Askew & Barrett Leaves No Stone Unturned

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Askew & Barrett Leaves No Stone Unturned

May 19
13:40 2013

Askew & Barrett is a leading UK dried pulse specialist with a premium brand built on high quality peas and beans which are free from contaminants and imperfections. Supplying large food manufactures including Premier Food’s Bachelors range of mushy peas, Askew & Barrett recently installed a Loma Systems X4 Bulk X-ray solution to achieve 100% contaminant free products and meet retailers’ tough demands.

Darryl Askew, Joint Owner of Askew & Barrett said: “Over the last five years, HACCP and food safety regulations have tightened considerably and we want to be ahead of any changing policy. Our only complaint is an occasional stone that has been found in our products. Quality is key to us; we strive to produce 100% contaminant free products”.

At the 200 tonnes per day processing plant in Wisbech, Askew & Barrett source pulses from key agricultural merchants and then sort, clean and grade every pulse removing stones and other foreign bodies from the finished product. Critically, they also check that each pulse is the right colour, size and shape before bagging the products which are shipped around the world to Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China and South America.

The main source of contaminants, stones, can easily be gathered up during crop cultivation and prove to be difficult to identify as they can look similar to the pulse product in colour, weight and texture. Although the company currently houses six de-stoner machine systems to identify and eliminate 99.9% of stones, to meet their 100% target Askew & Barrett installed a high speed X4 Bulk X-ray system which would keep up with production and identify metal and non-metallic contaminants such as stone, glass, calcified bone, high-density plastics and rubber. The system’s advanced image processing, simple set-up routines and ability to detect product defects such as component count, zone mass measurement and shape conformity, met all of the Senior Plant Manager’s objectives, as Shane Legge of Askew & Barrett commented: “The X4 X-ray is spot on! I’m really pleased with how well it performs.”


Reject systems also provided separate reject signals for each type of non-conformity so that contaminated and improperly packaged products are kept separate, plus the X4 features a revolutionary new high speed USB sensor and Windows XP operating system with an intuitive graphical touch screen display so operators easily understand and use the system’s suite of features. As with all Loma products, customers benefit from Loma’s high level of before and after sales service and receive a tailor made solution to their X-ray inspection requirements. Darryl Askew said: “As part of choosing this equipment, we went to other suppliers who were not interested in a small processor in Wisbech, however, Loma’s dedicated service and quick response to our enquires filled us with complete confidence and we have never looked back”.

As well as the X4 Bulk X-ray the company also uses two Loma FreeFall metal detectors at the end of the processing line which identify any metal contaminants which occur during processing.

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