Crop processing (root vegetable sorting)

Discover our new Argirec™ Veg mineral for root vegetable sorting – it enables root vegetable processors to salvage or upgrade vegetable batches by selectively removing poor quality vegetables.
Application crop processing

A smart way to improve root veg density sorting   

Argirec Veg is sedimentary kaolinite from the Charentes basin in western France. Authorized as a feed additive under number E559, Argirec Veg is also ideal for improving the productivity of root vegetable density sorting processes.

Argirec Veg enables root vegetable processors to salvage or upgrade vegetable batches by selectively removing poor quality vegetables.

Argirec Veg is a technological additive that is virtually insoluble in water (0.2% w/w after one hour). Adding kaolinitic clays with a density of 2.6 such as Argirec Veg to the sorting process allows users to adjust the density of the sorting bath from 1,000 to 1,100 kg/m3.


Due to its very fine particle size distribution (d50 below 1µm) and very slow settling rate, Argirec Veg provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced processing costs
  • Reduced clay unit consumption (the company Mydibel observed a 40% reduction in clay consumption compared to bleaching clay)
  • Less handling to refill the bath compared to bleaching clay; unlike bleaching clay, there is no risk of gel formation in the bath
  • Faster bath set-up, reducing downtime thanks to easier dispersion in the water
  • No equipment corrosion (unlike salt baths) and no need to use a specific grade of steel
  • Improved storage stability compared to salt sorted vegetables
  • Low surface area, reducing stickiness on the vegetable during rinsing

Environmental benefits

  • Argirec Veg is an inert and chemically stable material. As such, it does not have any adverse effect on the environment and can be disposed of as common waste in compliance with local regulations. 
  • Unlike salt baths, Argirec Veg has no impact upon the flocculation process and does not affect biological activity during the wastewater treatment process. 
  • Argirec Veg is suitable for use with all types of root vegetables and density sorting equipment. It should be added to the bathfollowing de-stoning and washing.

Regulatory status

  • Argirec Veg is feed additive approved (E559)
  • Use of kaolin is authorized as a processing aid in this application 
  • French food health and safety agency (ANSES) has approved the use of kaolinitic clays as technological additives for root vegetable density sorting

Undesirable substances (dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs, nondioxin-like PCBs, heavy metals):

  • Argirec Veg is authorized as a technological feed additive under Regulation (EC) N° 1831/2003 and registered under number E559. As such, it complies with limits on undesirable substances as set by the European Directive 2002/32/EC and its modifications.

Argirec Veg is part of the Imerys kaolin portfolio.