The Bühler Group has extended its sorting portfolio, for frozen fruit and vegetable processors, with the introduction of the SORTEX FA1 – designed to be used in the processing plant, as well as the packing hall for final quality checking.
The new, 600mm-chute, SORTEX FA1 sorting platform boasts the same cutting-edge technology as the larger capacity, 1200mm-chute, SORTEX FA2 but has a smaller footprint and capacity to meet the needs of processors with lower throughput requirements. It can handle processing capacities of up to seven tonnes per hour, while the larger machine is designed to handle up to 14 tonnes.
The introduction of the SORTEX FA1 follows the highly successful launch of the larger version, in 2016, which took hygienic processing to another level, when it introduced the frozen fruit and vegetable processing industry to the most open, accessible and easy to clean frame available on the market. Every element of the optical sorting platform is designed with the highest levels of food safety and hygiene in mind. Its stainless steel, open frame has sloped surfaces, hygienic conduits and food-safe grade fixings, to help prevent the build-up of pathogenic bacteria that can incubate food-borne diseases, such as E-Coli, Listeria, Norovirus and Salmonella. All polymer materials are also resistant to high-pressure jet washes and compliant with FDA regulations, with purpose-designed spacer brackets to allow access to areas that could harbour bacteria.
The SORTEX F range of optical sorters not only reduces the risk of biological contaminants and product cross contamination – minimising the possibility of a food product recall – but, thanks to its ability to run the SORTEX PolarVision™ and SORTEX PROfile™ shape technology, it also offers superior FM and extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) detection, to negate the risk of hazardous, physical product contamination.
Bühler’s shape sorting technology, SORTEX PROfile™, combines shape and dimension data together with advanced camera capabilities and product separation features, to sort according to profile and other characteristics – allowing EVM to be detected at higher capacities.
SORTEX PolarVision™ combines two dedicated FM detection technologies – the SORTEX PolarCam™ and the high definition InGaAsHD™ – both developed in response to industry demands for cutting-edge technology, to tackle difficult-to-detect product defects and FM. SORTEX PolarCam technology targets the spectral and spatial differences between good produce and FM, while high definition InGaAs cameras detect FM that cannot be seen in the visible spectrum, resulting in outstanding separation of hazardous and difficult to remove FM, such as insects, snails, light and dark plastics, wood, cardboard, cigarette ends, glass and stones. This technology is proven to deliver outstanding results across a range of frozen produce – from single products, such as peas or berries, to more complex vegetable mixes. The machine also sets a new standard in ejection technology, with its powerful EJECTOR+ feature, which uses 25% more force to eliminate denser contaminants. Together with SmartEject™ technology, it targets and removes unwanted materials, from fine wood shavings to heavier pieces of wood, glass and stones, as well as the ability to remove EVM, even if it is attached to the product e.g. a berry or green bean with its stalk.