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Optical sorting technology safeguards berry quality

16 July 2017

A swedish organic fruit processor has invested in new optical sorting technology to deliver cleaner berries and ensure consistency in the shape, flavour and colour of produce. 

SORTEX optical sorting technology from Bühler is helping berry supplier Blåtand AB to drive efficiency in processing its wild berries, as it gears up for growth and expansion into new markets. 

The company supplies frozen berries, jams and fruit preparations to caterers, restaurants, wholesalers and retailers in the food industry. It prides itself on its environmentally-friendly, ethical production that meets the highest of standards across the entire chain, from forest to customer.
 
Blåtand’s hand-picked berries include bilberries and lingonberries, a traditional Swedish staple and it is a key supplier to confectionery, bakery and dairy markets, as well as the pharmaceutical sector, which uses bilberries as a key ingredient in supplements, to help treat eye problems such as macular degeneration and retina detachment.

“We work constantly on our quality control procedures, to ensure that the products we supply meet the highest quality standards,” explained Ulf Hagner, managing director at Blåtand. “We need to ensure the separation of colour defects, such as brown berries as well as the removal of stones, sticks, leaves, pine needles and mud balls, which are collected from the forest floor as the berries are gathered.” 

The company processes approximately 5000 tonnes of berries on its 50m processing line, which is designed to handle delicate fruits without breakage. The addition of the SORTEX F optical sorter with PolarVision technology ehas allowed for an increase in capacity.

“Our goal was to create the best berry cleaning process on the market, making it possible to produce a high-quality, class 1 product that is free from foreign material (FM). By combining the SORTEX F PolarVision optical sorter with our other cleaning equipment, we have achieved our goal and can now fulfil the requirements of the most demanding customers by supplying them with the highest quality frozen, cleaned berries,” continued Hagner.


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