Successful verification of PEF technology for fast-growing processed potato market

OptiCept Technologies, together with Canadian partner FPS Food Process Solutions Corp, has successfully completed the verification of its PEF technology for potato processing. Several strong results are reported that contribute to a significantly more efficient production of processed potato products such as French fries.

In the fall of 2023, OptiCept Technologies entered into a partnership with the Canadian company FPS Food Process Solutions Corp to jointly develop, manufacture, and sell PEF applications to the solid food industry with a particular focus on potato processing.

The first phase of the collaboration is successfully completed at the FPS development center in Charlottetown, Canada. When using OptiCept’s PEF technology (pulsed electric fields) several strong results can be reported, such as that the potatoes become significantly easier to cut, the cutting surface becomes smoother, and less oil is absorbed.

All in all, this contributes to an improved quality of the finished product for consumers while making production more efficient for manufacturers.

“We’ve seen some tremendous results this far and we are really excited to continue the work”

Janice Price, Process Specialist, FPS Food Process Solutions.

Process Specialist Janice Price with a PEF treated potato slice at the FPS development center in Charlottetown, Canada

The next step in the process

The joint OptiCept and FPS teams are working intensely. As the first verification of the application is completed for improving French fries processing, the next step is to upgrade the machine to run full-scale tests

“The first verification of our machine at the FPS development center showed that we are on the right track and the first results are better than expected. This was exactly the outcome we were waiting for. Now we are taking the next step in the collaboration with FPS”. Says Thomas Lundqvist, CEO OptiCept Technologies.

French fries treated with PEF technology
A PEF-treated potato slice, when PEF is applied to potato products, it softens the potato. the product becomes easier to cut. It is important that the knives that cut the potatoes are of high quality, the right cut is decisive for whether the product is rejected or can go on to the consumer. Large energy savings and significantly improved efficiency can be achieved.
Intense work - The OptiCept and FPS team in Charlottetown, Canada

The advantages of PEF technology in the potato industry

OptiCept’s patented PEF technology creates a great opportunity for customers to streamline the manufacturing process while benefiting from reduced costs. Benefits include:

wear and tear is reduced for costly process tools such as knives for cutting. Significant savings in terms of energy and water.

PEF technology is energy efficient compared to traditional heating or blanching methods.

PEF treatment can improve the texture of potato products.

PEF is a technology that improves the quality and efficiency of the potato processing industry and its products and processes. For example, PEF has shown significant advantages over the usual process with conventional preheaters.

A research study indicates that substituting traditional preheating systems with PEF equipment can result in an 85% reduction in energy requirements and a 90% decrease in water consumption. Additionally, notable benefits such as decreased fat absorption, enhanced product quality, and a 1-1.5% rise in product yield have been observed. For a french fries production line with a capacity of 50 tons per hour, this translates to annual savings of 60,000 to 70,000 cubic meters of water and 20 gigajoules of thermal energy. The anticipated overall environmental impact reduction is estimated to be approximately 20-30%.

The implementation of such extensive savings and efficiency enhancements is undeniably appealing to the industry.

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