McCain reveals £2.5m seed potato grading system investment

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

McCain Foods has invested £2.5m in an optical grader for its seed potatoesinvestment
McCain Foods has invested £2.5m in an optical grader for its seed potatoesinvestment

Related tags Potato

Frozen chip producer McCain Foods has invested £2.5m in a new seed potato grading system at its Montrose, Scotland factory.

The installation at McCain Potatoes will help the producer’s 2022/2023 grading and delivery season. The site is responsible for supplying about 30,000 tonnes of seed potatoes every year to their ware growers in England, who then supply the processing crop to the McCain Foods factories.

James Young, vice president for Agriculture at McCain, said: “Optical Grading technology has developed over recent years and, thanks to our partnership with Haith, we believe we’ve created a new and improved line that will benefit both us and our growers.

Minimising damage

“Thanks to the new technology, we will minimise the damage caused in the grading process, be able to accurately size our potatoes and remove foreign materials and potato defects more easily. It will also create a more streamlined and operator friendly work environment.”

Vegetable handling machine supplier Haith managed the installation at McCain Potatoes and has completed several projects for McCain over the years.

Haith managing director Duane Hill added: “We have been pioneering the integration of optical sorters since 2004, in which time we've installed over 100 Tomra and Newtec graders.

‘Largest solution’

“The line we have designed for McCain in Montrose is one of our largest solutions and will feature a 1200mm wide sorter capable of receiving up to 12 tonnes per hour.

“This new optical grading solution will offer improved accuracy. As the stone and clod that comes in with the crop is practically the same size as the seed potatoes, mechanical grading would not be able to tell the difference between the three elements, making optical grading the perfect solution for McCain.”

Meanwhile, Mash Direct, the Northern Ireland fresh prepared vegetable processor, has expanded its premises and reduced emissions​with the support of a seven-figure Green Loan from HSBC UK.

Related topics Frozen Technical

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