SnowValley Agricultural Group and Aviko Group, Europe, joined forces with TOMRA Sorting Food, Austria, to develop a new state-of-the-art French fry processing facility.

The new potato processing facility, located at Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, China, will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 tons and is expected to be completed by September 2018. TOMRA’s flagship Eco steam peeling line and the recently launched TOMRA 5A and TOMRA 5B will play important roles in the facility’s success.

“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,” says Don Wang, president of Aviko SnowValley, and Joop Van Drunen, general manager of Aviko SnowValley. “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.”

TOMRA’s Eco steam 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.

“We are very pleased that the Aviko and SnowValley joint venture selected TOMRA’s latest ground-breaking peeling and sorting technology to achieve their goal to build an industry leading processing line,” adds Steven van Geel, regional sales director, China, TOMRA Sorting Food. “Quality and reliability are cornerstones of our innovation, and we will utilize 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, minimizing 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 features, such as smart surround view.

“To date, TOMRA has installed more than 200 food units in China, including over 20 steam peelers,” says van Geel. “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 pilot enterprises in agricultural modernization, covering new potato variety breeding, virus-free seedling breeding, development of minituber, commercialization of virus-free seed potato, upgrade of potato plantation and storage and integrated potato product processing.