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Blizzard free-fall sorter for frozen vegetable and fruit

TOMRA Sorting Food to demonstrate new solution for individually quick frozen vegetable and fruit market at Interpack

05 May 2014

TOMRA Sorting Food has launched its Blizzard free-fall sorter for the individually quick frozen vegetable and fruit processing market, and will be demonstrating it for the first time at Interpack.

The Blizzard will be showcased at the leading processing and packaging trade fair, at Düsseldorf fairgrounds, Germany, from 8 to 14 May. The company will be at stand G86 in hall 08b.

An alternative to the company’s existing Helius and Nimbus high end, free-fall sorters, TOMRA Sorting says the Blizzard is a cost effective solution. It provides continuous inspection and ensures food safety and customer satisfaction by removing unwanted discolorations, foreign material and misshapen produce, with maximum yield.

The Blizzard delivers stable detection, utilizing pulsed light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with multiple infrared (IR) wavelengths, combined with specially-designed full red, green, blue (RGB) cameras. 

TOMRA Sorting says the Blizzard is a small footprint sorter that can comfortably replace older generation systems and easily fits in processing lines. Specifically designed to handle output of individually quick frozen (IQF) tunnels optimally, it can be installed just after these or prior to packing. It can handle both mono and mixed color produce, meaning it can work with the complete color palette, including ready-to-eat meals, for example.

Bjorn Thumas, Market Unit Director, TOMRA Sorting Food, said: “The Blizzard involves pulsed LED technology, already implemented in our large produce sorters, adapted to the specific needs of the IQF industry. Our proven track record in frozen fruit and vegetable sorting solutions and improvements in technology have resulted in this breakthrough, which offers processors the best of both worlds.”

Mr Thumas said the high-power, color modulated LED technology was very effective for various reasons. It had a lifetime of more than 50,000 hours, so required virtually no replacement, and offered very stable output, with its calibration frequency kept to a minimum.

He added another benefit of the LED lighting was low heat production, meaning no extra cooling device was needed, allowing customers to save on cost and maintenance.  

Mr Thumas said: “Thanks to our multiple decades of experience in supplying solutions to the IQF industry, the sorter has LEDs covering multiple selected wavelengths, combined with the right optical components and sensors. The optical set-up, which is totally modular and flexible, is selected according to customer needs and the numerous combinations ensure better detection of specific defects.”

TOMRA Sorting says the Blizzard sorter has a very open design, making every component easily accessible for operators, and was developed with the specific sanitary requirements of the IQF industry in mind.

The company says the machine’s other advantages include the elimination of flat surfaces, integration of open, easy-to-clean legs, hygienic door locks, installation of transportation hooks and positioning of the electrical cabinet at its rear end. A high-frequency electromagnetic shaker is also installed on the machine frame, minimizing vibration and making the system ultra-compact. 

TOMRA adds the Blizzard has an intuitive graphical user interface, allowing operators to set the sorter manually, without having to follow intensive training.

Mr Thumas said: “These are only some of the sorter’s features, so customers shouldn’t hesitate to contact us for more details on some smart innovative aspects that further enhance the machine’s stability, efficiency and yield.”

TOMRA Sorting Food has created a video of the Blizzard in action which can be viewed here.

Instead of just offering products, TOMRA Sorting consults its customers and develops tailor-made solutions in line with their expectations, requirements and budgets. It says it offers its expertise from different businesses, resulting in faster development time and tailor made solutions, with the new Blizzard sorter being a great example of the synergies between ODENBERG and BEST, the two brands in its food department.


Topics: Fruit, Vegetables, News article, IQF, Equipment & Technology


Written by TOMRA Food

We design and manufacture sensor-based sorting machines and integrated post-harvest solutions for the food industry.