03-08-2023

Forteco Optimum: new generation coco substrate

Van der Knaap Groep introduces Forteco Optimum: coco substrate with a high air-holding capacity. Thanks to a recently developed production process that uses the entire husk to produce a high quality substrate, we can now produce a unique product at our own production sites.

New production process
Two years ago we started developing a production process that could produce a new type of coco. This new production process optimally uses all of the coconut husk to create a special coir with unique properties.

The current standard coir is a by-product of the fibre industry and its availability depends on the demand for fibres. In other words, any changes to the demand for coconut fibre have an immediate impact on the coir supply. As we have integrated production into our in-house processes, we can now produce coir year-round. And we can respond even better to quality parameters such as the sieve fraction (size and quantity of fibres and fine particles), air content, water absorption capacity and amount of readily available water.

Unique properties
The new and improved production process makes Forteco Optimum a raw material suitable for potting soils as well as a coco substrate with a unique composition. Forteco Optimum is currently undergoing extensive trials at our innovation centre ‘de Kas’. The initial findings and results are very promising.

When Forteco Optimum is used as a 100% coco substrate, its unique structure, consisting of coir and a high number of short fibres, make it a rapidly drying, airy and therefore an extremely easy to steer substrate.

Further developments
Forteco Optimum is the first substrate to be produced using a new production technique. The properties mentioned above offered by this substrate are very valuable and can be utilised for new and existing applications. We intend to investigate the options for further innovation. The focus of future developments will be on using the process for coco substrates with various structures and coarseness, and the corresponding specifications.

Coco: a sustainable choice
Coco substrate has good properties for cultivation: it naturally has a high-air holding capacity and absorbs water easily. Coco is also extremely suitable for developing an active soil life. This contributes to the growth of resilient plants, that are more resistant to pests and diseases. Recent research at innovation centre ‘de Kas’ also showed that coco not only has a high level of biodiversity, but that an active soil life is already present which develops further during cultivation.

Coco substrate is an organic product with stable properties, which allows it to be reused for other crops and applications after recycling and processing by a specialist recycling company. This gives the material a new lease of life.

More information
More information about Forteco Optimum? Please contact us.

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