The Sweet Pepper Decorer and the Magnetic Onion Peeler are the latest additions from the company’s Food Technology Noord-Oost Nederland (FTNON) division, which supplies equipment to the fresh produce and ready meal sectors.
The decorer has been designed to be easily cleaned – a necessity for machinery that works with peppers due to the seeds that can find their way inside equipment.
Handling two bell peppers at a time, the machine uses pneumatic coring devices to remove the centre of peppers, before a high-pressure air system cleans out the remaining seeds. The cored and cleaned bell peppers are cut lengthwise into pieces by a mechanical segmenting station, which enables them to be divided into halves, quarters or eights.
“If you look at a bell pepper, inside there are a lot of small seeds, which will get into every part of the machine, so cleanability is a very important feature,” explained FTNON’s Lars Heuvelmans. “It’s easy to access all areas of the machine – you just slide out the drum and you have access to the inside, the drills and the knives.”
The upgraded onion peeler focuses on yield, convenience and ease-of-cleaning, making it compliant with food hygiene requirements. The machine was developed in collaboration with California-based Gills Onions and the US Department of Agriculture.
“Waste and the peeled product are separated at the earliest possible stage, meaning the risk of contamination or waste peel reaching other areas of the machine is greatly reduced, while the design has eliminated chains and other hygienically vulnerable components,” said Heuvelmans. “Both make a real difference, not only for improving hygiene but also for overall cleanability.”
By employing super magnetism, the system also eliminated the need for wires, tubes, belts and springs, resulting in a machine with frictionless components, which “reduces maintenance costs tremendously”, he added.