Let’s take a look at steam peeling of fruits and vegetables with TOMRA Food, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of solutions for sorting and peeling.
Vacuum-sealed peeled vegetables have long ceased to be an unusual sight in Russian supermarkets, not to mention frozen semi-finished peeled-and-cut vegetables. Figures show that the demand for such products only keeps on growing. No surprise, though: when time is the most valuable resource, people see no problem in paying a bit extra for convenience.
This also goes for the catering industry. Indeed, many food service companies already purchase peeled fruits and vegetables. The benefits are obvious, too: first of all, considerable time savings on peeling and washing. Moreover, the company gets the net weight of fruits and vegetables – no skin – and is guaranteed that there are no spoiled parts of even whole fruits or roots that would have to be cut out or thrown out altogether. All in all, going for peeled products can raise the efficiency of a catering business, which is invaluable in a highly-competitive market.
TOMRA Food’s Steam Peeling Solutions: Peeling, Not Boiling
TOMRA Food has been developing technologies and making equipment for food sorting and peeling for more than 40 years now. Thanks to its extensive experience, TOMRA Food’s steam peeling solutions remove the skin from fruits and vegetables faster and more efficiently than any of the company’s competitors. Developing new equipment, the company mostly focuses on raising the peeling quality and reducing peel loss. Fun fact: 85% of French fries all over the world are made with the help of TOMRA Food steam peeling solutions.
The company only uses steam peeling in its equipment because it’s the only method that can provide both the highest peeling performance and the lowest peel loss. Yet the latter is only true if certain conditions are met. The point here is that the volume of waste from steam peeling directly depends on the speed of steam penetration under the skin. Steam pressure is the key in this process: the higher the pressure, the less the processing time, and the less steam penetration under the skin. This also means that peel loss is reduced. The steam pressure in the most advanced TOMRA Food peeling solution is 20 MPa, and heat penetrates under the skin for only 0.5 mm. Thus, the peel loss from TOMRA Food steam peelers is the record 6–8%, the lowest in the market.
Special sensors allow monitoring the whole peeling process in real time: this means, for example, that if the waste volume goes up, the system will alert the operator to adjust the steam pressure and the feed speed.
Who Needs It?
To put it simply, all who care about the high quality of products they make, production efficiency, low peel loss, and higher business profitability. But it’s not that simple. Integrating truly efficient steam peelers into a production line obviously comes with high costs. This is why such solutions perform best in medium and big companies: the higher the volume of ready products, the less it takes for the equipment to pay back.
For example, the capacity of one of TOMRA Food’s most efficient steam peelers, the ECO, may reach 60,000 kg/h, which is quite an impressive indicator. At the same time, thanks to modern energy-saving technologies, it requires minimum steam: five times less than the competitors’ solutions.
However, TOMRA Food’s current steam peeler lineup is flexible enough to offer a suitable solution even for a small business.
What about Russia?
Russian food producers are highly interested in the latest sorting and peeling solutions and implement them as actively. These are mostly big companies that have already reached a certain production level in terms of both volume and quality of their products. This is why they are turning to European equipment, which guarantees the required volume and quality and allows ensuring the minimum peel loss and the maximum process efficiency.
Thus, TOMRA Food steam peelers are used by Russia’s biggest frozen French fry producer as well as by a producer of frozen vegetables: TOMRA Food peelers take care of potatoes and carrots.
In general, the Russian market is unwavering on its way to increasingly extensive technology expansion and implementation. This is due to the demand specifics: consumers need high-quality and safe food, which means that manufacturers need efficient and high-technology sorting and peeling solutions. This makes investing in high-technology TOMRA Food steam peelers justifiable by default.