With decades of field experience on its back, the Italy-headquartered Tropical Food Machinery is a leading company in the global field of fruit processing machinery. Founded in the late 1970s by a pioneering Italian entrepreneur, the company currently boasts an operating branch in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, two-fruit processing plants located in the north of the country, as well as liaison offices across the Asia-Pacific and West Africa regions, India and Costa Rica.
The ongoing research and development of new fruit processing solutions underpins the technological advancement of the company. In recent years alone, various new machines have been launched, such as: the “Aroma Recovery” machine and, in 2021, the new automatic banana peeler, “Cerere 6000”. The latter has won an International Food.
Tech award from DLG, which is in fact engaged in evaluating and awarding revolutionary developments in terms of innovation, sustainability, and efficiency destined for use in the food industry, with an award-giving ceremony held during the Anuga Food Tec event. The latest but by no means less important system developed by Tropical Food is destined to revolutionize the production of frozen fruit juices.
The new Icer System designed by the company is the first ever to effect the freezing process directly on the production line, thus avoiding the use of special refrigerator cells once the juice is extracted.
This translates into an immediate advantage in terms of cost and energy saving, 30% less than traditional techniques, in an industry which has achieved an ever-greater market share in recent years. Consequently, there is no longer any need to subject the “blast chilled” product to thermal processes which negatively impact the aroma and taste of the end-product.
Brazil dominates the international market for frozen concentrated orange juice. By the mid 1980s, Brazil accounted for about 80 percent of world exports of the product. Brazilian producers supplied more than 94 percent of U.S. imports of the product in the 1980s and accounted for 50 percent of sales in the U.S. market.
The dynamism of the Brazilian industry is attributable to Brazil’s comparative advantage and to the series of climate shocks to Florida’s orange groves. In Brazil, the industry is largely in the hands of four large firms, who sell 80 percent of their products to a few large U.S. firms, at significant price rebates.
Florida orange growers, beset by import competition and climate shocks, turned to unfair trade laws for protection in the early 1980s, relying on them increasingly as a substitute for safeguard actions.
Because of Brazil’s interventionist trade policies, the prevailing U.S. belief was that any Brazilian industry was guilty of unfair trade practices until proven innocent. Unfair trade actions have had a particularly negative impact on their supposed beneficiary, the U.S. citrus industry. The antidumping cases were used to protect orange growers at the expense of U.S. juice processors.
Their effect has been to strengthen the oligopoly-oligopsony relationship between Brazilian producers and their U.S. partners, further hindering the competition prospects in the world market for frozen concentrated orange juice.
Every line is designed in-house and then built and tested before every and each delivery. This enables a complete control over quality and productive speed, creating a strong sense of responsibility within the company’s workforce.
In addition to that, Tropical Food Machinery boasts a comprehensive after-sales support service that is able to provide spare parts and a prompt technical support if the need should arise.
In recent years, the interest of the retailers, driven by the increasingly tasteful market demand, has headed towards the constant improvement of the organoleptic characteristics of their products. Waste reduction is also a growing focus.