Potato flour production  
(Kartoffelmel produktion)


Potato flour is produced is from potatoes. The product is composed of potato starch and water and is also referred to as potato starch.

Process description

The present data refer to potato flour production in Karup Kartoffelmelfabrik. The main processes are following: 1) potatoes from local farmers are transported to the factory by trucks, 2) the potatoes are washed and rasped into fine particles in a rotating grater, 3) fruit juice and solid matter are separated into two streams in a rotating decanter, 4) fresh water is added to the stream of solid matter and pulp is separated from the starch by centrifugation 5) starch is refined in hydro cyclones and vacuum filters, 6) the concentrated slurry is dried in a warm air stream until a final water content of 20% 7) the starch is stored and packed for final distribution to the market and sold as potato flour or potato starch.  

Pulp is used for animal feed. Washing water and fruit juice is distributed on farmland where it displaces artificial fertilizer according to specific nutrient contents (see below). Transportation of potatoes from field to factory (average 30 km) is performed by trucks (about 70%) and tractors (about 30%). Pulp is transported by trucks (average 25 km). Washing water and fruit juice is distributed on 200 respectively 7500 ha farmland through a network of pipelines. Soil and stones washed off the potatoes is returned to farmland.

Nutrient content of washing water: N: 130 g/m3, P: 29 g/m3 and  K: 250 g/m3

Nutrient content of fruit juice: N: 1.4 kg/m3, P: 0.16 kg/m3, K: 1.8 kg/m3 and Mg: 0.10 kg/m3.

Composition of pulp: 14% dry matter of which 10% is protein.

Data collection and treatment

Data have been derived from Karup Kartoffelmelfabriks green account (2002/2003) and from the factory's homepage.

Technical scope

All production processes as well as administration and product storage are included. Packaging and a number of chemicals have been ignored. Transportation processes to and from the factory have not been included.


The considered factory is the largest producer of potato flour in Denmark with a market share of about 35%. Some factories refine protein from fruit juice. This has not been considered here.


Data from Karup Kartoffelmelfabrik's have been compared with data from Ecoinvent database. Some differences in potato consumption, energy and water consumption per ton of product have been observed but data are generally in the same order of magnitude.

Inputs and outputs

Inputs and outputs associated with potato flour production are shown in the table below. Data are provided per ton of potato flour (80% potato starch and 20% water) at the gate of the factory.


    Unit Quantity
Inputs Potatoes1) ton 4.5
        Water m3 5.7
Electricity kWh 164
Natural gas (heating) m3 23.7
Sulphuric acid kg 9.8
Outputs Potato flour ton 1.00
        Potato pulp ton 0.73
Fruit juice m3 6.6
Washing water m3 1.2

1) dirty potatoes directly from the field. Quantity of clean potatoes is 4.4 ton/kg potato flour

Location in database: Material/Food from indudtry/from other industries/Potato starch / potato flour



Karup Kartoffelmelsfabrik's green accounts (2002/2003).

Administrative information

Data URL: http://www.lcafood.dk/processes/industry/potatoflourproduction.htm

Version no.: 1.00
Author: Per H. Nielsen,
The Institute for Product development.
Data entry: data have been entered in this format by Per H. Nielsen
Data completed: 
February 2004.