Food sorting and peeling solutions
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Success story pizzoli, italy

When Italian producer of retail and food service products Pizzoli decided to improve the performance of their steam peeling line, they partnered with TOMRA Sorting.

Pizzoli is a company with an impressive history in potato processing. Founded in 1926, it was the first company in Italy to wash, select and pack potatoes. Pizzoli introduced their frozen French fries to the Italian market in the nineteen sixties, they are now the Italian retail market leader and are rapidly growing in the food service market. Today, the company processes around 90,000 tons of raw material per year.


TOMRA Sorting had worked with Pizzoli for a number of years, discussing the challenges that industry leading processors face and the technology that TOMRA Sorting provides to optimise the peeling line process. The necessity to achieve higher yields for their applications encouraged them to partner with TOMRA Sorting.
Alberto Manaresi, Technical Director, explains: “Given our wide variety of products, we need to change potato type and variety in the steam peeling line up to six times a day. This makes manual control of the peeling line almost impossible and can result in lower yields, higher peeling losses and increased steam consumption. 

“Our objective was to obtain the maximum peeling performance and yield for every potato type and variety; while achieving an automated peeling line solution with data acquisition.”

Alberto Manaresi, Technical Director 


TOMRA Sorting conducted a full analysis of the peeling line at the customer’s facility. The process line was equipped with a steam peeler with a manual peeling line control solution. The objective was to improve the process control of this line using the latest peel scanning and sorting solutions. To address the issue of processing different potato types and varieties with different requirements of peeling quality; an ODENBERG Peel Scanner 2 was installed to analyze the quality of the peeled potatoes and automatically control the steam times of the steam peeler.

“The Peel Scanner allows us to increase yield. Now, thanks to consistent peeling quality, all the other equipment in the line is easier to control. We also have remote access to the production data in real time, which allows us to organize production, and we can also review the historic production data.”

Alberto Manaresi, Technical Director 

Achieving automatic steam peeler control, deliver real-time images and constant quality monitoring, the ODENBERG Peel Scanner is an established product that has been installed in many of the world’s leading potato processing facilities. TOMRA now has over 50 Peel Scanner 2 units installed.


“Peel scanning of potatoes was first introduced by ODENBERG in 1995. The process involves the inspection of peeled potatoes after steam peeling and peel separation to record the remaining peel/skin and defects (rot, scab & green). The peel scanner uses the data to automatically control the steam peeler to achieve the customers specification for peel removal. Steam times can be adjusted in 0.25 - 0.5 second intervals achieving a highly efficient steam peeling process.”, explains Eamonn Cullen, Market Unit Manager Peeling with TOMRA Sorting.

“The improved accuracy of the ODENBERG Peel Scanner 2, with its 0.4 mm image analysis of peeled potatoes provides the customer with continuous peel quality, defect and dimensional data”.”

Eamonn Cullen, Market Unit Manager Peeling at TOMRA Sorting 

“We have further invested in the technology and are now supplying new Peel Scanner software with continuous data trend graphs that display and communicate up to the minute data to customer’s network and SCADA systems.”, continues Eamonn Cullen. “After the installation was completed the results were dramatic.” Pizolli’s technical director explains. “The ODENBERG Peel Scanner 2 has enabled us to reduce our steam peeling times, on average by about 30% and increase the peeling quality. We now achieve steam times that we never reached before.” “Furthermore the user interface is intuitive, easy to use and our operators learned to use it in a very short time. It is also available remotely on my PC, which allows me to connect at any time, even from my home, to control the peeling line.”

The Peel Scanner is capable of capturing accurate size and quality data for peeled and unpeeled potatoes. Multiple scan heads in various parts of the process line have been installed and are connected to a single control system. This technology offers the customers now have more control over the peeling process with a continuous control solution for a variety of potato types and quality. Pizzoli have not only invested in the ODENBERG Peel Scanner, but also installed an ODENBERG Halo sorter after the steam peeler and an ODENBERG FPS sorter to sort the raw product. The ODENBERG FPS has dramatically reduced the soil and foreign material entering the washing line; which has increased the capacity and reduced downtime for maintenance and cleaning.


Alberto Manaresi, Technical Director states “In the first few weeks we have seen a yield improvement up to a few percentage points. When considering the actual production of potato products this means a saving of thousands of tons of potatoes”. “Working closely with customers and delivering solutions for their needs is an important part of our business. Customers expect processing savings year on year and by continuing to deliver new products and new solutions we build long term benefits for our customer”, says Eamonn Cullen. With continued development in steaming peel and sorting technology TOMRA Sorting will continue to be an innovator in the potato processing industry.

If you are interested in a free demonstration with your own product or if you need more information, please contact us directly.