Heat and Control, in partnership with ScandiNova has developed a potato processing machine which lessens the occurrence of acrylamide, which is a growing concern when it comes to consumer health.

E-FLO can fit into any potato processing line and requires low voltage, minimal maintenance, and has a patented transformer design.

Peeled and washed potatoes are supplied in measured quantities by upstream equipment and delivered to the E-FLO infeed chute.

The rotating E-FLO wheel transports the potatoes through the processing area as a compact packed bed through a water bath.

Processing has to take place in a water bath for the electrical pulses to influence the product as desired. After a short exposure to the electric field pulses, to perforate the cell walls, the potatoes are lifted and discharged from the water bath by the continuing rotation of the wheel into the discharge chute. The potato then continues down the production line where greater amounts of sugars and amino acids can be removed during the slicing and washing stages. The result is potato chips with a reduction in acrylamide of over 50 per cent in some test cases.

Another benefit is crispier chips, according to the company. The E-FLO increases the amount of starch in the outer layers of the potato, which helps to give the chip its bite. It also reduces the need or length of time needed to blanch potatoes before cooking. The E-FLO has the potential to work on a range of products, such as differing root vegetables.

The topic of acrylamide continues to gain traction, and stricter legislation could be on the agenda, with potato chip producers potentially impacted.