Air Dry Line
Since the ‘60s Von Felten SpA has been producting air dried vegetables, agricultural products dehydrated by means of meeting the products with a dry, hot air flow, which take out moisture from raw material, once cleaned, washed and cut. This process, apparently easy, needs a great technological background, as well as agricultural skills, in order to keep unaltered fresh raw materials peculiarity. First of all it’s a must to have the proper source of fresh vegetables, who can guarantee the contracts in terms of volumes and timing, as well as organoleptic features and homogeneity of the product itself. Then it needs to master the know-how in dehydration technology, to avoid damage of product in process.
Von Felten SpA choice is for a factory layout merging high volume process with flexibility, in order to assure high production rate, and chance to process niche products too. High throughput is obtained by a double Sandvik stainless steel belt line, followed by a Gimar finisher. This dryer is suitable as last step of dehydration, after Sandvik start, as well as dryer itself for small productions. Factory layout is very simple: it’s a matter of entering fresh raw material through first room where is, at the need, washed, cutted, blanched, ecc... Then product is transferred onto steel belts running through heating hoods, where it meet a stream of hot, dry air, who takes out moisture from raw material.
Product, passing through decreasing temperature hoods, with gradients established in function of the different vegetables, comes out of the line (about 90 m of length) with less than 15% moisture. The Gimar finisher reduce then the moisture to the final desired level and bring the product to homogeneity within its mass. The following step is that product, once dried, is sorted by electronic devices, sieved at the proper cut size (if necessary), passed through a metal detector, in order to eliminate every possible foreign object.
Immediately after metal detector, bags are sealed and transferred to warehouse. All over the world there are Air Dried vegetables productions, but Von Felten SpA products are highly reputated for their microbiology value, as well as for sensorial features. The complete traceability, from farm to finished product is the final seal on quality guarantee.