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TOMRA Food machine to separate ‘foreign bodies’ from pet food

TOMRA Food, Belgium-based manufacturer of sensor-based sorting machines for the food industry, has become the first to provide advanced sorting solutions for pet food producers.

By developing four new sorting applications, TOMRA has made it possible for pet food manufacturers to remove even very small particles of foreign materials from dry meat and bone meal, ground frozen meat, biscuits residue, and dry kibble.

All four new sorting applications have been validated over the last two years as well as in real-world working conditions at pet food manufacturing plants in Europe and the United States. By recalibrating sorting machines originally designed to ensure the purity of food for human consumption, extensive tests have identified the most effective equipment for specific pet food sorting tasks.

All TOMRA’s in-line pet food sorting solutions have the ability to handle the high throughputs that are necessary in the pet food processing industry. With the company’s wide range of mechanical platforms and optical sensors, it has been possible to tailor sorting solutions for the specific challenges of creating petfood with frozen ground meat, dry meat, bone meal, and dry kibble.

The sorting machines have been made to be able to deal with harsh, wet or dry and dusty environments. The optical sensors which inspect the product streams have diverse capabilities and differentiate between the good product and the foreign material or cross-contamination based on color, structure or composition. Air-valves on the platforms remove undesired material with precise and powerful air bursts, keeping the processor’s yield to an absolute maximum.

The in-line pet food sorting solutions take away the need for rework. They run at the same consistency for 24 hours per day and seven days per week, removing the need for manual inspection.

The machines also aim to significantly reduce claims and product recalls as well as bring brand protection to the pet food industry.

Bjorn Thumas, business development director at TOMRA Food, said: “As the humanisation and premiumisation of pet food shows, customers have increasingly high expectations about pet food quality. New applications of TOMRA’s sorting technologies now make it possible for pet food producers to easily and reliably meet the demands for higher quality and product safety.

“TOMRA’s sorting solutions are well-proven with numerous food types, such as potatoes, nuts, vegetables, and fruit, and applying our technologies to petfood is a logical progression.”

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