Arbre Farms - Detecting nightshade

07/06/2011 Arbre Farms continues partnership with Bühler Sortex for ensured food quality and safety. Arbre Farms is based in Walkerville MI and is part of the Paris Foods Corporation. As a grower, processor and freezer of food products, Arbre supplies ingredients to many major food companies. As we have come to expect quality and safety are the focal points of the finished ingredients and, with this in mind, the end users often provide Arbre Farms with their own strict product specifications.

These specifications carefully detail what should and should not be in the finished product. Typical defects such as colour blemishes, although undesirable are relatively innocuous. However, members of the poisonous solanine-containing nightshade family, are dangerous.

Horse nettle weed seed pods contain solanine and are harmful if ingested by adults. However, if ingested by infants, the result may prove fatal. The weed is quite resistant to chemical sprays and happily grows in the fields along with the food plants such as peas and green beans. Nature has also given the pod a green colour so close to ‘pea green’ and ‘bean green’ it defies hand sorting. The problem going forward deals with removing this tenacious weed from the food products.

At Arbre Farms, removing horse nettle weed from peas and beans provided a stiff challenge. They are similar in size, shape and colour. Fortunately, there is one distinguishing feature – a small cap on the berry – and Bühler Sortex’s PROfile (shape recognition) technology can identify this easily and accurately.

And so it proved. During the trials the SORTEX K2A-BXBI, working on frozen product, was able to remove the horse nettle weed with very high efficiency.

Also, thanks to Bühler Sortex’s InGaAs optical sensing innovation and extremely accurate ejector technology, the SORTEX K2A-BXBI will also remove EAM, such as bugs and pieces of amphibians and reptiles, EVM, such as stems, stalks, pods, and root shoots, and FM, such as pieces of wood, plastic, rubber, cardboard and glass while maintaining profit-maximizing performance.

We are delighted that Arbre Farms has continued to invest in SORTEX K machines, consistently providing not only top quality food products but also safe food products. They are currently in the process of installing another SORTEX K2A-BXBI.

Detecting nightshade to ensure food quality and safety. Detecting nightshade to ensure food quality and safety.