Potato World vision PW-ACTUA The reduction of bruising requires consistency in vision and approach Not long ago, I got a call from a customer who told me that his grading and bunker installation caused bruising. I should point out that this installation had been running without any problems for some years now. This is an example in the current season where the entire chain is confronted with challenges where blue discolouration is concerned. What can we do and what should we definitely not do? Breeders of new varieties don’t always place blue discolouration at the top of their wish lists. Other popular characteristics such as thin skins, maximum yields, good storage features, taste, frying quality and quality consistency sometimes lead to more susceptibility to bruising. I’m seeing more and more that packagers and processors are using varieties that are susceptible to bruising. That doesn’t always work out well. Especially after the last growing season which had periods of drought and irregular growth; without extra measures the potassium content in the potatoes will be lower and so the underwater weight will be higher. A lower potassium content and a high dry matter content have a strong negative influence on bruising. This season it seemed as if some varieties got bruised by ‘only looking at them’. Naturally, that doesn’t mean that it’s not up to the grower, processor or machinery manufacturer to ask themselves what’s being done to prevent or control bruising. Much of the equipment and machinery that’s used was not originally designed to give maximum protection against bruising. However, it’s often possible to achieve considerable improvement by making relatively simple adjustments. Moreover, although we all know better, we see in practice that potatoes are being processed that are too cold. There’s a recent increase in demand for ‘gentle’ machines, because growers want to wash and grade their potatoes straight from the storehouse. This trend gives a new, fresh look at the design of the machinery. Bruising can be managed but, in my view, this requires consistency in vision and approach throughout the entire process of variety development, cultivation, mechanisation and processing, whereby adequate measures are taken. Marcel Ruesink General Manager of DT Dijkstra The newly-designed, stand-alone Climbing Air Bag can be filled with air from the ground until the desired height is reached and the duct is sealed. Mooij Climbing Air Bag, simple and safe solution for box storage The request from growers for a simple and safe solution for the vertical sealing of air ducts in modern box storage facilities has led to the development by Mooij Agro in Hegelsom of the vertical Climbing Air Bag. The company noticed that, in practice, it usually needed two or more people to mount the vertical airbags necessary for the storage of boxes. According to Mooij, this not only requires considerable manpower and time, people also often have to work at unsafe heights. The Mooij Climbing Air Bag has been designed in a way that it can be simply operated by one person, and it can be easily and quickly mounted and removed. From the bottom up The existing airbags have to be secured to the highest boxes or to the horizontal airbag. This newly-designed, stand-alone Climbing Air Bag can be filled with air from the ground until the desired height is reached and the duct is sealed. Whenever a stack of boxes needs to be removed, the Climbing Air Bag can simply be deflated and the boxes removed. The Bag can then be quickly and easily moved to a new position where it can be filled with air again in just a few minutes. Durable material During the development of the new product, Mooij explained that it is very important to use a material that is especially robust and durable, and at the same time flexible and easy in use. It’s very important that a grower is able to inflate and deflate the Climbing Air Bag regularly, without any damage to the material as a result of splinters from the wooden boxes, for example. To achieve this, Mooij attached a special device on the inside of the Climbing air bag which makes it possible for the air to be filled from the inside and also rolls up again towards the inside. ● Potato World 2017 • number 3 9 Pagina 8

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