For 30 years Euroverde has been transforming its fruit and vegetable raw materials into excellent products, respecting tradition and innovation. The company mainly produces salads and ready meals such as soups and velvety soups.
With the perspective of offering consumers a product of an increasingly higher level, Euroverde relies on Sesotec technology for quality control: X-ray technology is in fact used in the preparation phase of ready-made vegetable dishes, identifying any foreign bodies that they can come from raw materials, including pebbles and stones.
Until now the company relied on metal detectors, but the inspection was thus limited to metallic foreign bodies only. “This is why it was decided to change technology and opt for Sesotec X-rays”, say Benedetta Manzini and Stefano Fortunali of the quality control office of Euroverde Società Agricola S.r.l.
Briefly introduce Euroverde to us
The company was founded in 1954 as an agricultural reality, then grew in the 1990s and specialized in fresh-cut produce and in the preparation of ready-made vegetable dishes. Since 2012 we have expanded the offer to also include fresh soups, velvety soups and side dishes, all prepared and packaged using the most innovative machines in the sector, thus entering the industrial market.
Today Euroverde has around 250 employees and our products are on the shelves of large-scale retail trade throughout Italy. We plan to expand our range of action to the international market too.
How does production take place in Euroverde?
Euroverde can count on a modern production plant of 9,000 m2 which allows the transformation of vegetables and the production of agri-food products quickly and efficiently, according to the highest quality and safety standards. To power our production lines, we use renewable sources to produce clean energy through a 300 Kw photovoltaic system.
Our production is divided into different departments and includes loading and unloading docks, raw material washing, cooking, dosing and packaging lines. Optical sorters are used to check fresh-cut fresh vegetables and eliminate any impurities. Inspection technologies can also check already finished products, such as packaged soups.
The metal detector is still installed and operating, but there are not many ferrous or metallic contaminants; the use of X-rays is therefore more decisive to identify the possible presence of pebbles or glass.
How does this solution work and what quality control challenges does it enable you to address at the production level?
For our production line, we needed a high-performance machine. We thus implemented the Sesotec technology and dedicated an initial period to configuring the machine’s software for the detection of contaminants.
In any case, everything depends on the product: if the product is homogeneous, such as velvety creams, the machine recreates a master image which is analyzed by the software in every single pixel, in a few steps the software inspects and goes straight into action. If, however, the product presents inhomogeneities, it is necessary to make adjustments, guided by the intuitive software.
What happens if the product is considered contaminated?
The product is discarded and subjected to a re-examination process: if again the inspection does not give a positive result, the product will be definitively discarded. All this is obviously linked to a collection of data and related statistics, a very important aspect within the company’s production cycle.
What results has the implementation of this technology brought you?
There has been an annual increase in soup production, we are constantly growing.
Sometimes it happens that in order to make up for drops in production linked to catastrophic weather events or supply difficulties we have to rely on external suppliers; X-ray technology gives us great peace of mind and helps us to continue satisfying the customer’s request.
We have not yet drawn up a definitive paper on the data and statistics collected (the balance will be done at the end of the year); However, we can state that by comparing the “before” and “after” there was an actual reduction in complaints and above all the solution allowed us to raise suppliers’ awareness of the problem of the presence of contaminants such as stones, perhaps precisely in the resource inspection phase.
So why did you choose Sesotec?
For the choice of an X-ray system we carried out a market analysis and found a convincing quality-price ratio in the offer of Sesotec, which proved to be a flexible and available partner. However, it is a partnership that has allowed both companies to grow, thus making the relationship almost symbiotic, in short, a win-win.