Spot the chemical difference

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Roasting, Light

Coffee manufacturer's new bean sorter
German coffee manufacturer Melitta asked equipment specialist Bühler to supply an optical sorter to remove broken, under- and over-roasted coffee beans, as well as foreign materials, such as very small sticks and stones. Crucially, this had to be achieved in one pass.

Bühler's European territory manager sortex and rice Nermin Alagi explains: "Melitta invested in two of our innovative optical sorters: the Sortex Z+R, with Enhanced InGaAs and PROfile shape technology. The two-module sorter was installed last April, at their roasting plant in Bremen, to be followed by a three-module sorter in August 2013. The Sortex Z+ determines purity with exceptional accuracy, at very high speeds. Whether by colour, shape or other optical properties, sub-standard product and foreign materials can be identified and separated from the product stream with exceptional accuracy."

When roasted, coffee beans and sticks and stones can have the same colour. However, InGaAs technology can identify the difference, based on chemical properties. Removing sticks and stones not only helps ensure quality, it also prevents damage to machinery later in the process.

Alagi continues: "PROfile​ [shape recognition] technology can pick out broken beans, which can then be removed, to ensure the uniform appearance of the product. Colour camera technology can detect under- and over-roasted beans."

Contact: Bühler

Related topics: Drinks

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