Grinders Coffee has become the first Australian company to implement a new electronic colour sorting technology specifically for roasted coffee.
Sourced from Advanced Sorting Machines (ASM), a company of Sesotec in Bologna, Italy, the Vision 400-volt digital electronic colour sorting machine will work in conjunction with Grinders Coffee’s existing quality management processes to ensure that only perfectly roasted whole beans make it into each bag of Grinders Coffee beans.
The equipment has already proved highly effective when sorting green beans and other grains such as wheat, rice and barley, but it has never been used on roasted coffee, until now.
The move comes as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to quality and innovaton, and to embrace the latest techniques and technology available from crop to cup.
General Manager of Grinders Coffee Neale Wood says Grinders Coffee is the first company in the Southern Hemisphere to use this technology with coffee.
“Unlike other technology in use across the Australian coffee industry, this technology allows us to capture foreign materials that are otherwise identical in size and weight to coffee beans. Depending on the recipe, its settings can be changed to accommodate light and dark roasts,” Neale says.
The Vision machine has special lenses that are collinated, polarised and neutral density-filtered to produce a highly focused, high intensity beam of light on the reading line that identifies defective beans.
Thanks to custom modifications, the new electric colour sorting machine features 16 cameras – eight colour and eight infrared – to analyse the size, shape, colour and density of each bean. It has the capacity to check 5000 kilograms of roasted beans per hour. It ejects inferior products through a series of 288 air ejectors.
“Interestingly, since we installed the new machine two weeks ago, examination of some of the rejected beans has revealed that despite their completely normal appearance, many have natural imperfections that significantly impact their taste,” Neale says.
The machine also removes broken beans that have a higher chance of being over-roasted or even scorched when roasted, and due to their incomplete structure, don’t retain freshness in the same way as whole beans.
The machine, estimated to be a half-a-million dollar investment between purchase and installation, is now in full operational at Grinders Coffee’s Fairfield roasting house in Victoria.
The electronic colour sorting technology works in conjunction with Grinders Coffee’s existing quality management systems, which include ISO 9001 certification and include Good Manufacturing Practices, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points standards; standard pre-shipment sampling for raw coffee; and daily tasting and cupping of roasted and packed coffee conducted by Master Roaster Giuseppe Cianchi in association with dedicated quality assurance team.