Stowmarket malt firm Muntons estimates £600k colour sorter for barley will save 340 wasted truck movements

Muntons' colour sorter.

Muntons' colour sorter. - Credit: Muntons

A Stowmarket-based malt firm has invested £600,000 in a colour sorter to help overcome contamination issues with malting barley deliveries.

Muntons' colour sorter flow diagram.

Muntons' colour sorter flow diagram. - Credit: Muntons

Muntons, which believes it is the first UK maltster to invest in the technology, says the device, which detects and removes contaminants from cereal deliveries, will significantly reducing wasted lorry journeys through rejections at its maltings.

Colour sorters use LED lighting and special cameras to detect any foreign material. The data is analysed by dedicated software and the rejected material is ejected and collected separately from the cereals.

The move means farmers will still be able to sell their load as premium quality malting barley instead of having to find alternative used for 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.

Supply chain general manager Mike Norfolk 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.”

Had Muntons had this technology in place last year, it estimates it could have saved more than 340 wasted truck movements.

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