Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, introduces its new sorting system for fresh-cut apple products. This versatile solution integrates Key’s Iso-Flo® shakers, rotary sizing and grading systems, belt conveyors and a VERYX® digital sorter. Removing pieces of stem, seeds, calyx/flower and core as well as foreign material (FM) and product defects like dark and light stains, rot and skin, this apple sorting line automates inspection to significantly improve overall product quality and increase yield while reducing labor requirements.
“Our expertise in both digital sorting and product handling enables us to design highly innovative and effective integrated systems to solve persistent food processing challenges. Until now, fresh-cut apple processors around the world have typically relied on manual inspection to achieve their quality objectives. With our new apple sorting line, they’re able to automate and transform their entire operation,” said Karel Van Velthoven, Advanced Inspection Systems Product Marketing Manager at Key.
“Beyond improving product quality and reducing operating costs, this totally new sorting strategy massively increases product recovery. Before, people inspected halves or wedges, so a lot of good product was lost with each defect. By placing VERYX after the cutter, the sorter inspects smaller apple pieces such as cubes and strips - every defect that’s removed takes much less good product out with it.”
This integrated solution gently sorts peeled and skin-on apples, as well as pears, which are cut in a variety of sizes and shapes including cubes, strips and wedges. With VERYX sorters available in different sizes, Key can design apple sorting lines for processors with production capacities from 3 to 15 metric tons (6,600 to 33,000 lb.) per hour.