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New carrot cleaner gets rave review

Wout Vos from Polderfresh is very satisfied with the carrot cleaner DT Dijkstra supplied to his company at the end of June. “Because of experiences we had with another brand, we had a few specific desires. DT Dijkstra built a machine exactly as we wanted it. It is a fine cleaner.”

Polderfresh in Espel is a large player in the carrot processing world in the middle of one of the most important carrot cultivation areas in the Netherlands. The company processes 20,000 tonnes of carrot every year. Besides cleaning and packing, Polderfresh also supplies semifinished product (carrot pieces) to cutting plants. Polderfresh is the largest processor of organic carrots in the Netherlands.

Polderfresh has separated processing lines for conventional and organic carrots. Last year it was decided to replace both carrot cleaners after 40 years of service. The old cleaners had a round slatted drum. The first new machine arrived in November. This carrot cleaner has an octagonal drum with laser-cut slots. It soon transpired that little rocks sometimes got caught in the slots, causing damage to the carrots.

“We therefore wanted the second machine to be equipped with a slatted drum,” says Wouter Vos, Head Technical Service and manager of Polderfresh. In addition, Vos did not want a round slatted drum like they had previously, but an octagonal one. Similar drums are standard in potato cleaners, but not for carrots. “The product is cleaned better in an octagonal drum,” says Vos. The carrots roll around more, and clean each other. A slatted drum also removes more of the leaves, which means less lubrication in the line and polisher. Furthermore, it is more product-friendly, because the carrots fall less often. “But the supplier of the first machine did not want to incorporate these changes.”

CVT technique
Vos was not deterred, and did some research. During a conversation with DT Dijkstra, this machine builder turned out to be capable and willing to build a carrot cleaner that met all of his wishes. The machine was fitted with the desired octagonal slatted drum, and the slats were not made of hardwood, but from stainless steel with rounded edges. Because the slatted drum, which is six metres long, is relatively heavy, it was equipped with a stronger drive. For that drive, stainless steel-reinforced belts were used, which are also used in CVT machines. The carrot cleaner is provided with a food safe PVC mesh belt with catches for drainage. A similar belt requires less maintenance than conventional steel bar belts.

The machine came into use in June, and after four months experience, Vos is enthusiastic. “This is the machine I wanted,” he smiles. “The DTD cleaner revolves around the organic carrot, and that is often more difficult to clean, because the soil is stuck to the carrot more. But the carrot comes out of the machine very clean.” 

Vos also cannot complain about the capacity of approximately 15 tonnes of carrot per hour. However, the biggest compliment is unexpected. “Someone from another machine builder was here recently,” Vos says, “and he was also very enthusiastic about the design and the clean result.”

Source: DT Dijkstra
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