For potato growers, maintaining the quality of the potato during storage is essential. The longer you maintain the quality of the potato, the better you can pick the right trading moment and achieve maximum profit. Mechanical cooling is an excellent method for potato storage with the longest shelf life and without quality loss. And offers an answer to the ban on the chemical sprout inhibitor chlorpropham (CIPC).
With mechanical cooling, the refrigeration is specifically designed for your product. We have already built many mechanical cooling installations at several clients, for, among other things, the storage of carrots, onions, and potatoes. We can maintain product quality for a longer period of time than with traditional ventilation systems, thanks to the specific design of the installation and the highly accurate tailoring of both temperature and humidity.
Thanks to the mechanical storage, we can maintain product quality and we need less of the often more expensive alternatives of the sprout inhibitor chlorpropham The products can be stored for a longer period than with traditional ventilation systems.
The basic principle of ENGIE’s mechanical cooling system is the use of an almost entirely isolated storage environment. The different stages of the storage process are completely under control. The computer continuously measures the temperature and humidity in the storage and adjusts the cooling capacity and storage programme to the cooling demand.
The management of the installation controls the system in such a way that it automatically adapts to the characteristics of your product. Environmental factors, such as the temperature and humidity of the outside air, no longer have any influence. After all, the storage is entirely isolated. The sprout inhibitors stay inside because the shutters remain closed. Also, each mechanical cooling solution is tailor-made, to achieve the best possible quality of your potatoes.
The longer you maintain the quality of your potatoes, the more time you have as a grower to pick the right trading moment to sell your products. Our effective potato storage with mechanical cooling ensures that you keep your potatoes in top quality for considerably longer.
Damaged or rotten potatoes in a conventional storage system can infect surrounding products. ENGIE’s mechanical storage system ‘mummifies’ rotten potatoes, meaning they do not infect the good ones around them. Rotten pockets do not occur anymore. In conjunction with the less dehydration, fewer bruises and less peeling waste, the mechanical storage system can deliver up to 30% more marketable product.
Our client, Borgmann, opted for a sustainable cooling installation based on natural refrigerants. Henk Tebben, Project Manager at ENGIE Refrigeration says: “Cooling independently from the outside air results in considerably less dehydration of the product. This is what we have seen at our client Borgmann. Dehydration of 10% is common, but with our innovation, we achieved less than 3% dehydration. This resulted in increased weight, better product quality, and therefore higher yields.” In addition to that, Borgmann now produces in a much more energy-efficient manner.
A mechanical cooling system can always be used as an addition to a ventilation system that uses the outside air. Especially in spring, the outside air is too warm to keep the temperature of the potatoes low. At that moment, you can keep your potatoes calm with a mechanical cooling system. By doing so, you better preserve product quality and extend the storage season.
With mechanical cooling, you always ensure a stable temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration when storing potatoes. This provides a solution for the ever-changing outside air conditions and the ban on the chemical sprout inhibitor chlorpropham. This sprout inhibitor brought life in the potato to a standstill, so that the quality was preserved. Alternatives, such as organic sprout inhibitors, are more expensive. If you use these in storage that you ventilate with outside air, you blow away the germ inhibitors. And that is a waste of money.
In the closed environment, constant storage conditions ensure that the potato remains calm, produces less heat and barely germinates. That means that you need less sprout inhibitor. The potato retains its quality, size and weight. Minimal aging of the potato also occurs, because fewer sugars are formed in the potato. As a result, less post-processing is required and this leads to lower energy consumption and therefore a cleaner production process.
The manner in which potatoes are stored and grown, are becoming increasingly important. More often, French fries producers and fast-food chains are being asked to explain how their suppliers have organized their production processes and how they use raw materials. Therefore, potato growers must produce in a more sustainable and energy-efficient way, for example by replacing synthetic refrigerants with natural refrigerants. These resources are environmentally friendly and often more energy-efficient, without compromising the cooling capacity.
Compared to a conventional system, the additional costs of this installation has a pay-back period of up to three years. The solution that best suits your company depends on, for example, the type of product (storage solely for potatoes or for carrots and onions as well?), the variety, your financial conditions and, obviously, your plans for the future. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to have more information.
If you are interested in our solution but are currently unable to invest in sustainable technology, then ENGIE will help you. In addition to design and realization, ENGIE can also help you finance and operate it. This way, you will immediately benefit from lower energy costs and sustainable entrepreneurship. Explore the options.