Test Frying Line to Make Belgian Fries Even Better
Companies that make fries will soon be able to try out new methods of production in a test installation in Kortrijk. In a building of Ghent University, EUR700,000 will be invested to install a real ‘deep frying line’. “The intention is to make the step from lab research to an industrial scale easier,” says initiator Flanders’ FOOD.
Sustainable production of fried potatoes, vegetables, meat or fish requires a great deal of knowledge, development and collaboration by researchers and companies. That is why Flanders’ FOOD, the spearhead cluster for the food industry in Flanders, is taking the lead with the start-up of a pilot-scale frying line. Flemish Minister of Agriculture, Hilde Crevits, supports this initiative with a co-financing of EUR138,620.
“Our fries and other potato products are world famous”, the minister commented. “The fact that our potato processing has increased tenfold since 1990, only demonstrates its importance for our economy. It is good that with this project in Kortrijk, close to so many potato processing companies, we can conduct further research to make Belgian fries even tastier, healthier and more sustainable through innovation. ”
The test installation, which can also count on European funding, should make it possible for companies to easily try out new techniques – such as a new shortening – on the test belt. “We support companies to take the step from theoretical research in a lab to an industrial scale,” says Inge Arents, of Flanders’ FOOD. “Making pilot infrastructure available to companies is therefore crucial for our potato and vegetable processing companies.”
As many sensors as possible are provided in the frying line to measure all kinds of production parameters. “By the end of 2022, the frying line will be fully operational and will thus be a good addition to the other pilot lines such as washing, blanching and freezing,” says Flanders’ FOOD.
“The new pilot-scale frying line will make Belgian fries and croquettes even tastier and healthier in the future and make their production more sustainable, and will serve our companies,” says Romain Cools, consultant at Belgapom. “Continuing to innovate is also the key to a successful future for our companies and by extension the entire potato chain. That is why we are happy to support this initiative of Flanders’ FOOD. ”