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success story oerlemans, the netherlands


Oerlemans Foods is one of the leading specialists in growing and processing frozen vegetables, potatoes and fruit. Oerlemans joined forces with TOMRA Sorting Solutions and decided to invest in a brand new steam peeling processing line.

As a grower, food processor and supplier, Oerlemans specializes in freshly frozen vegetables, fruit and potato products. Oerlemans offers an extremely broad assortment of high quality products for the international food service, retail and industrial markets. Oerlemans grows, harvests and processes its own food products while showing respect for nature. Since the whole food chain is managed in-house, Oerlemans has all the expertise for growing, harvesting and processing. This allows them to continuously make improvements and to meet specific client wishes very quickly.

Oerlemans decided to invest in a new steam peeling line at their processing plant in The Netherlands. The steam peeling line with a capacity of 25 tons per hour incorporates the latest TOMRA equipment including the Dry Peel Separator (DPS) and steam control process to achieve the highest revenue, lowest steam costs and reduced waste on the food market.

Efficient and maintenance friendly

Oerlemans’ decision-making process did not happen overnight. Oerlemans researched various peeling solutions for their processing line against their performance criteria before choosing TOMRA. “During a visit to another plant we had seen a peel separator in production and we were impressed with the straightforward concept and effectivity of the system,” said Gerard Busser, Manager Manufacturing Services at Oerlemans Foods.

“We considered other companies as well, but we decided to team up with TOMRA because they offer the best technological and technical solutions. In particular, the efficiency and maintenance of the steam peeler is very good.”

“TOMRA has a long history in steam peeling. They have more than forty years’ experience in supplying solutions to the global fresh and processed food industry. We were convinced that this expertise gives them a competitive edge,” clarifies Busser.

High return on investment

The TOMRA steam peeling line at the processing plant in The Netherlands consists of the Orbit steam peeler with the latest steam saving technology, the TOMRA steam accumulator and the DPS for low peel loss and dry peel separation.

“We process up to 25 tons per hour of vegetable products.” The steam peeler can operate at a high steam supply pressure using a TOMRA steam accumulator to achieve very low steam times and providing minimal peel loss. The steam peeler includes TOMRA’s patented mixing process and TOMRA’s steam saving process, which enhances the efficiency of the peeling process.

“TOMRA’s steam peeling line highly exceeded our expectations. The combination of the Orbit with the DPS showed substantial revenue improvements compared to the Orbit and brusher in our other plant. This yield improvement was achieved even during the first production runs,” states Busser.

Over the years Oerlemans has had all types of post-peel brushers in their plants. “The DPS offers the best peel removal and an outstanding final product quality.”

The design reduces the number of components to stock and maintain. All drum drive bearings are outside the chassis and easy to inspect, maintain and lubricate. Removal of drive assembly is made easy with rollout support brackets. The combined effect is that maintenance costs will be significantly reduced compared to previous starch and peel separation products.

“The complete steam peeling line allows us to achieve an excellent final product quality, with a high yield and the amount of heat that is transferred to the product is also very low.”

“The TOMRA peeling line control system and service and support team also contributed to a good start and a very good process. TOMRA has always been very good in the design and process of the peeling machines. The local support from the team in The Netherlands has greatly contributed to a smooth installation at Oerlemans.”