Meade Potato Company Sets Up Starch Extraction Unit
Irish potato grower and packer Meade Potato Company has entered the starch commodity market by extracting starch from surplus potatoes and potato processing by-products. The extraction unit at the Meade Farm in Lobinstown, Co. Meath represents the only native food grade starch being indigenously produced for food manufacturers in Ireland and the UK.
“Our state-of-the-art custom-built starch plant takes our out-of-spec and surplus potato stock and uses cutting edge technology to extract premium quality food grade starch. The system is currently working toward complete carbon neutrality, using wind energy and solar panels,” the company said.
Potato starch is a resistant type, which has been widely recognized for its use as a prebiotic, supporting the abundance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Unlike other starches that convert to glucose in the small intestine, resistant starch resists digestion and reacts like dietary fiber in the large intestine. It may also help keep a person satisfied after meals and increase insulin sensitivity, regulating blood sugar.
Food manufacturers have easy access for the first time to a local ingredient that will enhance their own products. In addition, other manufacturing processes can utilize the starch to ensure their products are as sustainable as possible such as bio-plastic packaging and other products.
Robert Devlin, general manager, Meade Farm said: “It was always an ambition of ours to make better use of Ireland’s surplus potatoes; the fact that we have created a premium grade ingredient that was lacking in Ireland, gives us a real sense of satisfaction.”
Cliona Costello, R&D manager, Starch, added: “As innovators in the field, we have explored many different angles and processes to get to this point; the hard work has paid off and we are now proud to offer a high grade premium quality Irish starch that is both completely safe and highly functional.”