Marel turns the potato into a key player in convenience foods

Marel is offering innovative equipment, as well as processing expertise, to help potato processors diversify their product portfolios and take advantage of market opportunities

According to the full-line supplier, the potato industry is undergoing rapid change, driven by a global shift from the consumption of fresh potatoes to processed, value-added products. This transformation is influenced by a shift in consumer preference towards convenience foods and prepared ready meals. The demand for potato specialty products is at an all-time high and is expected to continue growing at a considerable rate.

In a market where demand is reaching unprecedented levels, Marel says potato processors need to embrace the latest food production solutions.

The key to achieving this lies in optimising the value of raw materials by utilising offcuts to create additional product streams. This approach involves repurposing waste raw material from primary products and transforming them into secondary offerings.

Through close collaboration with customers, Marel is helping them to turn surplus materials into a huge variety of exciting, high-quality potato specialty products – from timeless favourites like Pommes Duchesses and croquettes to distinctive choices such as potato donuts, waffles, and various regional specialties.

Marel has a history of transferring the technology it has developed for one protein industry to another. We are excited to be using our proven technology to innovate and create potato specialty products together with our customers,” notes Ger Stans, industry sales manager, Marel.

The company says collaborative innovation with potato processors is facilitated by global demo centres, offering a space for hands-on work, experimentation, and expert advice.

Marel is also collaborating on a significant project initiated by Flanders’ FOOD, the innovation platform for the Flemish agri-food industry and ILVO. Together, they have created the Food Pilot plant, a strategic hub that helps companies throughout Western Europe address diverse agri-food challenges, including product development, process optimisation, and resolution of technical production issues.

Flanders’ FOOD ensures that installations for all possible processes in the food industry are made available in the pilot plant.

In January 2024, they opened the doors on a new frying line for the sustainable production of fried potatoes, plant-based products, vegetables, meat and fish. Ghent University also backs the initiative, and as a key contributor, Marel supplies cutting-edge frying equipment.

“The availability of these frying and baking installations will challenge our potato and vegetable processors to push their boundaries as well,” adds Inge Arents, Flanders’ FOOD.

Related content

Leave a reply

Food and Drink Technology