Ensuring quality key to maintaining consumer confidenceLondon, United Kingdom, 04/13/2015 An article, by Stephen Jacobs, Global Product Manager for Fruit & Vegetables, Buher Sortex Ltd.
With competition between supermarkets more fierce than ever, product quality has become a key point of differentiation for rivals as they look to secure consumer loyalty. This pressure continues to be felt further down the supply chain where processors and manufacturers must ensure the products they supply are of a consistently high quality and safety assured.For processors of frozen fruit and vegetables, ensuring food safety and quality control is one of the most prominent issues affecting their businesses. Quality control and safety processes can help to provide a consistent product level by removing colour defects and extraneous vegetable matter including sticks, stones and stems, as well as more serious or dangerous content including foreign material such as plastic or glass.
There is no actual legislation regarding foreign materials, but there is legislation that states that all food manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their food and that food must not be unsafe or injurious to health, so food companies must have processes in place to eliminate these risks and manage any that are identified.
There can also be serious financial repercussions for both suppliers and retailers in product loss, fines and in very serious cases, legal costs, particularly with foreign materials in food a driving force behind many consumer complaints to retailers. Despite the reduction of food waste now very much a global issue, defects and misshapen products are still looked upon unfavourably by most consumers. Therefore ensuring only the most premium produce makes it on to the plate is critical to ensuring brand and product loyalty.
For the past 60 years, Bühler has supplied a full range of superior precision optical sorting equipment for grains, beans, pulses, spices, nuts, rice, vegetables and fruits as well as non-food products such as plastics by colour and shape. As the global leader in optical sorting solutions for all foods, including frozen fruit and vegetable processing, Bühler has built a reputation for providing effective and flexible technology and reliable expertise.
Its SORTEX optical sorters offer the highest standards of quality and cleanliness for produce, combining enhanced InGaAs cameras, high resolution bichromatic cameras and PROfileTM (shape) technology. The InGaAs technology identifies a wider range of contaminants than previously possible, particularly for packaging fragments, whilst Bühler’s PROfileTM (shape) technology intelligently detects and virtually separates touching objects, allowing for higher capacity shaper sorting. The use of such state-of-the-art, high quality components also means the maintenance of Bühler equipment is inexpensive when compared to other market technologies.
Bühler SORTEX machinery can be used at various points in processing including during cleaning, helping to remove defective products, foreign materials or extraneous vegetable matter, and before bagging to ensure the quality of a product. The calibre of the SORTEX technology also dictates that no additional requirements are needed for machinery to operate in freezing temperatures, whilst the accuracy of the machinery means it provides a far superior yield when compared to the same work being done manually it also eliminates the risks of human error.
By continuing to be global leaders in the field of optical sorting Bühler Sortex customers in the frozen food industry are able to rely on expertise and reputation, providing assurance to the retailers they work with. It also ensures a premium product, with dramatically reduced chances of imperfections helping to secure loyalty for retailers and a greater financial yield.