New pilot frying line to make Belgian fries even tastier

New frying line to make Belgian fries even tastier

New frying line to make Belgian fries even tastier

Febrero 06, 2024

Nothing as Belgian as a tasty packet of fries. But sustainably producing fries requires a lot of knowledge, development and collaboration with companies and researchers.

Flanders' FOOD has therefore taken the lead by developing a pilot frying line together with Ghent University to make fries even tastier, healthier and more sustainable. The frying line will be opened at the VEG-i-TEC research center.

Innovation

The new pilot frying line will open at VEG-i-TEC on the Ghent University campus in Kortrijk where companies that make fries can test new production methods, such as coating, frying and degreasing potato products. The test line is part of the Belgian Fries Pilot, an innovative pilot infrastructure for fried food products.

The project initially focuses on the potato processing industry, but new techniques for vegetables, meat and fish products can also be tested in the research lab. With the installation of the test frying line, the current test facility can be taken from laboratory to industrial scale.

The new frying line is an extension of the living lab VEG-i-TEC, the research center for vegetable and potato processing companies that want to innovate and optimize their production processes.

The line is an addition to existing pilot lines in the research center, including those for blanching and freezing, as well as the cutting, washing and packaging lines.

The pilot hall also contains advanced pilot equipment for water treatment, and investments are being made in technologies that measure the energy management of various processes.

The modern test lines emphasize the ambition for innovation and efficiency in the production processes of the Belgian Fries Pilot. The total cost is approximately EUR 700,000 (USD 764,000). The investment should strengthen Belgium's leading position in the field of potato processing and anchor it locally.

Jo Brouns, Flemish Minister of Economy, Innovation and Agriculture:
 

"This investment is good for our economy, but also for the farmers who are assured of the sale of their potatoes."

The initiative is based on Flanders' FOOD, the innovation platform for the Flemish agri-food industry.

Inge Arents, Managing Director of Flanders' Food:
 

"The availability of these frying and baking installations will challenge our potato and vegetable processors to also push their boundaries."

"For companies that supply the sector, the infrastructure offers opportunities to demonstrate their innovations in the field of fats and oils to many different small and larger food companies."

​ Flemish Minister of Economy, Innovation and Agriculture Jo Brouns (cd&v), who is investing EUR 140,000 (USD 153,000) in the project.

Jo Brouns:
 

"This shows the importance for our economy. With this project in the potato processors' region, we can conduct further research to make Belgian fries even tastier, healthier and more sustainable through innovation. This is good for our economy, but also for farmers who are assured of the sale of their potatoes."

The project received financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF Flanders), VLAIO (Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship), Province of West Flanders, House of Nutrition, Belgapom, Vandemoortele, Ghent University and Flanders' FOOD.

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