Bühler’s sorting portfolio additions increase yields, combat aflatoxin

Bühler has launched its new portfolio of Sortex optical sorters to overcome industry challenges within the nut industry.

With the introduction of Bühler’s “most advanced sorting portfolio”, nut processors will find the equipment can increase yields, combat aflatoxin, and offer ease-of-use.

According to Bühler, consumers’ expectation for quality has never been higher; consumers and retailers have zero tolerance for the presence of mycotoxins, a poisonous chemical released from certain strains of fungi that can contaminate nuts, and foreign materials such as sticks, stones, and shells can also create unsafe food. Alongside this, consumers have an expectation for nuts that are uniform in size and shape, with no insect bites or other cosmetic damage.

The challenges are not only related to safety and quality. For years, the market has seen the cost of raw materials go up, forcing processors to spend more on the production process, and on top of this, with environmental initiatives around the globe, governments are cracking down on the land and water usage of nut plants.

Bühler’s new optical sorting portfolio has been designed to counter the challenges of the nut industry, setting the standards for quality while reducing waste and increasing yields to offer the advanced sustainability and quality that processors require.

Bühler said it has created the Sortex H SpectraVision to be the highest-performing optical sorter on the market. A colour sorter, and a specialist in blanched and natural kernels, the Sortex H brings up to 50% higher reject concentration, meaning processors can provide a higher quality product to the market while simultaneously reducing waste. The H machine also brings high capacity with full-colour cameras and LEDs with triple the amount of light of other sorters to make challenging defect detection a thing of the past.

The H machine has been designed to offer high performance with simple operation. MerlinAI, the Sortex H’s new engine, self-adjusts and can automatically assign modes.

Recommended nuts for this machine include: almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia, pistachios, peanuts.

The Sortex LumoVision is Bühler’s answer to mycotoxin contamination, who added that LumoVision is a “breakthrough” in sorting technology that will minimise toxic contamination in nuts and improve yield, by identifying and removing cancer-causing, aflatoxin-infected product. After discovering a breakthrough indicator of contamination on the spectral scale, Bühler created the Sotex LumoVision, an optical sorter that can reduce the aflatoxin level by up to 90% (as indicated by industrial trials).

Recommended nuts: peanuts, walnuts, pecans.

Utilising the best of Bühler’s global engineering footprint, the Sortex J SpectraVision brings high-level colour sorting at an affordable price bracket. Sorting 5 tons per hour per module, and utilising the revolutionary MerlinAI engine, the Sortex J is built for performance and ease of use. The Sortex J machine also features the latest sensor technology, connectivity capabilities, and software so customers can reap the benefits of digitalisation. Easy enough for a child to operate, the Sortex J SpectraVision strips away the need for extensive training and brings peak performance fast.

Recommended nuts: almonds, cashews, macadamia, pistachios, peanuts.

The Sortex N is a specialist pre-cleaner for both natural and in-shell nuts. Combining Bühler’s time-proven shell-detection cameras, BioCam and OptiCam with a brand-new sorting platform, the Sortex N brings efficient shell and critical defect removal at up to 20 tons per hour. Available in three size options, Sortex N specifically targets shell and other critical foreign material, enabling subsequent optical sorters to focus on more subtle and hard-to-detect non-critical defects, resulting in the cleanest, safest nuts.

Recommended nuts: all natural and in-shell varieties.

The Sortex Monitoring System (SMS) is Bühler’s cloud-based data capture software, provides processors with essential metrics and data for peak performance from anywhere in the world and on any device. SMS alerts processors to any faults in the process line, enabling a quick response and saving money from lost production time and errors.

The new portfolio is set to solidify Bühler’s status as the market leader in nut processing machinery and offers an optimistic outlook on a sustainable future for the industry.

To learn more about the new nut portfolio, visit Bühler at the INC World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, taking place in London on May 22 – 24, or attend one of Bühler’s Open House events at its headquarters in the historic Docklands area of London on May 25 – 26.

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