Belgian processors that produce fries will soon be able to try out new production methods in a test installation in Kortrijk. In a building at Ghent University, 700,000 euros will be invested to install a real ‘frying line’ for testing novel products before commercialisation. “The intention is to make the step from lab research to an industrial scale easier,” according to Flanders’ FOOD.
The Vlaams infocentrum land- en tuinbouw (VILT) reports in a recent news article that Flanders’ FOOD is taking the lead with the launch of a frying line on a pilot scale. Flemish Minister of Agriculture Hilde Crevits supports this initiative with a co-financing of 138,620 euros.
“Our fries and other potato products are world famous”, the minister said. “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 do further research to make Belgian fries even tastier, healthier and more sustainable through innovation.”
The test/research installation, which can also count on European funding, should make it possible for companies to easily try out new techniques before going commercial – for example a new type of shortening – on the test processing installation.
“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 and therefore also for our potato and vegetable processing companies.”
“The frying line will be fully operational by the end of 2022 and will thus be a good addition to the other pilot lines within VEG-i-TEC, 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. ”
Source: VILT. Original report in Dutch here