Pick a better peck of peppers

Israel’s Juran makes automated machines to simplify and speed up picking, packing and sorting for food industries globally.

 Pick a better peck of peppers


ArilSystem makes separating pomegranate seeds a cinch

By Rivka Borochov

If food-processing machine companies were rock stars, then Israel’s Juran would be the Rolling Stones. Found in almost every country — even ones without diplomatic ties to Israel — the well-known family-run business established in 1966 gives its customers the tools of the trade to modernize any agriculture and food concern.

Using decidedly green processes that are compatible with environmental preservation, the machinery company has dedicated itself to building machines and processes for picking, packing and sorting fruits and vegetables.

Using patents developed at the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture’s Volcani Institute for agricultural research, Juran (pronounced “Yur-an”) recently unveiled a new pomegranate-seed separating machine. The notion may sound trivial, but it’s not.

Pomegranate, an antioxidant-rich fruit grown in Turkey and Israel — and a staple on the Jewish New Year holiday table — has edible seeds that are difficult to remove from the bitter-tasting membranes that surround them.

Juran’s ArilSystem uses water and air to easily and quickly remove the seeds (also called “arils”) in commercial quantities for sale as a ready-to-eat product or for juice extraction. Pre-freezing the ruby-red fruit, as Juran does in the Japanese market, can provide an extended shelf life.

Exotic machines for evolving tastes
“We drill the crown out, then we crush the skin and open it like a flower, and then with air and water separate the arils from the skin and membrane,” says Avner Galili, the CEO and marketing director of the company.

“It is the most exotic pomegranate seed extracting machine, with more than 32 lines all over the world from Australia, South Africa, India, the United States, Chile — almost everywhere,” he says.

 Pick a better peck of peppers

The ArilSystem allows for faster separation
with no hands touching the seeds

Other products for which Juran is famous in the industry are Fresh Defrost — a way to flash-freeze food so that when it defrosts the liquids won’t seep out, keeping products such as frozen vegetables crisp; and a natural Litchi Treatment to keep the appetizing color in preserved litchi fruit.

Together with the Volcani, Juran has received a number of joint patents that ensure Israel’s agritech is commercially accessible to food industries worldwide. Juran builds packinghouse conveyors and machines for pre- and post-harvest, along with automated systems for food processing, freezing and dehydrating.

Juran’s sister company, Distek, deals with hot galvanization processes and rust-proof coatings for metal food-processing machinery. Normally, galvanization is expensive and hard on the environment.

“We have a different technology which is completely green and does the same thing but in a better way. We heat with thermal diffusion so the galvanizing molecules bond,” says Galili.

Service-oriented customized solutions
Juran is among exhibitors at Israel’s premiere Agritech conference and expo in May, giving local and international companies a chance to see its products up close.

About 70 percent of the company’s agricultural machinery gets exported “to every country you can imagine — even Indonesia, China, India, Australia, South America, Europe, Scandinavia,” says Galili.

The strength of Juran, he emphasizes, is that its engineers customize solutions based on client needs. This is not a plug-and-play company.

“We have a strong service system with local agents from Israel who go all over to do the installation, run-up and service. We basically do not like to be considered a machinery company but a solutions provider. Our strength is in engineering and development,” he adds.

Based in Rishon Lezion, Juran employs 45 people. Until Galili was hired five years ago, it was all in the family, with management from the Juran family’s first and second generation. The three Juran brothers who built the company in 1966 are still active in the company and it’s probably the family connection that keeps Juran’s business fresh and growing.