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PEF treatment makes a preheater in French Fry production look, well... obsolete

The Pulsemaster conditioner capable of processing 60 tons of potatoes per hour in a french fry processing line

If you are regular reader of PotatoPro, you may have seen one of our articles on the potential of Pulsed Electric Field treatment in potato processing.

But seeing is believing... and now you can!

Exclusively for PotatoPro readers we can now show you a video of the industrial application of a Pulsemaster Conditioner Pulsed Electric Field system at industrial scale, treating the full line load of potatoes (60 tons/hour) for a large French Fry line.

But a warning about this video may be appropriate. You may find it a bit underwhelming - because there is so little to see.

The treatment unit has a very small footprint and treatment takes almost no time.

And although the potatoes are treated with voltages as high as 30.000 Volts, there are no sparks, nothing. The potatoes don't even come out hot...

But watch till the end, because the result of the PEF treatment when you pick up a cut potato strips after cutting is anything but disappointing.

But admit it, a few sparks would have been nice ...

(Click picture to watch video)

Pulsemaster Pulsed Electric Field Systems in operation at a French Fry manufacturer

Benefits in Potato Processing

The video shows how Pulsemaster's Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Conditioner is used in practice for the production of frozen french fries with an input capacity of 132,000 lbs/hr (60 tonnes per hour) - without a preheater.

You see industrial scale pulsed electric field equipment, matched to the loading rate of 60 t/hr of vegetable tubers in a tuber water mixture.

The pulsed electric fields treatment contributes to cell breakdown in the processed potatoes, which results in a number of benefits for the customer including:

  • Improved cutting behavior resulting in smoother surface on the French fries
  • Higher yield; i.e.less starch and less fines at cutting
  • Less knife wear
  • Less breakage and consequently longer fries
  • Reduced feathering
  • Reduced water & energy consumption
  • Reduced oil uptake
  • Enhance innovation; i.e. new cuts and shapes
  • Eliminate odor and hygiene problems normally associated with preheating
  • No use of preheater

More Information

More information about the Pulsemaster PEF technology at:


Installing a Pulsed Electric Field System is still more expensive than installing a conventional preheater, according to Mark de Boevere, Managing Director of Pulsemaster.

However, the cost of operating a PEF system is much lower than operating a preheater. This is due to the fact that the system requires far less water - a huge saving on wastewater - and also uses a fraction of the energy.

Product yield is also higher due to the lower losses in preheating, cutting and due to reduced breakage throughout the line. Operating or starting up the line also becomes easier, since the long residence time in the preheater is replaced by mere seconds in the PEF unit.

Return on Investment is less than a year, according to Mark de Boevere, making it the obvious choice in new potato processing lines.

Huge potential for a wide range of food products

But the potential of Pulsed Electric Field technology goes well beyond application in the production of French Fries and Potato Chips.

Mark de Boevere:

“Pulsemaster is specialized in pulsed electric field processing and aspires to apply this innovative technology – also known as electroporation – to a broad spectrum of applications in the food industry.”

“Not only as a method for mild food preservation, but also as a means of improving process efficiency and product quality.”

“PEF technology has enormous potential. Pulsemaster’s goal is to exploit and spread the full potential of pulsed electric field treatment.”

“This way Pulsemaster wants to help companies further improve their processes and products.”