New French Fry Factory in China Opts for TOMRA Equipment
Joint venture partners Aviko and SnowValley Agricultural Group are investing significantly to boost the production of value added potato products in China, and TOMRA Sorting Food equipment will be an important part of a new state-of-the-art factory that has been commissioned. Steenderen, Holland-headquartered Aviko, which has been directly engaged in french fry production in the PRC for the past five years.
Both SnowValley and Aviko have prioritized sustainability, quality and processing efficiency as integral components of their business strategy, and in implementing growth plans the RMB 1.2 billion (€151 million) joint venture aims to deliver the highest standard of potato products to the premium segment of China’s expanding french fry market, where products are sold under the Aviko, Diamond, Tulip, Windmill and other brand names.
The new potato processing facility in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province will have annual production capacity of 150,000 tons and is expected to be completed by September of 2018. TOMRA’s Eco steam peeling line and the recently launched cutting-edge sorting platforms, TOMRA 5A and TOMRA 5B, are among the installation’s key kit.
Raw materials processed at the plant will originate from the local area and from Inner Mongolia. The soil type in these regions is highly suitable for large-scale potato farming. Snow Valley Agriculture's proven expertise in the cultivation of seed potatoes and processing potatoes forms the basis for an optimal supply of tubers to the factory.
“We are aiming to build an industry leading french fry processing line in China that will deliver the highest quality and performance, while also reducing waste and impact on the environment. TOMRA has collaborated successfully with both SnowValley and Aviko on previous projects for many years, and we know their reliable and efficient equipment, innovations and technologies add up to the best choice for us,” Said Don Wang, president of Aviko SnowValley and Joop Van Drunen, general manager of Aviko SnowValley, in a joint statement.
Steam peeling is the most efficient method of removing skin from the surface of root vegetables, and the latest Eco steam peeler is promoted by TOMRA as “not only the fastest, but also the most energy efficient in the industry.” It uses 28 percent less steam than other peelers of its type and enables customers to peel high volumes of potatoes at very low steam times, with exceptionally low peel loss and waste.
The TOMRA 5A whole potato sorter removes various defects and foreign material, such as stones, soil, glass and plastic, thus minimizing the risk of food contamination down the processing line and protecting critical processing components, such as the hydro cutters and fryer. With a peel control module, it can evaluate the peeling status of potatoes while sorting them and automatically calculate an optimal steam time. The result is lower peel loss with no operator supervision required.
The TOMRA 5B is a next-generation sorter boasting a combination of exceptional features. In the new Aviko-SnowValley french fry line, two TOMRA 5Bs will be installed to guarantee the quality of final products. With technological advancements such as the smart surround view, the machines will ensure top quality levels at a high processing volume.
“TOMRA has installed more than 200 food units in China – including over 20 steam peelers,” said Steven van Geel, regional sales director for TOMRA Sorting Food in the PRC. To support anticipated further growth, we have established a strong team of local project management and service technicians. On top of the cutting-edge technology, being close to customers we serve, and communicating with them in the way that they feel most comfortable are the essential to our success in China.”
SnowValley Agricultural Group is one of the leading companies in China’s potato industry, and is one of the pilot enterprises in agricultural modernization. Its business covers new potato variety breeding, virus-free seedling breeding, development of mini-tuber, commercialization of virus-free seed potato, upgrade of potato plantation and storage and integrated potato product processing.
Aviko, established in 1962, ranks as the world’s fourth largest potato processing company. The Royal Cosun company serves retail, foodservice and industrial customers in more than 100 countries.
TOMRA Sorting Food, owned by Norwegian company TOMRA Systems ASA, designs and manufactures high performance optical sorting machines, graders, peeling and process analytics systems for the food industry. Over 6,250 of its systems have been installed at food processing plants, packing facilities and growing operations worldwide.