Automatic peelers are used often in the fruit processing sector. Now, factories with high-capacity demand mostly use the ‘round-type peeling unit’, but it has a high wastage problem. For businesses that process small sized fruits, when peeling accuracy is guaranteed, productivity becomes a challenge. How to balance maximum productivity and minimum waste is a much-debated concern in the fruit processing sector.
Maximum capacity and minimum waste
Astra is an innovative Japanese peeler developer. The company’s industrial scale peeler FAP-1001 is very popular in fruit processing sectors. The sales manager Ryo Takeshita introduced the uniqueness of FAP-1001. “Unlike other types of peeler in the market, FAP-1001 uses a ‘blade peeling method’ and shares a similarity with the manual peeling principle. The blade is straight, sharp and thin. When turning, the blade moves smoothly, while always tightly pressed to the surface of the fruit.
Take kiwi fruit as an example, we recently sold one unit of FAP-1001 to a kiwi processing factory. The factory used to use a ‘round-type peeling unit from another brand, but when peeling a 35-45mm small size yellow kiwi, or the over ripened soft ones, almost two-thirds of the fruit flesh was cut off, which resulted in a very high waste. So, the factory contacted us, asking if we can provide a better solution. After testing, the factory has now replaced all processing lines with our FAP-1001. All kiwi fruit sizes, can be quickly peeled with minimum waste.”
As an industrial scale peeler, FAP-1001 works at high speed, with a capacity of 1200 fruits/hour. “This is especially suitable for fruit processing factories, large scale catering companies and beverage and limoncello factories that require a high yield rate.” Ryo said.
“Speaking of beverage and limoncello factories, citrus zest is used often in the beverage sector. The yellow outer skin contains high levels of aromas, which can serve as flavoring for drinks. However, the white inner skin tastes bitter and needs to be peeled out very cleanly. How to separate the yellow skin from the white one is the biggest challenges during processing. Now, factories either peel the zest manually, or first peel the whole skin and then cut yellow layer from the white part. Either way requires a manual application and costly labor. But our machine allows a high peeling speed with peeling accuracy.” Ryo said. “Besides kiwis and citrus, the machine also works well for more than 20 types of fruits and vegetables.”
Simple performance supported by complicated technologies
“A peeler is a combination and balance of many elements such as the material of the blade, the shape of the peeler, the way it touches the fruit and the way it moves and speed control, etc. All these factors play a role and interact with each other. We can say that behind the simple performance, is our continuous investment in R&D and an enormous amount of time spent experimenting. This also allows our machine a high durability.” Ryo said.
When asked about maintenance and after sales service, Ryo said, “Though the working principle sounds complicated, the operation is actually very simple, and not much maintenance is needed. We rarely receive calls from clients who experience problems. But if they have any questions or need us to check something, we can easily check online. Another advantage is that the machine is very easy to install. Under the covid-19 environment travel is not easy, so when the machine is delivered on site, local staff can easily install and test the machine by themselves, with our engineers’ online support.”
Varieties of peeling machines
Besides FAP-1001, ASTRA manufactures varieties of peeling machines for various demands. Such as, tabletop compact peeler KA-700H, pineapple, melon and mango peeler KA-750. This year, ASTRA is launching a totally new pineapple peeling machine designed for supermarkets, KA-725.