Potato peel is about 1.5-2% by weight of a potato and accounts for about 20% of the potato’s nutrition. During the automated peeling processes, larger peel pieces are screened for animal feed or disposal, while resultant waste water is either further treated or disposed as effluent. This places a burden on waste water treatment facilities, a cost burden on the manufacturer, and wastes a potentially valuable source of nutrients, energy, starch and fiber. In some processing facilities, some starch may be recovered, however it is considered inferior as it is discolored.
New high value uses of potato peel components and improved waste processing equipment are needed. Inventions that provide an additional income source to potato processors, or reduce waste treatment costs to the processors would be beneficial.
Unlike peel that is removed in relatively thick slices by home cooks together with a significant portion of potato flesh, commercial peeling operations are far more efficient at removing the peel with less potato flesh wastage. Commercial peeling (described in more detail below) uses a significant amount of rinse water and as such produces a potato peel waste slurry, with peel pieces ranging in size from <1mm to 5mm. The removed peel is high in dietary fiber, starch, antioxidants, polyphenols and other components. (read more)
The waste slurry may contain up to 97% rinse water. The waste is both colloidal and contains dissolved solids (including starch). Therefore, primary treatment of the waste by settling of solids from the effluent is not entirely effective. Its waste is a significant disposal cost to potato processors and an environmental burden in terms of water usage. It is also a burden on the municipal waste treatment system, due to potentially high volumes sent through sewers for treatment. It should be noted that the effluent is often at least partially treated prior to disposal. (read more)
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