03/03/2022 | Belgium

Cleaner potatoes and higher yield: German producer installs TOMRA 3A sorter

Johann Kraut Landwirtschaft is a German potato industry expert: the family-run business located on 90-hectare (220-acre) at Bergkirchen, Bavaria, today has over 50 years of experience. 


The company is focused on supplying the food industry, mainly cultivating three different varieties of potatoes to produce French Fries. 


Potatoes destined for French Fries production must contain a certain starch content. Johann Kraut mainly grows the Fontane variety and supplies a large regional buyer of Potatoes for French fry production.


Effective foreign materials removal with TOMRA 3A 

To guarantee a consistent supply of quality product, Johann Kraut sorts potatoes after harvesting to eliminate dirt and stones, then stores them with ventilation at 8°C. Prolonging storage time and preventing the potatoes from damage is possible only by first eliminating dirt clods, stones or green potatoes. 

For this mission the company utilizes the TOMRA 3A 1200 sorter (equipped with a 1200mm-wide infeed conveyor). This machine is installed at the entrance to the warehouse, where the potatoes are sorted prior to going into storage. 

Due to specific soils, lots of foreign objects are harvested with the potatoes, so robustness and durability are a must. Other important features are a user-friendly design and high safety standards. The decision to invest in the TOMRA 3A was taken after recommendations from another user in the region, says Andreas Kraut, junior manager at Johann Kraut Landwirtschaft.

The TOMRA 3A is equipped with multi-spectral near-infrared (NIR) sensors. After the potatoes are fed to the machine through an integrated infeed belt, they are scanned in flight to sort out foreign materials from the harvest in a finger-based ejection process that reduces loss of good produce. The potatoes continue their free fall onto a trampoline belt that prevents them from damage. 

Prepared to meet increasing demand

This investment has paid off. Optical sorting has lowered the workload during harvest time, and the result – cleaner potatoes and a higher daily yield. 

According to Andreas Kraut, in good conditions, it is possible to sort 40 tons per hour. In times of increased demand, the sorter saved them time and helped to meet their tight schedules. 

Kraut added that the relatively large distance between the camera and the ejection process reduced the need for cleaning and enabled the sorter to operate continuously. 


TOMRA Food is a producer of sensor-based sorting machines and integrated post-harvest equipment for the food industry. The company uses one of the world’s most advanced grading, sorting, peeling and analytical technology.

Their main goal is to help their customers to improve returns, gain operational efficiencies, minimise food waste, ensure quality and a safe food supply with sustainable technologies. 


Their solutions are installed at food growers, packers and processors around the world. This allows businesses to maximise productivity and recovery rates, while reducing food waste and developing the overall quality of the produce.


If you wish to update your sorting equipment or learn more about TOMRA, send your inquiry today



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