Key Technology has developed a new integrated hyperspectral sorting system designed for chilled bacon bits. VERYX BioPrint analyzes data about the materials it is sorting to remove bone fragments and other difficult-to-detect foreign material (FM) and product defects. When integrated with Key’s vibratory conveyors, this new bacon bit sorting line improves food safety and product quality, while maximizing efficiencies, improving yield and reducing labor, according to the company.

“Bacon bit processors have extremely high product quality standards. Ninety-nine percent removal simply isn’t good enough—they want zero FM and defects,” says Jack Lee, president of Key Technology – Americas. “In the past, bacon bit processors relied heavily on laser sorters without hyperspectral. This required multiple passes through a sorter followed by manual inspection to get anywhere near their quality goals. Now, with our hyperspectral sorting system, processors can run a single pass with virtually no manual inspection.”

To identify and remove light and dark bone, interleaving paper, L board, grease-soaked cardboard, plastics in various colors and more, VERYX BioPrint sorters detect objects’ color, size, shape and structure as well as the chemometric and biologic properties. Key’s Pixel Fusion detection technology combines pixel-level data from the hyperspectral sensors and color cameras to produce a "signature" associated with each material substance that passes through the sorter. This enables VERYX BioPrint to remove hard-to-detect FM and defects without false rejects.

Key customizes integrated bacon bit sorting lines with equipment to optimize overall system performance. Iso-Flo and Impulse vibratory conveyors can be configured to transfer, scalp, size grade, distribute, feed scales and other processing line equipment.

The integrated VERYX BioPrint sorting system can virtually eliminate the need for manual inspection, which decreases labor costs and improves the consistency of FM and defect removal. To ease use and simplify operator training, the user interface provides different views to users of various levels, depending on their needs.