Laser combo improves safety and quality for fresh-cut processors, says firm

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lettuce, Vegetable

A new combination of lasers with colour cameras can achieve superior product quality and food safety, claims Key Technology.

An extension of the company’s Raptor Laser line, the laser combination is reported increase sensitivity for detecting the presence of foreign material as well as product defects in both processed and fresh-cut vegetables, such as shredded and chopped lettuce, leafy salad mix, cabbage, and cut vegetables, said the company.

In addition the combination is claimed to improve performance across a wide range of vegetables, thereby removing the need to change or add laser modules.

“For example, the new Raptor laser with multiple wavelengths provides value to leafy green handlers by allowing them to run baby spinach in the morning and iceberg in the afternoon on the same line,”​ said the company.

Making difficult sorts easier

The new multi-sensor sorters are integrated with Key’s proprietary colour cameras, and detect defects, such as extraneous vegetable matter and foreign material (FM), by analysing differences in the structural properties of the objects and differing levels of chlorophyll as well as colour, size, and shape, claims the manufacturer.

The combination uses multiple wavelengths simultaneously and enhances production versatility and can handle difficult sorts, such as undesirable romaine core and desirable romaine rib.

The extension to Key’s Raprot Laser capabilities is available immediately on the manufacturer’s narrow-belt Optyx 3000 series sorters, mid-volume Optyx 6000 series sorters, and Manta highest capacity sorter, said Key.

It operates on the company’s G6 electro-optical platform.

“Improving the differentiation between good product and unacceptable objects maximises product quality and food safety while minimising yield loss,”​ said the company.

Software back-up

Supporting the cameras and lasers, the company’s KeyWare Application Pack can process the data, said Key. The software is designed specifically for each application and the product being sorted in order to optimise the sorter’s image processing algorithms.

Processors can change between products via a touchscreen control panel. According to the company, the KeyWare also eases the initial product set-up, which therefore reduces the skill level required to operate at optimal performance.

Availability

When contacted by FoodProductionDaily.com, no-one from Key Technologies was available for comment. It is not known what geographical areas the Optyx Raptor is available in. The company recently launched a redesigned dryer to remove water from fresh-cut produce and availability is currently limited to the US and Asian markets, with plans to expand this next year.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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