Food processing equipment providers Odenberg and Best will join forces and showcase ground breaking technologies together at Pack Expo International 2012 at McCormick Place in Chicago on October 28 through October 31. Odenberg and Best equipment can be seen in booths 7520 and 7524 on level three of Lakeside Center.

Tomra Sorting Solutions, the pioneer in sensor-based sorting which acquired Odenberg in 2011, purchased Belgian Best Sorting in June 2012, to unify the two leading providers and enhance its position as the preferred supplier for the food market’s needs. Odenberg and Best have now created a powerful alliance, delivering leading-edge sorting, safety and quality “from farm to fork.”

Odenberg will present its market leading Halo optical fruit and vegetable sorter and Qvision500 meat analyzer, while Best will exhibit its OPUS NIR free-fall camera and laser sorter.

Odenberg’s Halo is the latest advancement in sensor based optical sorters for a high performance sort or grade for quality, shape, color, size and for food safety. The Halo provides multiple advantages to users including average labor savings of up 80 per cent, throughput increases as high as 25 per cent, yield rises of up to four per cent, lower operational costs and a fast return on investments. Halo also offers long life and low maintenance.

Halo is offered in four sizes, ranging from 20 to 80 inch belt widths, to accommodate capacities from 10 to more than 50 tons per hour for potatoes. Halo offers both fresh pack and processing customers a range of application solutions that cover a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including peeled and unpeeled potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, peaches, pears, green beans, apricots, cucumbers, pickles, citrus fruits and onions.

Ashley Hunter, president, Odenberg Inc, said: “The easy-to-operate halo systems sort and grade according to quality or size and for food safety. They analyze visible features – such as color, shape, blemishes and foreign objects – in addition to less easy-to-see defects. First-grade produce gently passes through the systems while second and third grade items are redirected into individual streams, with more grading options also available.

“Combining intelligence with advanced control, the Halo range therefore provides a greater level of flexibility and accuracy in reliable, high capacity, compact sorters.” 

The Qvision500 sets a new benchmark for accuracy and consistency of real time, in-line meat analysis, simplifying operating processes and saving time. The system gauges fat, protein, moisture, color, temperature and weight in all types of meat – fresh or frozen – at any grind size, across the full width of its conveyor belt, handling an unrivalled 30 tons per hour easily.  

Geir Hauge, Odenberg process analytics director, said: “The QVision500 provides large savings in reduced lean give-away, eliminates ‘out of spec’ claims on fat content, eradicates  human error, offers full quality traceability of deliveries and enhances quality control of raw material.

“The system also helps producers of products based on ground meat achieve stable product shape in the forming and frying processes, uniformity after cured products are dried, consistent taste and texture, plus the elimination of time consuming and inaccurate sampling.”

Hygienic, robust and reliable, the system has a typical annual maintenance cost totaling only two-to-three per cent of a customer’s investment.    

The new edition of Best’s OPUS sorter, the OPUS NIR, is a 1000 mm wide machine that inspects products in free fall.  It recognizes different types of products and uses hyperspectral imaging to identify a unique fingerprint for each type of product, which forms the basis of the sorting process.  Any product or defect passing by is compared to this unique fingerprint and is rejected if there is no match.

The spectrum created for every product is loaded into a database, which is used for different sorting processes. The database allows for very easy set-up of the sorter, minimizing configuration time. The advanced technology measures different spectra, resulting in an optimal sorting performance and a very high good to bad ratio for an improved yield.

Bert Van der Auwera, sales director, Best, says: “We have been testing the sorter in a number of nut applications so far, with very good results. Installations of the machine have been done with major nut processors, which are successfully using the machine and experiencing an improved sorting result.  The OPUS that people used to know still exists. Since now it looks like the OPUS family is ideal for IQF fruit and vegetables, but it is actually the previous OPUS (with the laser and camera). The new one (with hyperspectral camera) is for other markets as well.”

The OPUS is a free fall camera/laser sorter, a highly practical and cost-effective optical sorting solution for IQF fruit and vegetable processors. It provides continuous food inspection, ensuring safety and customer satisfaction by removing unwanted discolorations, foreign material and defects by shape, with maximum yield. The sorter has the ideal one meter inspection width to integrate with an IQF fruit or vegetable packing line.