STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 3, Number 1

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vation in sorting machines. Processing units have advanced from simple analog units to digital microprocessors with the ability to "learn" the difference between good and bad beans by batch. Early machines measured a single band of wavelengths, rejecting beans that were lighter or darker in color. Greater precision was first possible 25 years ago with the use of green and red filters for arabica beans and red or near infrared for robusta beans. This made it possible to eliminate unripe and waxy or chipped, broken and insect- damaged beans. The latest generation equipment also recognizes size and shape, small cracks in the bean, ejects foreign materials like glass and stones and even recognizes non-visible defects caused by mold and bacteria to cast out "stinkers." Longevity matters When making a $50,000 to $100,000 investment in automation equipment, a com- pany's history is a deciding factor. Representatives from four companies, some old and some newer, all pitched their wares last November at the 27th Sintercafé in Costa Rica. Two of these firms, Bühler Sortex and Satake, were founded long before the Oli- ver Company with pedigrees dating to the later years of the Industrial Revolution. The other two are relative newcomers by comparison, producing optical sorters since the 1970s. The Bühler Group was originally an iron foundry established in Switzerland in the mid-19th century. It introduced its SORTEX optical sorter in 1947, and is now part of a global corporation numbering 10,000 employees. Rio Rafael, regional sales manager for Bühler Sortex described the firm: "We are first and foremost an engineering company. Sorters is a division of what we do." Price Peterson, owner of the Hacienda La Esmeralda coffee plantation in Palmira, Panama. In 1996 a rare vari- etal known as Geisha was discovered on his land and in 2006 coffee from these trees set a world record price. Maintaining the highest quality from crop to cup requires a blend of technology and know-how that only years of experience and innovation can provide. And no one knows this better than GEA Process Engi- neering - the company behind the world- recognised GEA Niro instant coffee plants. We have fine-tuned the process to ensure excellence at every stage – from the green beans to drying and packing – so you have the flexibility to supply specific markets with specific products. Instant choice GEA Process Engineering A/S Gladsaxevej 305, DK-2860 Soeborg, Denmark Phone: +45 39 54 54 54, Fax: +45 39 54 58 00,, engineering for a better world

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