New colour sorter installed at Muntons
Muntons are the first maltster in the UK to invest in a colour sorter to help overcome contamination issues with malting barley deliveries.
They have invested £600,000 purchasing and installing a state-of-the-art colour sorter. This device is able to detect and remove contaminants from cereal deliveries and will significantly reduce wasted lorry journeys through rejections at their maltings.
Colour sorters use LED lighting and special cameras to detect any foreign material and the data is quickly analysed by dedicated software and the rejected material is ejected and collected separately from the cereals.
The colour sorting process will enable Muntons to process and clean deliveries of malting barley which would otherwise have been simply rejected. This not only reduces truck movements but means that the farmer will still be able to sell their load as premium quality malting barley instead of having to find alternative uses for the contaminated material.
Last year was one of the worst on record for cereals contaminated with ergot, a fungus poisonous to humans, which can grow on cereals and is difficult to remove using traditional methods as it is often the same shape and size as the cereal grain itself.
Mike Norfolk, Muntons Supply Chain General Manager said: “In the past, farmers who had deliveries rejected because of ergot contamination would have had to take the load to be cleaned by a specialist company, which would have involved additional haulage as well as the cleaning cost itself. Now we are able to clean the load on-site for the farmer saving them wasted haulage costs and wasted time.”
This is a bold and innovative move for the malting industry, yet is one which will bring benefits both now and for the future. Had Muntons had this technology in place last year they estimate that could have saved over 340 wasted truck movements.