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Tomra spots potato processing rot

By Rachel Arthur+

24-Jan-2014
Last updated on 24-Jan-2014 at 10:04 GMT

Sorting potatoes
Sorting potatoes

Tomra Sorting Solutions says the advantage of its Field Potato Sorter is that clients don’t need to worry about labour shortages. 

The Field Potato Sorter (FPS) uses patent-pending biometric signature identification (BSI) technology to sort potatoes from rocks, mud and other farm materials.

The FPS has a multi-spectral representation of the visible and near infrared spectral zones, which can  analyse and identify organic characteristics and compositions of objects. It can spot dirt clods, stones, other foreign material and rot from potatoes, even those with a lot of soil on them.

Difficulty getting labour

The machine can sort and record the different varieties and sizes of unwashed potatoes.

Jim Frost, market unit manager at Tomra Sorting Food, told FoodProductionDaily.com the FPS helps companies cut manpower – something that is in short supply. It also means only high quality potatoes, not rocks, are stored and distributed.

Generally speaking, people are finding it harder to find manpower, the difficulty is getting labour. That’s the biggest problem to farmers,” he said.

Higher quality product

Then [with FPS] you store less overall, and there’s less crop damage as you’re removing anything that can cause damage early. You’re shipping out a higher quality product.

With the BSI technology we get an awful lot more information about each potato as it is scanned.

The sorting machine is compatible with other potato grading equipment, but can also be used on its own to sort harvested potatoes, before or after storage.

On display 

The Field Potato Sorter will be on show at Fruit Logistica on February 5-7.

Tomra Sorting Solutions creates sensor-based technologies for sorting, peeling and process analytics. It has four brands: Titech for recycling, Tomra Sorting Mining, Odenberg and Best for food and specialty products.

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