After receiving a State Government grant of $45,960 last year to make its Yandina plants eco-efficient, Queensland’s Buderim Ginger factory is slashing water use by 35 megalitres, saving $200,000 a year in energy bills and reducing the volume of waste water by 19 megalitres, all courtesy of new recycling equipment designed, made and fitted in 2007.
The company employs 300 people and exports to dozens of countries around the world. It has the capacity to process more than 6,000 tonnes of raw ginger a year.
Buderim Ginger Process and Engineering Manager Steve Dennis says an added bonus of the project is that the ginger retains more of its flavour.
“Because ginger crops are harvested in February and March only, the company must store a whole year’s worth of produce using a preservative solution until it’s processed.
When ready to be prepared for shelves, the residue from the solution is flushed from the ginger. This was previously done by rinsing it in copious amounts of hot water – heated to 70 or 80 degrees – which was then discarded down the drain.
The company now dissolves the preservative using a form of oxygen rather than heat.
This is because much of the potent oils within the raw ginger are no longer being lost down the drain along with the water…
There has also been a significant increase in the amount of ginger we’re yielding during processing because it is no longer as heat stressed, so there is less damage and less waste.”
Qld Minister for Regional Development and Industry Desley Boyle says:
“Buderim Ginger has an impressive history in Queensland since starting out on the Sunshine Coast more than 60 years ago and it continues to be a progressive firm with its latest efforts to work smarter.”
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