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Food safety and quality

03/14/2012 For fruit and vegetable processors, ensuring food safety and quality control can be one of the most prominent issues affecting their business. If quality control processes are not carried out in the most effective and efficient manner, it can have the disastrous consequences for not only the processor but the retailer and the end consumer as well. Quality control and safety processes remove colour defects and extraneous vegetable matter (EVM), in addition to more serious or dangerous content such as foreign material (FM). Failure to implement quality control measures can compromise the safety and cleanliness of the end product which can ultimately pose a health and safety risk to the consumer.

But the consumer is not the only victim of poor quality product. Imperfections in one or more instances can have a huge impact on the reputation of the processor, or in the case of own brand products, the retailer. Negative stories about the quality of a product can push a consumer towards trying a competitor’s product, and once they make this move it can be very difficult to lure them back.

In addition, product recalls or rejections by the retailer can have significant financial impact in product lost, fines and in the most serious of cases, legal costs. Fruit and vegetable producers are therefore under pressure to implement the most effective and efficient sorting processes.

Bühler is the global leader in optical sorting solutions for all foods, including fruit and vegetable processing. Its SORTEX optical sorters offer the highest standards of quality and cleanliness for produce. SORTEX equipment combine enhanced InGaAs cameras, high resolution bichromatic cameras and PROfile (shape) technology to provide the most effective and flexible sorting systems.

Unlike other sorters on the market, Bühler’s custom designed high definition colour bichromatic cameras are built in house. They allow product viewing from two sides (or a single side). This facilitates the highest quality sort of any sorter on the market. Other technologies are unable to match Bühler’s SORTEX colour sorting efficiency.

Bühler’s InGaAs technology allows for identifying a wider range of contaminants than previously possible, particularly for packaging fragments. In addition, Bühler’s PROfile (shape) technology intelligently detects and virtually separates touching objects, allowing for a higher capacity shape sorting.

SORTEX systems offer precise elimination of contaminants in the product stream, removing only insignificant amounts of good, faultless product. This allows best product recovery and allows for more efficient use of the full product line. By effectively removing imperfections, processors are not using valuable resources handling product which will ultimately end up discarded.

In addition, Bühler SORTEX optical sorters offer market leading technology with the added benefit of a considerably lower cost of ownership. Other market technologies have components that require replacement as often as every three or four years which can amount to thousands of Euros. The SORTEX range uses state of the art camera systems, which means that only low cost wear parts such as lamps and serviceable ejectors are needed.

In addition, running costs of the SORTEX sorters are kept low as there is no need for additional cooling units so electrical consumption will be less than 50% of competitive machines.

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