Leaving No Stone Unturned
Askew & Barrett, pulse specialists, leave no stone unturned with LOMA SYSTEMS® X4 Bulk X-Ray Inspection system and
FreeFall metal detectors.
Askew & Barrett are one of the leading dried pulse specialists in the UK and their premium brand is built on high quality peas and beans which are free from contaminants and imperfections. Askew & Barrett source pulses from key agricultural merchants and then sort, clean and grade every pulse to ensure that no stones or other foreign bodies are found in the finished product and that each pulse is the right color, size and shape.
Askew & Barrett, based in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, was founded in 1982 through the partnership of G W Askew & Sons, a long established agricultural merchant and Paddy Barrett a pulse trader. Since then the business has grown to become one of the market leaders and pulse specialists.
The company carefully identifies crops and varieties that can be used for premium and specialty markets both in the UK and overseas. They currently supply all large food manufactures including Premier Food’s Bachelors range of mushy peas.
Product quality demands the highest standard which is met by the company’s wealth of experience in cleaning pulses and its impressive processing facilities, which process over 200 tons of pulses a day. The Askew & Barrett cleaning and grading plant is second to none. Their special cleaning machinery includes facilities for splitting and decorticating peas and beans, electronic color sorters which identify off-color product, dusters and de-stoners, which clean and eliminate any impurities and contaminants.
All pulses are cleaned to the very highest standards required by food retailers and packed into an assortment of bag sizes and distributed to many parts of the world including Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China and South America.
The company continues to invest into the latest technology of cleaning and processing equipment in order to meet new market requirements. Electronic color sorting machines combined with the latest infrared technology, metal detectors for the removal of any metals, non-ferrous metal detectors for the removal of shotgun pellets, needle drums and table separators all play an intricate part in the high standard of product produced by Askew & Barrett.
Stones are the main source of contaminants and they can easily be gathered with the product when cultivating the crops and it is extremely difficult to identify as they can look very similar to the product in color, weight and texture.
Darryl Askew, Joint Owner of Askew & Barrett said, “Over the last five years, HACCP and food safety regulations have tightened considerably and we want to be ahead of any changing policy. Our only complaint is an occasional stone that has been found in our products. Quality is key to our operations, so we strive to produce 100% contaminant free products.”
The company currently houses six de-stoner systems which identify and eliminate about 99.9% of any stones. However, Askew & Barrett were not content; they wanted 100% contaminant free product. To eradicate any occasional remaining stones and give the company complete peace of mind, they contacted Loma Systems, the leading metal detector, checkweighing and x-ray inspection company for assistance. The LOMA SYSTEMS X4 Bulk x-ray system was the perfect solution, as the cutting-edge technology can identify metal and non-metallic contaminants such as stone, glass, calcified bone, high density plastics and rubber. The X4’s high speed technology could easily keep up with productivity.
Its advanced image processing and simple set-up offers the ability to detect other product defects such as component count, zone mass measurement and shape conformity. Reject systems will also provide separate reject signals for each type of non-conformity so that contaminated and improperly packaged products can be kept separate.
The X4 Bulk x-ray is very easy to use. It features a revolutionary new high speed USB sensor and Windows XP operating system. All models have an intuitive, graphical touch screen display that ensures operators get the most out of each machine.
Shane Legge, Senior Plant Manager of Askew & Barrett comments, “The X4 Bulk x-ray system is spot on! I’m really pleased with how well it performs.”
The X4 Bulk x-ray inspection system is robust, reliable, hygienic and simple to use, offering customers a sophisticated, easy-to-operate and multi-functional inspection system. As with all of LOMA’s inspection products, customers benefit from LOMA’s high level of before- and after-sales service and receive a custom solution for their x-ray inspection requirements.
The company also uses two LOMA FreeFall metal detectors at the end of the processing line which identify any metal contaminants which occur during processing.
Askew & Barrett also took advantage of LOMA’s Platinum Service Contract to ensure sustained production levels and peace of mind. If a problem occurs they can receive expert support quickly and
efficiently from a dedicated LOMA Service Engineer.
Darryl Askew concludes, “As part of choosing this equipment, we went to other suppliers who were not interested in a small processor in Wisbech; however, LOMA’s dedicated service and quick response to our inquires filled us with complete confidence and we have never looked back.”