Prima Noce's new packing facility was created from the ground up as a state-of-the-art walnut processing facility, second to nobody. Significant investments were made in technologies to remove foreign matter such as shell, membrane, and field debris and prevent damage to the walnuts Some of these important technologies include:
- 100% stainless steel or food grade plastic contact surfaces for all walnut meats. Stainless steel is standard in most food processing industries and we chose to make it standard in our new facility even though it is not a standard for the walnut industry. Stainless steel provides an extra level of sanitation for our product.
- A newly-developed rotary cracker improves foreign matter removal in down stream processing which results in fewer shell fragments and larger meat pieces.
- Shallow transitions, easy bin filling, and high-lift bin dumping were employed strategically throughout the plant to minimize product damage. Bruising and scuffing of walnut meats is minimized by the configuration and design of all product transitions.
- Multiple aspiration points throughout the processing line eliminates unsavory meal.
- Foreign matter removal and consistency of the final package is improved by sizing products into eight different classes. Each of these different sizes can be ordered separately or combined in any portion to meet our clientele's exacting specifications.
- Five state-of-the-art lasers sorters organized into three sorting lines remove foreign material and off-grade walnuts prior to hand sorting. Two sorting lines employ two laser sorters configured in-line to allow two laser sorts with a single bin handling. The third laser sorting line employs lasers and a camera system to not only sort color and foreign matter, but also ensures consistent product quality through the use of shape-recognition software.
- A unique roller system removes fine foreign matter and meal just prior to final hand sorting and packing.
- Gravimetric control technology on the packing line tightly manages proportions of products in every package, maintaining box-to-box consistency.
- New to the walnut industry, we will be employing a Vertical Form Fill and Seal (VFFS) packaging system with nitrogen purge to produce package sizes from 2 lbs to 30 lbs. The VFFS system prevents product contamination by manufacturing the bag from a roll of film and then filling it immediately. Additionally, the system provides the opportunity to purge each package with nitrogen, maintaining freshness and extending shelf life.
- As a final inspection, the sealed package passes through a metal detector.
The combination of the above technologies ensures our clients receive the freshest, most consistent product available in the market.