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    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 10 December 2008 Referencing Hub media

    About 15% waste is produced during potato plate manufacturing. Currently, it’s all fed to local pigs. Could the waste be used for any other purpose?


    Richard Williams (Potatopak, now re-branded as earthpac)

    The amount of waste is heavier than the plate, but it’s still saturated with steam, it’s been gelatinised so it’s all gooey and it’s got water in it. Because that’s the nature of the process, the fact that there’s vents around the edge of the mould so excess material and the steam – which is the water that’s in the mix – can come out of the product. In actual fact, about 15% comes out as waste, which is all obviously integrated into the costings and everything else, but then that waste will be fed to the pigs.

    Pigs love them, they’ve been eating them for years, and we’re also looking at other uses for the waste. You could grind it and put it back in but you could only put in about 10% because that starch has already been gelatinised, and so it’s not going to expand any more. So you need fresh starch so it will expand and give you the honeycomb in the middle.

    We’re going to look at using it for chicken feed as well. We’ve been working with Crop and Food [now Plant & Food Research]. There is a strong potential there where we just add the required ingredients to our waste. It has to be all ground up and put into pellets because chooks are very particular over the size of the pellets they eat. So it’s always a learning curve.