Increased yield, better quality, & greater savings with Elea PEF Advantage belt systems for French fries

Energy savings

Replacement of the thermal preheater reduces energy consumption by about 90%. Increased heat transfer enables reduced blanching, drying and frying times.

Increased yield

A softer structure causes less cell damage during cutting, resulting in less starch leakage, feathering and breakage.

Improved quality

Elea PEF helps to produce longer French fries with less crust separation and a more uniform colour.

New product opportunity

The softened structure enables processing of hard-to-handle raw materials such as sweet potato and cassava and provides new cuts and product development opportunities.

Reduced oil uptake

The smoother cutting surface reduces the fat uptake into the product by about 10%, providing monetary savings in production.

Higher yield, less breakage, smoother cut, longer fries, better colour, reduced oil uptake and new product opportunities 

Find the right Elea PEF Advantage system for your French fry line

We have installed more than 175 Elea PEF systems globally, working for some of the world’s leading food producers. Every Elea PEF Advantage systems share the same 24/7 production capability and are built to operate under extreme conditions.
Elea PEF Advantage systems have a fully flexible processing capacity. Able to process a single potato or a full load with no impact on the PEF treatment and putting you fully in control of your production planning. All Elea systems are designed to be easily and fully integrated into your existing production line with minimal disruption.

Exert greater control over your French fry production line with Elea PEF systems. PEF benefits selection, cutting, blanching, drying, frying, and product quality.

Potato Selection

PEF pre-treatment compensates for natural variations in the quality of the raw material, allowing new and normally more difficult to process varieties to be used in production.

Peeling

PEF treatment is independent of the peeling step. As PEF is a volumetric treatment, the size, composition or cleanliness of the potatoes does not affect it. PEF does not affect the peeling process positively or negatively. However, cleaned and unpeeled potatoes allow for the lowest increase in conductivity of the processing water in the PEF and, therefore, help reduce water consumption.

PEF Advantage Belt in French Fry processing

Elea PEF Advantage treatment

The PEF treatment is a purely physical process and does not change the composition of the raw material. Due to the applied electrical pulses, the ions on both sides of the cell membrane, which functions as an isolator, are ionized, leading to an attraction of the ions and forming pores in the cell membrane. This allows for leakage of water and water-soluble compounds from the raw material, resulting in a softer, more flexible product. At the same time, macromolecules such as starch are retained in the cell.

Cutting

Easier cutting due to PEF softening provides greater yields, improved cut consistency and longer knife durability. Improved slicing also results in less waste and breakage.

Blanching

The goal of the blanching process in French fry production is two-fold. On the one hand, enzymes like peroxidase are inactivated to prevent browning during the production process. On the other hand, the French fry is pre-cooked before frying. Due to the improved heat transfer through the potato, it is possible to reduce the blanching temperatures and/or times, resulting in energy and, therefore, monetary savings in the production process.

Drying

The PEF induced open-cell structure enhances mass transfer through the French fry and improves water removal during drying. Better water removal enables significant energy savings in the dryer and reduces moisture content going into the fryer, providing further energy savings.

PEF Advantage Belt system

Frying

Due to the open cell structure, the mass and heat transfer throughout the French fry is improved. Therefore, it is possible to adapt frying times and temperatures to achieve a gentler frying process. This allows for a brighter colour in the final product and the possibility to increase processing capacity. Due to the smooth surface structure, the drainage of oil after being removed from the fryer is improved, resulting in a reduction of fat content. Finally, due to the more uniform distribution of water throughout the cells, the starch gelatinization improves the final product’s crunchiness.

Smooth surface potato cut without feathering

Better quality French fries

Due to the more flexible structure after PEF treatment, it is possible to produce more significant quantities of longer French fries, with less breakage and a more uniform filling due to fewer air pockets. Additionally, due to the smoother cutting surface, the colour formation during frying is more uniform, resulting in a more even browning. This also applies to the coating process. As the surface of the potato is smooth, the uptake of the coating is also more even, resulting in an overall better-looking product.

Easier cutting, greater flexibility, new product opportunity

PEF gently opens the pores in the potatoes cell membrane, transforming the structure of the product. It’s a clean, gentle, targeted process. After treatment, the potato is smoother, softer, has better strength and flexibility.

Improved cutting, smoother surface

Untreated
PEF
Untreated
PEF
Above are scanning electron microscopy images of untreated and treated potato slices, captured at equal magnification.

Reduced Oil Content

PEF
Core        →        PEF
Untreated
The smoother surface produced by PEF results in less oil uptake, as illustrated by the above confocal laser scanning pictures of a French fry.
Protein displayed as green and oil as red.

Elea PEF Advantage benefits for French fries in greater detail

Click on the drop-down menus below for a more in-depth explanation of some of the PEF benefits for chips.

Reduced starch loss

Less starch leakage during washing, because fewer cells are mechanically damaged during cutting.
(Data from an 8 t/h final product line)

Longer knife durability. Up to 60% fewer knives are needed.

PEF softens the product making cutting easier. The effect is even more noticeable in harder products such as sweet potato, cassava, taro, etc.

Cutting force reduction with PEF of up to 50%

The PEF induced open cell structure and water release softens the raw material making cutting easier.

No crust separation

No crust separation and an overall better appearance.
(The PEF treated French fry can be seen on the left-hand side of the opposite picture).

Up to 50% fewer breaking losses

Improved cutting and a smoother surface results in less breakage.

Less feathering

The smoother cut enables
• less feathering
• even coloured product
• better adhesion of seasoning

The figures here are for example purposes only and are dependent on the raw material.

Elea application support for French fries

From your initial brief to final installation, we quickly get your new PEF system working perfectly for your product.
Each and every PEF solution we provide for our clients is tailored to their specific requirements. 

We can trial your product at our specialist PEF piloting facility at our headquarters in Quakenbrück, Germany, or we can run trials on location at your production line.

Once trials are finished you can be sure that you getting the most optimal PEF treatment for your product.

Our scientists and engineers work with our clients every step of the way offering expert guidance and professional advice for your chip product. We take your product concept and apply our industry-leading knowledge and experience to designing a system that will deliver greatest value.

Technical care and support

We offer a range of service options including remote monitoring and 24 hours support.

Installation and commissioning

Our specialist installation teams work closely with our customers to ensure a smooth, swift and successful commissioning of our systems into your production line.

24 / 7 / 365 Support

As part of our service contract we supply each customer with round the clock technical support. With our team of support engineers, options for remote maintenance and on-site spare parts, we keep you up, running and efficient.

Remote monitoring

Optionally the ELEA PEF-systems can be connected for remote diagnostic and support by our Customer Service Department. For this option, ELEA can offer a specific package.

With our team of support engineers, options for remote maintenance and on-site spare parts, we keep you up, running and efficient.

Amica testimonial for Elea PEF Advantage

In early 2021 Elea held a webinar dedicated to PEF chip production. Mr Frank Bianchi, plant manager for Amica chips kindly introduced the webinar and you can watch his testimonial here.

Working in partnership to develop PEF systems for the potato industry

In this video, we show you the process of the development and the implementation of a Pulsed Electric Field Belt System into the production line of the German manufacturer of potato products Wernsing Feinkost GmbH in 2012.

The world’s longest French fry?

Elea attempted to fry the world’s longest French fry in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. Cut in one piece from a single potato and reaching 314 cm in length, the world record attempt was conceived as a way of demonstrating PEF’s remarkable and transformative effects on food. Afterwards, another attempt was made with a sweet potato with even greater results reaching 347 cm.

Meet the Elea French fries team

Kevin Hill
R&D Engineer (M. Sc.)
Jimmy Kinsella
Engineering Manager
Johannes Pfeiffer
Sales Manager
The Elea PEF Advantage French fries team includes process engineers, food and biotechnologists, mechanical and electrical engineers and more – all of whom specialise in Pulsed Electric Field.