Greenvale is a leading supplier of fresh potatoes and one of the UK’s largest suppliers of organic potatoes. The company has three fresh packing sites and one processing site within the UK, packing produce from around 200 UK growers.
Older food processing methods of chilling water to keep and use over prolonged periods of time meant the water became a bacterial “soup” which requires extensive treatment before discharge. It also results in high water use. The traditional methods of washing and packing potatoes were not conducive to Greenvale’s aim of becoming a greener industry leader.
“It is a truly environmental solution. Applied across the industry it will save the UK millions of pounds and billions of litres of water, every year.”
MSE Systems and Greenvale designed a system which would give them maximum reduction in water use, minimise energy cost and wash all products in constant clean, chilled, bacteria free water. It also manages to recycle all waste materials produced by the treatment process.
By continuously re-circulating water through a system of filters (including sand filters), Greenvale can control the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) along with water temperature and bacterial loading of their wash water, ensuring that the product is kept at optimum condition throughout the washing process.
The continual recycling of process wash water reduces water usage by a minimum of 75% (18 million gallons per annum), with up to 85% achievable. With recycled water that is ten times cleaner being used to wash the product than before Cascade, Greenvale’s potatoes now have a visibly cleaner, brighter appearance.
The chilling and disinfection of wash water reduces food waste through restricting bacterial spoilage extending customer shelf life of product. Bacterial levels are controlled at every stage in the washing process, including the use of chemical flocculation, which has prevented product breakdown and achieved Greenvale’s lowest customer complaints results on record. These complaints are down 48% on the same period the year before.
By converting environmentally unfriendly soil slurry into segregated reusable sand and topsoil products, we further reduced Greenvale’s environmental impact.
Running costs are below expectations with a 50% reduction in energy costs of chilling, equating to a saving of 8000 kWh per week!
Greenvale is already benefiting from the cost savings gained from implementing an MSE Systems solution, making them a more competitive business. They have already used the benefits of Cascade when tendering for new business within a very competitive market place.
Greenvale’s direct customers benefit by receiving a higher quality product with a longer shelf life, and this improvement filters down to the end customer and consumer who benefit from produce that is easier to prepare, more appealing to the eye and more environmentally friendly.
Andy Clarkson, general manager of Greenvale at Tern Hill, said:
“The results are way beyond expectations. Cascade is designed to clean potatoes but could be applied to any root vegetables. Cascade demonstrably delivers a superior product: since its inception we have achieved our lowest customer complaints results on record.”
The system was installed with fully automated system control software, designed to allow control of processes both locally and at remote locations, monitor real-time data, and record events into a log file, all to allow additional ease, peace of mind and flexibility for the team at Greenvale.
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