Collaboration between K-Patents and a Global Producer of Tomato Paste

The customer's company's quality assurance principles, standards and technology help maintain their reputation as one of the most trusted brands worldwide. K-Patents has numerous installations at the customers tomato plants worldwide. There are several reasons why the tomato paste producer has chosen K-Patents Sanitary Refractometers for their plants.

The refratometers can handle the higher temperatures in evaporation. Tomato paste is highly viscous, so the measurement works only with a wash system that K-Patents can provide. Our spinel prism is strong enough to handle the seeds and other particles left in the tomato mass. In addition, the refractometers are tolerant of the process vibration.

The Success of K-Patents in Greece

The tomato manufacturer has two plants in Greece, one in Athens and another in Aliartos. Both plants use K-Patents Sanitary Refractometers.

The tomato paste manufacturing process is relatively simple. First, the tomatoes are sorted and washed, and then the peels and seeds are removed to guarantee a smooth end product. Next, the tomato juice is led to the evaporators. Usually the concentration of the tomato juice is around 8 Brix but in the evaporators the concentration raises up to 32 Brix. Finally, before the filling line, the tomato paste is sterilized.

For successful performance, the producer needs reliable instrumentation for their production process. It is vital that the tomato concentrate processing line operates constantly at full capacity. It is not possible to work at reduced capacity, intermittently or every other day. Every time the tomato processing line is shut down, all the machinery must be cleaned with the subsequent loss of several working hours, wastage of both a great amount of water and great deal of product contained in the evaporator.

Furthermore, fresh and ripe tomatoes cannot be held in storage for processing at ambient temperatures of over 30°C (86°F) for more than 24-48 hours, as this will result in an inferior, low quality finished product and low Brix level. The entire production cycle is carried out according to extremely stringent sanitary and hygiene standards.

With K-Patents’ in-line measurement the producer has been able to optimize their process. Due to the accurate detection, the concentration of the tomato paste is very stable. The K-Patents Sanitary Refractometer is installed on the evaporator outlet. It provides a signal to the controller, which adjusts the evaporator inlet flow and thereby regulates the Brix value. With this, the producer has been able to maximize their evaporator efficiency.