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Australian almond grower Bright Light Agribusiness will install 15 sorters from Tomra into its new purpose-built factory in Hattah, Victoria.

The decision to build the facility in the heart of the Sunraysia region comes after years of subcontracted processing, says Simon Murphy, sales and marketing manager at Bright Light.

“This new facility with an annual throughput of 25,000 tonnes will have its own hulling and shelling, inshell-pack-out capabilities and will also be equipped to deliver a ‘pack-to-grade’ brown kernel raw-almonds product,” he says.

According to Tim Orr, operations manager, Bright Light worked together with Tomra and project coordinator Pass to reduce human interaction and reprocessing as much as possible.

“Tomra’s BSI+ technology made the difference, especially its ability to target insect damage – not only major damage, but also the pinhole carpophilus-beetle bites, which was a real eye-opener.

“With Tomra already using such technology in Australia during the 2018 season, we were able to combine laboratory testing with real field data. The BSI+ technology also delivered outstanding results on other, often challenging almond defects such as doubles, gummy-nuts, immature, molded, and stains,” he says.

Ashley Hunter, senior vice president and head of Tomra food sorting, said Tomra was pleased to be the chosen sorting partner for the project.

“The effort spent by Bright Light, Pass and the global Tomra organisation in defining the processing concept embraced the significant collective experience of the stakeholders to deliver a state of the art solution,” says Hunter.

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