TOMRA Food will showcase its sensor-based sorting solutions at the Almond Conference 2019, which will take place from December 10-12 in Sacramento, California. It will demonstrate the TOMRA 3C, the new optical sorter which is set to be a game changer for almond hulling and shelling operations. TOMRA Food will also highlight the benefits of its ground-breaking Detox Laser technology, which is having excellent success across the world with its accurate detection of aflatoxin contamination, and take part in the panel discussion “Sorting for Aflatoxin” on December 11.
TOMRA 3C: unique solution delivers results without equal in hulling, shelling, inshell and hash recovery
The TOMRA 3C offers a unique solution at the front of the processing line that delivers consistently very high quality inshell sort with extremely low false rejection rate, while maintaining a high throughput.
“The TOMRA 3C is equally valuable in cleaning product in the huller, hash recovery and inshell,” explains Brendan O’Donnell, Global Category Director – Nuts at TOMRA Food. “This means hulling and shelling operations will be able to deliver high quality products to processors, who in turn will benefit from a consequent increase in overall efficiency.”
The TOMRA 3C uses the unique combination of high-resolution color camera with either Laser or Near Infra-Red (NIR) technology to ensure the product meets the highest food security and quality standards. The double-sided RGB cameras combined with high-intensity, focused LED lighting detect the subtlest color and shape defects, while NIR sensor accurately identifies foreign materials such as sticks, hulls, stick-tights and plastics. The ejection system features a high-speed valve with a direct nozzle connection, which ensures high-precision rejection with extremely low false rejects, while the soft-landing chute guarantees minimal breakage. The result is consistent, high quality of the output product – a performance without equal.
The TOMRA 3C requires minimal tweaks and adjustments, which contributes to a high-stability performance and consistent quality, and means its implementation is quick and easy. Operators will find the TOMRA 3C to be easy to use, with advanced tuning made simple by the application-specific tuning parameters and intuitive GUI. Maintenance is quick, with features such as the tool-free removal of the landing chute. The timed cleaning of the intelligent automatic cleaning system, together with the remote and on-screen warning, always ensures maximum uptime with the machine performing at its best.
A further significant benefit of the TOMRA 3C is its modular design, so that it can be sized to the customer’s specific requirements with 2, 3 or 4 chutes. Most importantly, each chute is completely independent of the others, so that the machine can sort different defects on each chute, or looping product – for example, hash – through multiple passes to ensure pure Foreign Material (FM) is ejected on one end and pure kernels on the other. This means the customer will have all the advantages of high capacity and efficiency together with high-quality product that commands higher prices on the market, resulting in greater profitability for their business.
Australian almond huller and sheller Laragon Almond Processors recently tested the TOMRA 3C in their inshell almond operation, and it exceeded their already high expectations with an exceptional performance across food safety, waste and yield optimization – even substituting one of their existing inshell sorters. Mark Webber, General Manager of Laragon, is delighted with the result: “Yield optimization was one of the key factors we originally looked at […] the machine has done exceptionally well. It was surprising to see that our inshell product purity standards of +98% were achieved with ease. In fact, across the 2019 processing season we averaged an inshell product purity of +99.5%.” In addition, Laragon recorded an average Good in Bad ratio of 15%, where this had previously been in the range of 30% or more, resulting in a 15% improved pack-out yield on inshell produce.
TOMRA: a sorting solution for every stage of the production line
The TOMRA 3C complements TOMRA’s offering of almond sorting solutions for every stage of the production line to deliver the perfect brown skin or blanched almond at the end of the process. Once the product has gone through the TOMRA 3C at the front of the line, the Ixus will sort dense FM, the Nimbus will deal with focused FM and the Nimbus BSI+ the remaining FM and Serious Damage. Once the produce has gone through the sizer, a further pass through a Nimbus BSI+ will detect fine-tuned insect damage and, to finish, the Genius for chip and scratch. At the end of this process, the product can go straight in the packaging with little or no hand sorting – and the processor knows they are delivering to their customers product of the highest quality and food safety standards.
TOMRA Detox: the effective solution to reliable aflatoxin detection
Reliable detection of aflatoxins can have a big impact on a processor’s business, as Brendan O’Donnell explains: “Accurate detection mitigates the extra costs, labor and handling – and the disruption to the plant’s operation – incurred whenever a shipment is rejected for contamination by aflatoxins. A rejection is not only expensive, but could also negatively affect the reputation and brand image of the processor. Every country checks for aflatoxins by testing samples of the product, but this is not a dependable method as aflatoxin tends to be located in pockets, or ‘hotspots’. At TOMRA, we have analyzed the issue and developed a solution, which has proven its extreme reliability in detecting aflatoxins in various operations, and the only true way to know every almond is inspected by the TOMRA Detox technology.”
This has been the experience of Spanish Almond processor Crisolar, which has been using TOMRA’s Detox machine with excellent results. “Last year we decided to ask TOMRA about the Detox laser, which I had heard was having good results with peanuts. There was no previous experience with Spanish almonds, so we worked with TOMRA to evaluate and adapt the machine to Spanish almonds. The work was satisfactory to the point that we decided to purchase the Detox for our operation. We believe that the work we did together will benefit the almond sector not only in Spain, but also in California and Australia,” commented Antonio Pont, President of Crisolar.
Brendan O’Donnell will share his expertise on detection of aflatoxins in the panel discussion “Sorting for Aflatoxin – The Needle in the Haystack”, which will be held at the Almond Conference on December 11 at 8 am in Building C, Room 1.