The Tomato processing Industry, which began with the manual canning of tomatoes in 1847, currently represents a highly organized industry with sales worth billions of dollars. The global tomato processing market reached a volume of around 34 Million Tons in 2016. A number of factors are currently driving the growth of this market. These include changing food habits, rising incomes, urbanization, emerging markets, growing consumption of fast foods especially by youngsters. Currently, sauces account for nearly a third of the total processed tomato consumption. Sauces are followed by pastes, canned tomatoes, ketchups and juices.

Univer Product Plc. is a Hungarian leader in manufacturing and marketing condiments, food seasonings and other food products, including tomato concentrate, fruit jams, juices and baby food.

Univer Group was founded as Kecskeméti Agricultural Cooperative in 1948. Till the end of the twentieth century the company became one of the definitive food industry enterprises in the region. The cooperative took the name Univer in the sixties, implying the universal versatility of the company. Production started with Red Gold paprika paste, and later with Goulash paste and Erős Pista hot paprika products. In 1975, Univer became the first to market ready-to-use mayonnaise in Hungary. A new food industry plant started operating in the company’s hometown Kecskemét by the end of the seventies, later producing market leader mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, salad dressing and sauce products. This plant was completely rebuilt in 2009, which allowed Univer to supply the Hungarian and foreign markets with higher capacity, boost its manufacturing efficiency, and extend its product range with no added preservatives in the mayonnaise and salad dressing categories, and clean label products in the mustard and ketchup categories.

After becoming the owner of the Kecskeméti Konzervgyár Plc., a well-established canning factory, Univer started its tomato processing, baby food, fruit jam, and juice production from 2003. The company’s tomato processing factory went through a major modernization in two steps in 2014 and 2017, increasing the capacity of the factory from 25.000 to 140.000 tons of raw tomatoes. The equipment used at the new plant was built by the global leader of tomato processing lines, Catelli Food Technology (CFT), located in Parma, Italy. CFT’s Apollo pre-evaporator line uses the latest technology, therefore it is not only more energy efficient, but also produces better quality tomato paste as a finished product. After completion of the total investment of EUR 11 million (2014) and EUR 13.9 million (2017), one of Central Europe’s largest and most modern tomato processing plants operates at Univer’s Kecskemét site.

Univer Product’s current position derives from the outstanding efforts in innovation and constant brand development. This is the reason of its Hungarian leadership in several product categories of the condiment segment. It continues to bring innovation to the market in the field of product development, packaging and upgrading manufacturing processes in every category it produces.

CFT Group’s premium technologies have been acquired by UNIVER with the realization of its latest plant in Hungary; some of CFT Group’s premium processing machines compose the plant; among those Our MVR (Mechanical Vapour Recompression) Apollo Evaporator, renowned for its excellent reliability and gentleness in product treatment and its exceptional energy-saving level, which has never been achieved by other applications; this implies a striking reduction of costs, as well as a considerable quality improvement. The Apollo evaporator can concentrate 100 t/h of infeed product (from 4.5 to 9-10° brix), extracting 45 t/h of evaporated water. The product thus obtained may be used as it is, or concentrated until obtaining the wished residue, by means of traditional multi-effect forced circulation plants. The output concentrate is of a very high-quality level from an organoleptic viewpoint and features a colour that can hardly be got with other concentration technologies. Another machine which composes UNIVER plant is CFT Group’s GIUBILEO extraction/refining system, designed in every detail to grant higher performances and maximum functionality; GIUBILEO represents all Rossi & Catelli’s know-how and, thanks to its versatility, allows to process fruits and vegetables by both Cold-Break and Hot-Break technologies to obtain finished products capable of meeting the strictest quality parameters. Last but not least, the high-quality output obtained by UNIVER will be filled in bags with our MACROPAK AF/2 range of aseptic fillers, the result of an outgoing research, which has been fully designed to implement the automation systems, to ensure the benefits of a higher profitability and competitiveness and to meet, at a level of excellence, the requirements of a market that demands quality and reliability at competitive prices. MACROPAK AF/2 is a 2 heads filler for packing semi-finished or finished food products, liquid, semi-liquid, highly viscous products or containing pieces, in pre-sterilized bags.