Ideally potatoes chosen for processing
should have a high specific gravity/ percent solids as this
will minimize the volume of water that needs evaporating,
but the reality is that these potatoes are frequently selected
for the production of chips and French fries leaving a mixed
feed stock for the dried potato manufacturers to work with.
Dryers are typically set up to ensure that the wettest of
product is dried sufficiently for shipment, but this results
in over drying the bulk of the product costing the processor
twice; in terms of unnecessary energy usage and in lost sales
Potatoes are cleaned, skinned, sliced, blanched, cooled, washed
and steam cooked for 15 minutes to an hour depending on the
% solids, prior to drum drying(dehydration).
Measurement Location & Gauge
The MCT NIR gauge is typically located above the collection
conveyor for the potato flakes that peel off the drum. NIR
is a surface biased measurement. In order to obtain representative
gauge readings, the gauge should be viewing a minimum bed
depth of 0.5” of well mixed product.