Case History: New Cranberry Cleaning Line at Emblème Bears Fruit

Key Technology machines for cleaning, sorting and sizing help get a cranberry processor into the high-end market.

Emblème Canneberge is a young cranberry processor with deep roots. Backed by three cranberry growing families with many years of experience, Emblème was founded in 2016 to add value by offering frozen product of superior quality. Unconstrained by pre-existing operations, they designed a state-of-the-art facility, which started up in October.

Emblème sells its high quality frozen cranberries in bulk totes that weigh 1,200-1,300 lbs. to customers that sweeten and dry them for other food processors. High-quality frozen cranberries in 20- and 40-lb. boxes are sold directly to food processors making sauces and other products.

“We’re in business to add value," explains Vincent Godin, president of Emblème. "We add value when we clean and condition the fruit. We add value when we freeze clean product, and we add value when we size and sort frozen product."

During the short six-week harvest, Emblème runs two shifts a day, seven days a week to process 26 million lbs. of product on its cleaning line. The company relies on the most advanced technology at every step.

"All of our customers have very high standards in the specifications of the cranberries they want," he continues. “Our cleaning line removes foreign material as well as rotten and soft cranberries, which would impair the quality of the good fruit in the freezer if not removed. This line is also very efficient at removing water to produce free-flowing product that’s easy to separate after freezing for further processing.”

Key Embleme 9519 white“We selected a cleaning line from Key Technology because they have the most experience in our industry and the best reputation," Godin explains. "Key helps us achieve those high standards."

The new cleaning line is an integrated solution that includes five Key machines – a scalping grader, air cleaner, fines removal shaker, brush washer and a dewatering shaker with air knives. Leveraging Key’s expertise in material handling and processing, the integrated system uses a variety of mechanical processes to remove unwanted material from the main product flow while maximizing yield and evenly feeding downstream equipment.

“We chose an integrated line because having one source ensures the fit and function,” he notes. “Each machine is built so one drops product into the other. They are made to work together, so installation and start-up was easy and the line runs efficiently.”

Emblème’s cleaning line removes foreign material (FM) such as sticks, leaves, vines and stones as well as berries that are too small, soft or rotten, while good fruit is washed and then dried to a humidity of less than 1 percent. The line produces cranberries that freeze efficiently and are easily processed later.

Based on Key’s versatile Iso-Flo vibratory design, these shakers provide reliability and sanitation. Each shaker bed is fabricated from stainless steel with welds ground smooth within the product zone where bacteria can grow and compromise food safety. Limiting surface laminations, integrating scallops and stiffeners and offering large access doors for easy cleaning all contribute to superior sanitation.

“Almost everything on these Key shakers is made of stainless steel," Godin says. "This limits rust in our very wet environment and makes the equipment very easy to clean.”

Equipment dependability helps minimize maintenance and maximize uptime. The Iso-Flo systems use independent, frame-mounted drives and spring arm assemblies that distribute energy equally to all parts of the shaker bed in a controlled natural-frequency operation to minimize the vibration that is transferred to structural supports and the floor.

Key’s contoured StrongArm spring arms offer an operational life up to twice that of traditional straight spring arms. The robust Iso-Drive, made of stainless steel, and oil-free motors add to the system's reliable performance and superior sanitation.

“We measure success on our cleaning line by three criteria. One is the final moisture content of the product, which needs to be less than 1 percent. Second is FM removal – we want to remove as much FM as possible at the same time we limit good product removal to maintain a high yield. Third, we want to achieve these objectives while processing an average of 80,000 lbs. of product per hour,” says Godin. “Our cleaning line from Key does all this and more.”

Emblème is installing a sizing and sorting line now, and it features an Iso-Flo mechanical size grader and Veryx digital sorter, both from Key.

“It’s always good to stick with a great supplier when you’ve got one,” concludes Godin. “Key helps us maintain our high quality standards and reach the product specifications that our customers want.”

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