28 August 2017

"Optical sorting" of food

You learn something every day.  I knew that conveyor belts could sort food by size and remove debris using sifting screens, but I didn't know they used optics to sort by color and shape.  Then they can remove unwanteds using little puffs of air.  Amazing.

A quick search yields many other examples.  I saw one machine that sorted brown and white grains of rice.  This one separates white beans from black beans.

I have no doubt my first job (monitoring a line of cans at a Green Giant corn-processing factory for dented ones and throwing them out) is now automated.  Don't know if a machine does my other task of greasing the cooker machines...


  1. I think this technique is used a lot. Our company built one for separting colored glass for recycling.

  2. i have helped out with the harvest at my friends vineyard. we do all that by hand - cut out all the bad grapes, all the insects, etc., before putting the grapes in the bin.


  3. I have toured potato chip factories where they use this technology to get rid of burnt or discolored chips. Kind of humorous to watch...

  4. Stan, have you seen the cranberry bounce test? Dropping them onto a conveyor belt, where the ripe enough berries bounce over a certain height, while the cast-offs either splat or bounce too low to clear the barrier.


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