Aviko's new blanching technique
Aviko has developed a new blanching technique that reduces the environmental impact, improves the return on raw materials and cuts costs. This new technique – Closed Loop Blanching – will be rolled out at all Aviko's chip production lines in the Netherlands and abroad in the years ahead. Aviko has been granted a patent for the technique, which is currently still in its pilot stage.
Aviko received a grant from the EU Environment programme for this project because Closed Loop Blanching is a pioneering technique to help resolve environmental problems.
Aviko blanches peeled and cut potatoes during the production process in order to remove the sugars they contain. As a result, the potato products acquire an attractive, light brown colour when cooked. Unfortunately, this technique also removes valuable substances such as minerals, amino acids and vitamins from the potatoes. When the blanching water is saturated and cannot dissolve any more sugars, it is sent to the treatment plant as wastewater. After treatment it is discharged into surface water. Aviko pumps fresh groundwater into the blanching tank and heats it to 70°C so that the blanching process can begin again.
In Closed Loop Blanching, sugar in the blanching water is converted into another natural substance and the volume of valuable substances in the blanching water remains more or less the same. The 'desugared' blanching water can again dissolve sugar but cannot dissolve the valuable substances. They remain in the potato. As Aviko uses the same water to blanche the potatoes, the system is closed.
With Closed Loop Blanching, Aviko uses considerably less groundwater and produces less wastewater that needs to be treated. Energy losses are also avoided because the heated blanching water no longer has to be treated as wastewater. Aviko can work with less energy because it only needs to keep the blanching water at the right temperature. Finally, Aviko produces a higher yield from its raw materials by using the valuable substances.