GEA strikes potato starch drying deal ahead of EU CAP changes

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

GEA PEPEES potato starch drying EU CAP changes

Related tags European union Starch

GEA Barr-Rosin has partnered with Polish market company, GEA Process Engineering to supply PEPEES Group in Poland with a potato starch drying system including cabling, drying, sifting, cooling, conveying, silo loading and an advanced plant control system.

PEPEES has expanded its plant in Lomza in anticipation of an increase in production due to changes in the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on quotas for sugar and potato starch.

Changes in potato starch quotas

The technology will be up and running by August 2015.

Dominique Kuehner, sales and marketing manager,GEA Barr-Rosin, told FoodProductionDaily the deal took seven years in the making and more are expected due to EU CAP 2020 with sugar quotas expiring in 2015/16 and an extension of the current quota scheme.

​PEPEES had been planning this expansion for many years, so it was more a process of staying in touch with the customer all this time, responding to their enquiries and consistency. ​GEA Process Engineering in Poland maintains good customer relationships and they helped us to secure the deal,” ​he said.

“The company was also driven by a change in potato starch quotas and there are a  lot of projects out there at the moment and being executed right now. There is a feeling within the industry that now is the time to grow with the new quotas.”

European starch industry association (AAF)

The Commission’s proposal to eliminate production quotas on sugar and isoglucose will be implemented from October 2015 onwards and has the support of the European starch industry association (AAF).

The elimination will contribute to the increase of various sweetener products and offer a choice between different sweetener alternatives to European industry and consumers.

AAF believes it wll introduce more market dynamics and create a level playing field among the sweetener producers.

The European starch industry plays an important role in the EU agriculture as its production is based on a significant consumption of cereals and starch potatoes that are almost exclusively grown in the EU.

Annually, the European starch industry processes about 21.5m tons of agricultural raw materials (14m tons of cereals and 7.5m tons of potatoes) into about 9.3m tons of products marketed by the starch industry.

Speciality ingredients in food

Starch products are used as speciality ingredients in food, feed, non-food and bio-based applications.

Starch-based sweeteners have always been closely linked with those of sugar and the starch industry produces about 5m tons of sweetening products of natural origin per year (including isoglucose).

Isoglucose production was incorporated into the Common Market Organisation for Sugar in 1979. A system of production quotas and levies was introduced for the production of isoglucose, similar to the one existing for sugar. Production quotas were used as an instrument to control the isoglucose production and consumption in the EU to a very low level: today, the European starch industry is only allowed 4% of the sweeteners’ market: the quota for isoglucose is 690.000 tons while the total consumption of sweeteners in the EU-27 is 16.500.000 tons in 2010/11.

PEPEES Group processes potatoes to make potato starch, crystalline and anhydrous glucose, maltodextrin, glucose syrups and potato flakes and potato protein for feedstuff.

It is used in the meat industry as thickening agent,or food concentrates such as soups, gelatine desserts and ketchup or in the baking industry as water-retention enhancing agents and stale delaying agent for bread.

PEPEES will receive an advanced plant control system, which is more automated compared to the old manual one. It means you can run a whole facility with much less personal, at a higher capacity,” ​said Kuehner.

He added a key feature of the GEA Barr-Rosin technology is the feed dispersion system. The more effective the feed dispersion, the more surface area is available to promote near-instant heat and mass transfer; preventing overheating and the risk of consequent heat degradation.

The system will also be fitted with GEA Barr-Rosin’s ATEX Certified Explosion Vent Doors which are not liable to the process thermal cycling and pressure fluctuations, which cause standard venting panels to fail.

The doors provide reliable dryer protection without the burdensome maintenance needs often found with standard venting panels​,” he said.

GEA Process Engineering will provide the company with local support throughout the design and building phase and ongoing maintenance.

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