Vibroscreen: Sorting Nuts for Food Quality and Classification
Consumers seeking healthier snack options or better-for-you plant-based proteins have been steadily increasing the demand for nuts for decades. There are more than 20 types of edible nuts in the
world, with a market value estimated to reach USD 2.0 billion by 2025 on a global level. Each type of edible nut and each stage of the supply chain requires sorting to help process this commodity with the goals of meeting size, quality, and purity standards. This must be done while maintaining high throughput.
Nut processing requires durable vibratory sorters with multiple screen sizes. This is to help growers, packers, and processors meet their production goals while adhering to food safety standards. Companies can reach their goals of eliminating waste and maximizing profit potential with nut sorting equipment from Kason. One of the most used products in the industry is the Kason Vibroscreen: Sorting Nuts for Food Quality and Classification.
Vibroscreen: Sorting Nuts for Food Quality and Classification According to End-user Applications
Nut processing or sorting begins in the field. During nut harvesting, the sorting equipment can separate nuts from foreign and unwanted debris, such as twigs, stones, leaves, and even dust.
Once the nuts are dried in preparation for cracking, the outer shell or hull must be separated from the nutmeat and the nuts sorted according to size. The U.S. grade standards for nuts are voluntary. But they provide the industry with a common language for classifying nuts according to size and color, among other specifications. The size helps determine the end use or application for the nut.
Packers or copackers might package whole nuts according to individual variety, or as part of a snack mix, blend, or trail mix. In this instance, the packers typically want to eliminate dust, crumbs and fines or broken pieces in preparation for packing. In addition, whole nuts are “graded” according to size and quality, with larger nuts often commanding a greater price.
Bulk suppliers will typically separate the nuts into the following: whole nuts, halves, splits, butts (cashews) or pieces. The nuts might undergo further processing such as roasting or an applied confectionary coating. This requires sorting both prior to and after coatings are applied.
Baked goods, ice cream, confections and cereals often utilize nut halves, splits or pieces. A whole nut usually is not required, but part identity helps lend extra value to the end product.
Nuts destined for use in nut butter need to have the skin removed before grinding, and nut sorters can also help with this process. For example, roasting a peanut loosens the outer skin and the Kason VIBROSCREEN easily removes the skin to free the nuts for further processing.
Achieving Essential Durability and Food Grade Quality
The quantity and weight of the nuts demand a durable processing machine to increase the return on investment for the capital outlay. A perforated plate can supply a sturdy and durable sorting element during the initial nut entry to better withstand the impact of whole nuts entering the sorter depending on the processing stage. The perforated plate has a stagger. This allows for excellent separation and nut sizing. A mesh screen is then used to remove fines, crumbs, or dust in the processing stream.
Thorough cleaning is a top concern as with any food processing. Kason relies on stainless steel construction coupled with a circular sorter design to enhance system hygiene. This is done by facilitating easy and thorough cleaning cycles. Kason produces all our food processing screens and equipment so that all contact parts are fully compliant with FDA, USDA, 3-A, BISCC, and other stringent US and international food safety standards. The circular design helps eliminate problems associated with box-style sorter. These can cause problems such as material buildup within the sorter and corresponding microbial growth.