Companies lure produce business with technology - The Packer

Companies lure produce business with technology

12/09/2008 12:00:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

“The innovation is in the way the machine is designed for sanitary cleaning, and the technology that meets meat industry detection standards,” Brainard said. “To assist in the prevention of bacteria counts, we’ve taken Anritsu’s existing technology and put it in a sanitary x-ray package.”

KD7400 machines disassembles quickly, without the use of tools, and allows customers the ability to connect to the company’s new software package linking Anritsu machines to a centralized hub to optimize quality control and allow real-time review of production by management, according to a company news release.

Joining U.S. contaminant detection fray

The Netherlands-based Tummers Methodic and SFW Food Processing, Burley, Idaho, at Pack Expo debuted a rock-trap flow machine for potatoes, carrots and other produce that has already been successful for about three years in Europe, said Kees den Boer, sales manager for Tummers Methodic.

“This is going to be a revolution. It can handle up to 350,000 pounds of potatoes and carrots an hour,” den Boer said. “It has a small footprint — it uses 70% less energy than conventional systems — and it’s just so simple.”

The Tummers/SFW machine reduces water use and needs fewer pipes to distribute that water, den Boer said.

New rock-removal system

Columbus, Wis.-based Hughes Company Inc. first introduced equipment for the fresh produce industry just two years ago and is now introducing a washing system that removes dirt, sand and rocks from small quantities of potatoes, carrots and green beans, said Todd Belz, president.

A big player in metal detection on packing lines, Toronto, Canada-based Fortress Technology Inc., handles work for fresh produce firms such as Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms and East Coast Fresh Cuts, Savage, Md., a regional fresh-cut processor, said Diehl Mateer, independent manufacturer’s representative for Fortress and owner of Mateer Associates, Wayne, Pa.

“Metal detection is a mature industry. It’s been around for more than 25 years now, and Fortress makes machines of all different sizes,” Mateer said. “Fortress focuses on keeping units simple to operate, reliable and with high performance and high sensitivity.”

Mateer said Fortress guarantees extremely low tolerances of contaminants in packaging operations involving 50- and 100-pound bags.

Other companies, such as Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed, Ithaca, N.Y., and its sister company, Mettler-Toledo Safeline, Tampa, Fla., offer various metal detection, x-ray inspection and check-weigh equipment designed for specialized applications.

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