Bush Brothers, a leading canning company in Tennessee, is making excellent use of a Vincent VP-16 dewatering press. They have integrated the press into several facets of their business so as to achieve outstanding synergy.
The three principal products being processed are cabbage, green beans, and potatoes. In the processing a considerable load of waste products such as culls, stems, trims, leaves, and peels are generated. The press was acquired to reduce the bulk of the waste materials and to improve the quality of these materials as a cattle feed.
In operation it has been found that high concentrations of low fiber materials, such as whole potatoes and dried beans, press poorly. That is, they become mush: the cake is not firm and solids pass into the expelled liquid. To avoid this condition the plant operators make a point of mixing in fibrous material, such as cabbage leaves, as needed.
The cake produced by the press is fed into a trench silo where it is conveyed to the company’s cattle feeding area. The cake is referred to as silage, and it is fed directly to the cattle.
The press liquor produced in the press is drained to the company’s waste water pit. This pit is of considerable capacity as the canning factory generates up to one million gallons per day of waste water. The water from the pit is used to irrigate the company’s pasture grounds. Thus the nutrients in the press liquor are ultimately used to fertilize the fields.
In summary, the synergy of the Bush Brothers operation is self evident. A wide range of waste materials are processed through a single press that converts them into useful by-products for a minimal cost.
September 1996 update: Few canners can afford a VP model press for waste disposal service. For that reason the new Series KP presses have been developed. These models are currently undergoing field trials.