Golden Macadamia uses the latest sorting technology from Tomra Foods

Predicting the need to mass produce macadamia while ensuring perfect quality, South African co-operative business Golden Macadamia has invested in a Tomra 5C sorter with biometric signature technology.

The Tomra 5C Premium Optical Sorter has been explicitly developed for nut and dried fruit applications. It has been reported that this machine can be combined with Tomra’s Biometric Signature Identification (BSI) scanning technology to detect and eliminate product defects that cannot be identified by other technologies.

Macadamia is still considered a young industry, with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashew nuts and hazelnuts accounting for about 1-2% of the world’s total basket of nuts.

The Golden Macadamia’s 21,000-square-foot production facility is located in a small settlement just outside the city of Mubonbella, 200 miles east of Johannesburg, northeast of the country. The region is blessed with fertile soil and a subtropical climate, making it ideal for growing citrus, tropical fruits and sugar cane. This part of the world is also blessed with cool, dry winters and is far better at maintaining nut quality than the more tropical areas where harvesting must be done in warm and moist conditions.

The Golden Macadamia Expansion Project began construction on August 25, 2020, after some delays due to the blockade of Covid-19. However, the project team does not hinder progress during these difficult times, and the initial ambitious goal of building a factory in 15 months remains realistic. The factory’s goal is to be operational in the 2022 season.

To see the scale of the new project, the earthworks consisted of moving and redesigning 66,000 m3 of soil. This is equivalent to filling 27 Olympic-sized pools. The building uses approximately 800 tonnes of rebar structural steel, which is equivalent to 500 km of steel bar. In this project, about 12,300 m3 of concrete will be poured and 1.7 million bricks will be laid. Placing these bricks side by side extends from Mombela to Johannesburg.

Norman Smith, TOMRA Food’s Africa Regional Sales Manager, said: About 55% of South African macadamias are sold to the kernel market, primarily for export to the United States, Europe, and Asia. The remaining 45% go to the shell market and some are sold domestically, but most are for export to China, and consumers prefer to break the shell themselves. It is the kernel market that demands the highest product quality. “

A combination of manual and automatic sorting

Macadamia nuts are harvested after they naturally fall to the ground. The first task is to remove the green hull. Next, sort the nuts in the shell to remove foreign matter and defective products. After this, the nuts are graded by size. Since two-thirds of each nut is made up of shells, the processor must deal with very high defect levels after breaking the nut. To clean up the kernel, you need to move and remove a significant amount of shells.

Sorting of some macadamias is still done manually in the traditional way. In addition to scoring manually, nuts are placed in a water bath early in the manufacturing process. There, only unwanted immature and undeveloped nuts float on the surface and can be removed manually. However, human sorters are unavoidably subjective and incomplete, and become more vulnerable to error when tired or bored. Handling the kernel can be oily, and manual sorting can also reduce product quality.

To minimize these shortcomings, Golden Macadamias complements the sorting tasks that need to be done manually with mechanical sorting wherever possible. Unlike humans, automated sorters can evaluate nuts objectively, accurately, consistently, and at amazing speeds for hours without compromising efficiency. In addition, mechanical sorters can detect and expel defects in a wide range of shells that are invisible to the human eye. These automated features improve product quality, increase throughput, minimize food waste, and improve yields.

To take advantage of these features, Golden Macadamias employs Tomra’s BSI technology after the nuts are cracked and before being manually graded.

Golden Macadamia controls every aspect of production and advocates world-class standards from all shareholder farmers. With the results shown by Nimbus BSI +, the company will continue its partnership with Tomra by acquiring 10 Tomra 3C machines and an additional Tomra 5C with BSI + technology as part of an expansion project in South Africa. I decided that.

Peter Edmondson, General Manager of Golden Macadamia, commented: This has allowed us to develop the ideal processing solution for the macadamia market, which continuously develops new solutions and technologies. “

Tomra 3C eliminates foreign matter such as stones, shells and sticks and can achieve incredible efficiency of up to 99.5% purity depending on the sorting process. It is also suitable for separating the shell from the kernel with few giveaways. This machine can do all this while sorting over 20 tons of nuts per hour. Tomra 3C can also be used in the second position of the line to remove major discoloration, rotten moldy grains, and remaining shells.

Norman Smith explains: “To examine nuts both internally and externally, Tomra’s unique BSI + technology scans materials at both near-infrared (NIR) and visible spectrum wavelengths, which provides a database of object biometric properties. It is instantly compared to the features stored in to determine whether to accept or reject the object. This technology has the unparalleled ability to detect and reject hard-to-see, almost invisible defects. In the genus Macadamia, such defects include early germination. Type; immature and wrinkled nuts; cracked, thin, dark or black shells; “791 spot” kernel failure. Insect damage caused by brown marmorated stink bugs, tortrix moths, and tortrix moths. “

Peter Edmondson said: “Both throughput and product quality are very important to us. We are currently shifting 8 hours twice a week, 5 days a week, throughout the 6-8 month production season, and production is continuously increasing. Tomra’s machine handles this pressure well and was very impressed with the results brought about by BSI + technology. Unhealthy nut levels after cracking and before manual grading. We were able to halve from 8% to just 4%. No other technology can match this. “

“In addition to identifying hard-to-find defects, Tomra’s BSI technology has increased factory throughput by 10%, which means that technology payback is within about two years.”

The Tomra 5C Optical Sorter is not only specially developed for the nut and dried fruit industry, but also connects to Tomra Insight, a cloud-based data platform, to produce future-proof golden macadamias. Support the line. This subscription-based service collects and securely stores data from sorting machines, improves machine performance, and transforms sorting from operational processes to strategic management tools.

https://industrialnews.co.uk/golden-macadamias-utilises-tomra-foods-latest-sorting-technologies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=golden-macadamias-utilises-tomra-foods-latest-sorting-technologies Golden Macadamia uses the latest sorting technology from Tomra Foods

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