Company: Bühler Group


Equipment Snapshot: The Bühler Group has introduced the industry’s most hygienic optical sorting platform, at Pack Expo in Las Vegas, USA. The SORTEX F optical sorter provides best-in-class hygienic design and high capacity performance, for the nut and dried fruit processing industry - with orders from five processors already confirmed. Available with Bühler’s SORTEX BioVision technology, it provides 3-in-1 detection of colour defects, shell and foreign materials, for exceptional product quality and food safety.

Developed by in-house specialists, using current best practice and hygienic product design guidelines, the SORTEX F features the most accessible and easy to clean frame in the industry.  Its meticulous design minimizes the risk of physical and biological contamination that can harm consumers and lead to ruinous food product recalls.

Featuring a stainless steel, open design frame, with sloped surfaces, hygienic conduits and food-safe grade fixings, the SORTEX F allows for quick and easy cleaning and helps to eliminate the risk of cross contamination and product build up, as well as preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria that can induce food-borne diseases such as Salmonella, in low moisture foods. Furthermore, the finish of all its metal surfaces complies with the recommended requirement for safe food contact and all polymer materials are resistant to high pressure washer jets or air and conforms to FDA regulations. 

Speaking about the importance of hygienic design, Buhler’s head of optical sorting, Charith Gunawardena says: “The hygienic design of food processing equipment is one of the major prerequisites for the prevention of food contamination. The SORTEX F optical sorter provides nut processors with protection from foodborne hazards and brings tangible benefits to food manufacturers and processors – it reduces the risk of contamination, maintains product quality and increases productivity.”

The marrying of Bühler’s SORTEX F optical sorting platform with its revolutionary BioVision technology, originally introduced in 2015, means nut manufacturers can not only achieve the most hygienic sort in the industry today – but also exceptional shell and foreign material detection at the highest capacity.

Bühler’s BioVision technology is capable of consistent, accurate sorting at double the capacity of other industry solutions. It effortlessly removes hazardous material up to 50 percent smaller than previously possible when processing almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts, using proprietary technology that targets the spectral and spatial difference between nut meats and shell and is capable of distinguishing subtle changes. For instance, SORTEX BioVision technology can discern the difference between pale shells and paler varieties of almonds, such as nonpareil. It can do all this in a single sort, minimising associated losses of good nuts – a solution unavailable until the launch of SORTEX BioVision.