"The idea of eliminating the wheat grains with sunn pest by adopting optical methods against situations mechanical sorting remains incapable of sorting the grains with the sunn pest was introduced in the world in 2004. Grains with sunn pest and defected grains that cannot be separated by using any other method could only be separated with the use of optical sorting systems. Sedimentation and delayed sedimentation values substantially increased with the sorted wheat."
Food Engineer M.SC.
Atomika Machinery Sales Engineer
Wheat, one of the foodstuff with the highest consumption rate, is also an agricultural product with the highest cultivation rate across the globe. Separating the foreign matters and using the required techniques for producing flour within the process that starts from the field and continues until the wheat, the product forcing the limits of a billion tonne in annual production, is brought to our tables have been developed in parallel with the history of mankind. In consideration of the fact that wheat and flour products will be an essential part of our diets in the future, too, as it is now, one of the primary goals of the milling industry is to keep up with the modern technology in our production processes and offering competitive products to the consumers. Techniques allowing some elements necessary for human health to remain in the wheat at certain proportions are used while separating the foreign matters from the wheat.
DISADVANTAGES OF MECHANICAL SORTING
Wheat coming from the field and containing unfavourable foreign matters goes through sieving process that is one of the essential processes in the milling industry. Known mechanical techniques are capable of separating foreign matters that are larger or smaller, more or less dense than the wheat grain.
Traditional methods used in the mechanical sorting do not meet the quality criteria as required when there is no distinct difference in the physical properties of the product and foreign matter in question. The required success cannot be achieved in separating some weed seeds, defected grains, grains with sunn pest, grains with black point disease and other grains such as barley, oat and rye from the wheat.
DEVELOPMENT AND ADVANTAGES OF OPTICAL SORTING
Although Turkey is a major wheat producer and flour exporter, one of the most challenging problems is still low quality of the wheat. Low quality wheat should be blended with high quality wheat in order to produce flour. High quality wheat is usually imported from other countries. In other words, we are bound to buy wheat from other countries due to low quality despite the sufficient level of our production volume.
"The idea of eliminating the wheat grains with sunn pest by adopting optical methods against situations mechanical sorting remains incapable of sorting the grains with the sunn pest was introduced in the world 11 years ago. This idea has been put into practice in 2004 as a result of trials.
Turkey assumed the leader role in optical sorting of wheat like it did with the red lentils (particularly in separating the defected grains and grains with sunn pest) Grains with sunn pest and defected grains that cannot be separated by using any other method could only be separated with the use of optical sorting systems. Sedimentation and delayed sedimentation values substantially increased with the sorted wheat." Wheat grains that can only be used as animal feed have been brought to the milling quality by using optical sorting equipment and a substantial contribution was provided to the economy.
At present, optical sorting equipment are widely used in cleaning the wheat. It is an absolute fact that foreign-source dependency in wheat will be reduced with the increased use of optical sorting equipment. Therefore, the increasing number of users in our country is considered as a promising development.
DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS ARE CONTINUED WITH THE OPTICAL SORTING
The machines are added cameras with higher performance, user-friendly and easily learnt software in order to carry the success achieved with optical sorting systems to a higher level. Such advantages achieved with the software and imaging technology are supported with technologies used with mechanical and air ejector and efforts aimed at producing better quality product with the minimum good product loss are continued.
In addition, the advancing technology brought LED Lighting to a level allowing the use of this technology in optical sorting. The light is distributed homogeneously with the new equipment by placing LED lights into tubes similar to those used with the fluorescent lamps.
Number of channels are increased in the machines making it possible to respond to the demands of the wheat sector particularly seeking high capacity features. However, separation quality of optical sorting equipment is measured with the achieved capacity, product quality and quantity of the good products in the waste. It should be noted that sorting quality can be achieved only when the aforementioned three criteria co-exist.
High capacity, high performance machines covering lesser space should be considered for the mechanical pre-cleaning of the wheat that shall be introduced into the optical sorting equipment. Facilities engaged in with only this service can be established for cleaning the wheat. Wheat is cleaned before it is sent to the factory or mill and the dust and pollution is reduced through such facilities designed separately from the flour mills.