Optical spectroscopy and machine learning enhancing food sorting

Optimum Sorting develops and manufactures optical sorting machines for the food processing industry, mainly focusing on the sorting of potato products, candy, vegetables, nuts and dried fruits. Optimum’s sorting machines detect foreign materials in real time at high capacity, using the principles of light reflection, scattering and fluorescence. We will present a selection of results of an Actphast project in which we explored the potential of spectroscopy and the combination with machine learning to improve the detection of difficult defects in certain types of nuts.

Interview with Jan De Jonghe

What drives you?
I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the sorting results to get closer to perfection.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Everyone who is interested in applying spectroscopy or machine learning in any technical domain.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
I’m convinced that both spectroscopy and AI will play an important role in sorting business. The combination of both could be very powerful in sorting, but probably in many technical areas. For sorting using laser and fluorescece technology also has potential to solve new challenges in Food sorting.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
The sorting efficiency will go up (small margin for improvement in most applications, new applications possible) and good product loss can go down.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Practical technical implementation in a real time sorting machine at an acceptable price is not always straight forward.

Jan De Jonghe will speak at the 2021 edition of the Smart Farming Conference.

Jan De Jonghe studied Master in Electro-Mechanics at KU Leuven, option Biomedical Engineering. Started as a Mechanical Engineer working for BEST in 2006, first specializing in the design of high frequency vibrating conveyors to feed optical sorters. Later leading multiple machine design projects. Currently R&D Manager at Optimum Sorting

Optimum Sorting develops and manufactures optical sorting machines for the food processing industry, mainly focusing on the sorting of potato products, candy, vegetables, nuts and dried fruits. Optimum’s sorting machines detect foreign materials in real time at high capacity, using the principles of light reflection, scattering and fluorescence.

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