No Compromise on Safety For Dry Fruits and Vegetables

20 April 2017

No Compromise on Safety For Dry Fruits and Vegetables

No Compromise on Safety For Dry Fruits and Vegetables

Dried fruits and vegetables are quite popular among consumers and are part of a healthy diet. They contain natural fruit sugar and are also rich in fiber. As an organic product, processing is carried out in the country of origin in most cases, so the raw material is imported directly without contamination levels having been checked. This task lies with the manufacturer – or most commonly with a contract packer in the case of retail chains with their own brands.

The French company Calabas Industrie, which specializes in logistics, warehousing and mainly contract packaging of dried fruits and vegetables, was founded in 2010. Since then, it has earned the trust of its valuable customers. The company not only makes promises that ensure reliable, hygienic, and safe processes and products, it also delivers quality. Customers and consumers can be sure to receive their products free of contamination and true to their designated weight, in accordance with the European finished packaging regulations.

With a total of 10,000,000 products packaged each year, spread over four production lines, Calabas Industrie cannot afford to make any trade-offs in quality or reliability when it comes to food safety or metrological requirements, because processes have to comply with standards and regulations.

In November 2016 Calabas Industrie achieved IFS certification which is a promise on food safety. The company refused to compromise when selecting appropriate product inspection equipment. After careful consideration, it chose to partner with METTLER TOLEDO.

From Field to Packaging – Nothing Goes Undetected

Raw materials such as nuts, raisins, lentils, beans and chickpeas - purchased from global sources - are clean when they arrive from the field but have not been inspected for foreign body contamination. Usually, agricultural companies do not check if their product is free from foreign bodies such as metal, pieces of wood, or stones. The contract packer is generally responsible for this task, and it is also in their interest to do so. They must ensure that consumers never receive contaminated products that could harm them in any way and therefore damage the brand reputation.

Since its start-up six years ago, the company has relied on equipment from METTLER TOLEDO. Each of the three production lines operates with a dynamic, latest-generation checkweigher and metal detection systems.

Following a search for reliable equipment, the combination systems from METTLER TOLEDO were chosen as these fitted the line layout perfectly. Three of the four lines combine advanced in-motion weighing technology and metal detection on one platform, while the fourth line is operated especially to monitor dried vegetables. This meant that it was necessary to rely on a combined checkweigher and X-ray inspection system.


No Chance of Metal Contamination

Wear and tear in harvesting or production equipment can result in fine metal pieces, such as swarf, finding its way into dry fruits and potentially reaching consumers through the supply chain. This must be prevented by all means possible. This is why Calabas Industrie utilizes highly-sensitive metal detectors from METTLER TOLEDO to inspect products for potential metal contamination prior to the initial packaging process, and remove contaminated products from the production line.


X-ray Technology for Maximum Security

For products coming straight from the field there is a high risk that they may contain many kinds of contaminants. The potential variety of foreign bodies, whether glass, wood, metal, or stone, means that utilizing an X-ray inspection system is imperative. Each of the packaged products is subject to a thorough check. The checkweigher and X-ray combination system captures and stores values from all the important parameters of the weighing process and a product image result from the X-ray inspection. The operator or auditor can follow the output via the combination system’s easyto- use software interface. In case of contamination, products are automatically rejected into the catch bins.


Compliance with Finished Packaging Regulations – No chance of Weight Deviations

The dynamic checkweighers automatically ensure that all products are weighed according to the European regulations for pre-packaged products. Like contaminated products, non-compliant products such as those that are underfilled are rejected immediately. On the production lines, a variety of products are produced with different types of packaging. Thanks to the product inspection equipment’s particularly intuitive software interface and its large memory for product presets, product changeovers can be performed in no time at all. This, among other useful features, saves the line operator valuable time and increases the packaging lines Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). In addition, numerous mechanical options offer a high degree of flexibility for handling and monitoring any individual type of packaging. The precise and high-performance weighing unit with its wide weighing range is suitable for all products produced at Calabas Industrie.


Well Positioned for the Future - Constant Quality is Critical

Ensuring and constantly documenting consistent quality for current and future food standards is equally important for existing as well as for potential customers. To fulfill this provision, Calabas Industrie appointed a quality manager to permanently monitor the complete production process and to ensure that it meets IFS guidelines as a part of their quality management program. Scalable product inspection solutions from METTLER TOLEDO have since supported the quality manager in complying with food safety requirements. This greatly helps Calabas Industrie to maintain its reputation for excellence by verifying the processes according to strict food safety guidelines. This ensures a permanent level of safety at all stages of production. Therefore, each intervention in the process and procedure of checkweighing and metal detection, as well as during operation of the Xray unit, is logged with a time stamp. This tamper-proof and paperless documentation can save a lot of time for both employees and auditors.


At a Glance

“Our quality management ensures our consumers receive constant product quality according to IFS guidelines. These important preventative measures protect the consumer, our customers’ brands and our own. Looking for safe and top product quality was certainly one of our reasons for choosing the market leader in product inspection solutions”, states Ludovic Baix, CEO of Calabas Industrie. Baix adds, “Most importantly, none of METTLER TOLEDO’s competitors were able to present us with a recommendation that would meet our on-site requirements during the tender phase. Decisive in our choice were the space-saving design of the combination systems that we need for foreign body detection, fast and seamless integration into our lines, as well as the service quality. We do not regret this decision even five years after the company was founded. We are already planning to expand line capacity due to our organic growth. For future requirements, we would of course make no compromises when selecting product inspection equipment.”

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