Processing 70,000 tons of carrots per year, including 20,000 tons in a specialized organic processing plant, Abenhardt is one of the largest carrot packhouses in Germany. The family business dates back to the 16th century, but has specialized in cultivating and processing carrots since 1950. In the Datteln region, carrots are harvested between June and December, with storage carrots processed between January and May. Contractors Europe-wide also supply carrots to Abenhardt to meet quantity requirements and ensure year-round supply.
For Mr. Abenhardt and for his food retail customers, “quality of carrot supply is mandatory”. Gentle handling and effective processing equipment are crucial to meeting that quality expectation. The company invested in a Wyma Vege-Polisher™ five years ago and experienced first-hand its smart engineering and reliable operation. When a major upgrade of the plant was planned to increase capacity to 30t/hr, Wyma was contacted. “We had an intensive, constructive and innovative collaboration with Wyma from initial consultation to installation. It is a pleasure to work so well with a supplier, and it provides a basis for a continuous partnership.”
Two Wyma lines run parallel to each other. To begin, Hedgehogs remove carrot tops, leaves and soil. Carrots are gently flumed to the two Barrel Washers for an immersed wash in a rotary perforated drum. The two Mega-Polishers follow, and polish the carrots to the highest quality. The carrots then move on to the grading area of the pack-house, where two Lift Roller Sizers accurately separate them into consistent sizes. “Our customers praise the appearance of the carrots with the Mega-Polisher™, as well as the consistent sizing results. There is no damage to produce and we believe we have also increased shelf-life since the line upgrade”. The line is also equipped with a Wyma Rotary Filter Screen which removes organic matters from the water used in the Mega-Polisher™. Mr. Abenhardt says that this recycling system contributes to the reliable operations of the Mega-Polishers.
“With the Wyma design and equipment solution, we have achieved gentle handling, absence of drop transitions in the line, optimal polishing result and reduced water consumption. Furthermore, we obtain the most accurate sizing we have experienced”.
Abenhardt’s carrots are now used as a benchmark for other growers and suppliers to the retail market. With such a competitive edge achieved, Mr. Abenhardt is confident the family business can continue to leave up to its proud history.