by 75 per cent, around 220 million apples a year, and stone fruit packing capacity by 166 per cent – the equivalent of
58 million pieces of fruit each season. ✷
    LOCATION: Narre Warren North, Victoria
SIZE: 53,200 square metres
TIME: Almost five years in the making, the total construction time was 14 months
COST: $54 million
APPLE PACKING CAPACITY: Increased by 75 per cent. That’s 20,000 kilograms per hour, or 226 million apples a year
STONE FRUIT PACKING CAPACITY: Increased by 166 per cent, processing 4000 kilograms per hour – up from 1500 kilograms
• Rainwater retained on site,
which will be recycled and filtered, will save around three million litres annually.
• Installation of JASA Sleever will provide a 100 per cent recyclable packaging solution, using only paper and/or cardboard punnets, eliminating plastic packaging.
• Waste fruit will be used for organic matter for animal feed or composting.
                                       | May 2021 | Food&Drink business | 25 21/4/20 1:55:44 PM

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