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What is the Value in Product Integrity?

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What is the Value in Product Integrity?

October 28
12:28 2012

By Stephen Jacobs, Global Product Manager, Fruit and Vegetables, Bühler.

 

As consumers and retailers continue to demand uniformity in food products and health and safety regulations become increasingly stringent, fruit and vegetable processors in particular are facing increasing pressure to guarantee product integrity.

Food safety standards pose a significant challenge to processors and a less than stringent approach to the issue can have disastrous consequences, not just for the processor, but across the entire supply chain financially, legally and in terms of reputation.

Gaps in control measures can compromise the safety and cleanliness of the end product, which can ultimately pose a health and safety risk to the consumer. Furthermore, even a single instance of poor food safety management can have huge financial impact on the brand, retailer and processor, through product recalls, wastage, reputation damage and, in the most serious of cases, significant legal costs and fines. This means that there is a significant reputational and financial incentive to invest in effective inspection systems to ensure the best quality and safe end product.

Sorting the Good From the Bad

The sorting process is a vital part of any production line’s integrity measures, particularly for fruit and vegetable producers, where there can be a greater risk of foreign material (FM) or extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) contamination. These can come in the form of bugs, cigarette ends, vermin and animal droppings and other materials, including seeds, stalks, twigs, stones, wood, plastic and metals, all of which can find its way into the crop at harvest or during later stages of processing.

There is a clear cost benefit to high quality sorting equipment, in safeguarding the processor against product contamination risks and ensuring the best quality product at the end of the line. This is where Bühler’s optical sorting solutions can be the most appropriate choice for processors.

Why SORTEX?

Bühler’s optical sorting technology provides processors with an efficient and effective guarantee of safety and quality in the end product. The SORTEX E1D, E1A and K provide leading edge technology, offering processors a flexible solution at any point in the processing line. Whether implemented before or after blanching, after freezing or in the packing line, SORTEX technology can be placed to suit the specific processor’s needs.

Bühler’s SORTEX equipment combines Enhanced InGaAs technology cameras, high resolution bichromatic cameras and PROfile (shape) technology to provide the most effective performance. PROfile (shape) technology offers the most efficient and flexible shape recognition system available, to detect foreign material by both size and shape.

SORTEX high-definition, colour bichromatic cameras are custom-designed and built in-house. They allow the product to be viewed from one or two sides, improving detection for a high quality sort. In addition, Bühler’s InGaAs technology allows producers to identify a wider range of contaminants than previously possible, particularly for packaging fragments. Finally, Bühler’s PROfile (shape) technology intelligently detects and digitally separates touching objects, allowing for better shape detection.

Bühler’s SORTEX optical sorters offer the added benefit of a low cost of ownership. SORTEX sorters do not have expensive components that require frequent replacement – a significant contribution to on-going expenditure. Similarly, Bühler’s sorting technology is hard-wearing, with very few moving parts, resulting in lower maintenance costs, enabling the processor to reduce their manufacturing costs.

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