SnowValley Agricultural Group and Aviko Group have decided to join long-term processing partner TOMRA Sorting Food for the development of a new state-of-the-art French fry processing facility.
Both SnowValley and Aviko listed sustainability, quality, and processing efficiency as an integral part of their business strategies, and the CNY1.2bn (€151m) joint venture echoed this vision, aiming to deliver the highest standard of potato products to the premium segment of the Chinese French fry market.
The new potato processing facility located at Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province will have an annual production capacity of 150,000tn and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2018. TOMRA’s flagship Eco steam peeling line and the recently launched cutting-edge sorting platforms TOMRA 5A and TOMRA 5B will play important roles in the facility’s success.
President of Aviko SnowValley Mr. Don Wang and general manager of Aviko SnowValley Mr. Joop Van Drunen both remark, "We are aiming to build an industry leading French fry processing line in China that delivers 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 TOMRA’s solutions are reliable and efficient. We are confident TOMRA’s latest innovations and technologies will be the best choice for us."
Steam peeling is the most efficient method of removing skin from the surface of vegetables and the latest Eco steam peeler is fast and energy efficient. The peeler uses 28% 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.
Regional sales director of TOMRA Sorting Food in China Steven van Geel says: "We are very pleased that the Aviko and SnowValley JV selected TOMRA’s latest ground-breaking peeling and sorting technology to achieve their goal to build an industry leading processing line.
"Quality and reliability are cornerstones of our innovation and we will utilise our global expertise and local resources to make the project a success from both economical and food-safety perspectives."
The TOMRA 5A whole potato sorter removes various defects and foreign material, such as stones, soil, glass, and plastics, minimising the risk of food contamination down the processing line and protecting critical processing components, such as the hydro cutters or fryer. With a peel control module, the TOMRA 5A can evaluate the peeling status of potatoes while sorting them and automatically calculate an optimal steam time. Consequently, the result is lower peel loss with no operator supervision required.
The TOMRA 5B is a next-generation sorter featuring a combination of exceptional features. In the new Aviko SnowValley French fry line, two TOMRA 5Bs will be installed to guarantee the quality of the final products. With technological advancements, such as the smart surround view, the machines will ensure high-quality levels at a high processing volume, ideal for brand strengthening.
Steven concludes: "To date, TOMRA has installed more than 200 food units in China, including more than 20 steam peelers. To support the anticipated growth in food processing in China, TOMRA has established a strong team of local project management and service support across the country.
"On top of the cutting-edge technology, being close to the customers we serve, and communicating with customers in the way that they feel most comfortable with, are the keys to TOMRA’s successful growth in this country."
SnowValley Agricultural Group is one of the leading brands in China’s potato industry, and is one of the pilot enterprises in agricultural modernisation. Its business covers new potato variety breeding, virus-free seedling breeding, development of minituber, commercialisation of virus-free seed potato, upgrade of potato plantation, and storage and integrated potato product processing.