Keeping it pure

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16 August 2022
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Dutch company attributes product longevity and reduced water use to purification.

DUTCH company Greydanus Aardappelgroothandel has been supplying a wide range of potatoes to supermarkets throughout Europe for more than 80 years. 

For the past 10 years, the company has been using a complete water purifying system for washing potatoes using purified water, which it attributes to its present day success in giving the potatoes a longer shelf life, as well as cutting down its water usage. 

Before the products are packaged, they are washed using a water purification system from VAM WaterTech which purifies process water and reuses almost all of it. 

Joint CEO Klaas Greydanus said: "We initially had a different system with settling tanks. We pumped the sludge out once every few weeks. We've had this VAM WaterTech complete water purification system since 2012. That has saved us a considerable amount of water and provides a cleaner, nicer, more sustainable end product."

The system forms an integral part of the potato wholesaler's washing line. First the water runs through a sieve drum which removes coarse particles like twigs and leaves. It then flows to a cyclone which filters out the sand, before the lamella separator separates the water and sludge. 

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Additives mean any germs stick to these smaller particles, which are then removed. From the clean-water tank, the purified water then flows back to the washing line for reuse. 

"We drain and collect the sludge and it goes to a nearby livestock farm. So it's a completely closed system," said Klaas.

He said the washed potatoes' quality and storability have vastly improved since the purification system was introduced. "When you open a bag of potatoes, you sometimes smell an unpleasant odor. That doesn't happen with potatoes washed in purified water. There's no chance of cross-contamination, and you can entirely remove residues," he said.

He added that the germination load reduced from 90 to 10%, so the potatoes have a longer shelf life.

This year, he said the company's focus has been on making its production process more automated and sustainable.

Source: Fresh Plaza

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