Many processors who produce whole peeled potatoes have found that achieving a consistent quality and shelf life is difficult. The common process is to treat the potatoes in a sulphite solution but this gives a variable and often unreliable result. The preservative effect of sulphite is confined to a chemical reaction on the surface and even this is reduced when the dipping solution is contaminated with starch etc. as it is during continuous production.
Several year’s research by LIMAS has revealed much about the mechanisms at work in the degradation of the surface of a peeled potato.
The LIMAS Combiwasher has, as the name implies, two functions. Substances such as starch, protein, sugar etc are normally separated from each other in a potato but are freed up during peeling to come into contact. This usually leads to the potato discolouring when in contact with air.
By thoroughly washing the potatoes and rinsing off these substances the risk of discolouration is vastly reduced. Also washed off is some of the bacteria which has adhered during the peeling process.
This thorough washing greatly reduces the need for preservative. Preservative can be rinsed over the potatoes before they leave the washer.
The combiwasher gives the product a long shelf-life with only a small fraction of the preservative normally added in conventional dipping. The water consumption is low due to the counterflow process.
For those who want high quality peeled potatoes the combiwasher is the way forward. By using chilled water some cooling effect can also be achieved further prolonging shelf-life.