UK – The food equipment and services company, Buhler UK Ltd has received Queen’s Award for Enterprise for innovation and research into camera technology used in sorting machines.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organizations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.
They are identified as the highest official UK awards for British businesses celebrating export, technological and environmental achievement.
World Grain report reveals that the award recognized Buhler’s technology in unique camera technology used in sorting machines, capable of recognizing the subtlest of color and shading contrasts in materials and foods.
The technology increases rates for foreign materials, potential choke hazards or contaminated foods, thus improving food safety and production efficiencies.
It is used by food producers in Europe and the United States and is said to have resulted to increased detection rates for foreign materials up from 85% to 95%.
The technology utilizes hyperspectral imaging to generate highly accurate color and shading contrasts for specific products, critical in color sorting as well as detecting contamination or foreign matter.
“The innovation here is our ability to gather such large amounts of data and then use that data to optimize a conventional narrow band digital camera so that it is capable of quickly and efficiently detecting very specific things, whether it is shells in nuts, foreign materials in a vegetable production line or even different grades of polymers in a recycling plant,” said Benedict Deefholts, senior research engineer Bühler UK Ltd.
Buhler has developed sorting technologies such as BioVision for the nut industry, , PolarVision aimed at producers of frozen vegetable and PolyVision designed to improve plastic recycling rates.
Last year, the company moved into natural hazelnut market with the Turkish launch of its innovative combination of sorting technologies.
This followed the successful launch of its SORTEX E and SORTEX F optical sorters with BioVision technology, in the American walnut, almond and pistachio markets.
According to World Grain, this is the seventh Queen’s Award that has been won by Bühler UK since 1968, reflecting excellence in international trade, innovation and sustainable development.