Producing ready-to-eat salads at higher capacity

Producing ready-to-eat salads at higher capacity

A processing line for the production of ready-to-eat salads was recently put into operation at South American salad producer Verdeagua. Wanting to adapt its production to higher capacities, the salad producer installed machines supplied by KRONEN on its processing line.

Verdeagua started out with the cultivation of small quantities of salad in hydroponics back in 2000. Today, its products include the  delicate Salanova lettuce, baby leaf salad, spinach, rocket, as well as watercress and basil. All products are packed as ready-to-eat vegetables and are delivered to customers in retail and the foodservice industry with high-quality requirements.

The Salanova lettuce is characterised by small leaves with thin, short mid ribs which do not need to be removed before consumption — resulting in less waste and more edible product.

Sustainability is an important aspect at Verdeagua with its processing as well. Furthermore, food safety plays a key role as the aim of the company is to provide safe and healthy ready-to-eat products.

The company is well aware of its responsibility towards consumers and pays attention to hygienic processing of its products, during which products are cleaned thoroughly but damaged as little as possible. The new processing line installed enables a gentle but thorough washing and dewatering of the different products.

The new washing and dewatering line at Verdeagua consists of a trimming table, a conveyor belt, a washing machine as well as a salad spin-dryer of the latest generation.

The washing machine, a GEWA 3800V ECO, enables a thorough and at the same time gentle washing of different products due to the adjustable water spiral and the changeable vibration screens with different hole sizes, which allow for an adaptation to various product features. It can process up to, for example, 350 kg of baby leaf or 200 kg of basil per hour.

Following the washing and a first dewatering by the vibration screen, the salad and vegetable spin-dryer, KS-100 PLUS, dewaters the products gently by automatically changing the spinning direction during a spin cycle.

The spin cycles can be adapted to different products, since individual settings for each product can be stored in the programmable memory locations. The processing capacity of the salad spin-dryer is up to, for example, 190 kg of baby leaf or 130 kg of rocket per hour.

The processing line at Verdeagua processes 100 kg of product per hour.

“We are pleased to have these machines in use in Uruguay for the first time. This will allow us to open the market and serve more customers in the future,” said Sebastián Figuerón, Technical Manager at Verdeagua.

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