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Chemical imaging technology to improve P.E.I. potato safety

The P.E.I. potato harvest is quickly wrapping up for 2017 with good quality, average yields and strong prices for growers. The industry is worth an estimated $1 billion annually to the provincial economy.
(P.E.I. Potato Board)
P.E.I. potatoes. - Submitted

It will now be elementary for a P.E.I. raw potato preparation operation to inspect the inside of potatoes with new technology called the Sherlock Separator-2400.

On Friday, RWL Holdings Ltd. in Travellers Rest received more than $400,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the province for food safety equipment.

The Sherlock Separator is a chemical imaging machine that uses new technology to inspect the inside of the potato without removing the peel.

The machine makes RWL the first location in Canada to have the ability to screen potatoes for foreign material with their peelings on.

“This world-class chemical imaging uses the highest level of resolution to remove defective product such as wet rot, dry rot, sun burn and scab,” said Austin Roberts of RWL Holdings Ltd.

“This advancement is significant in protecting P.E.I.’s processing crop to market and places P.E.I. as one of the world leaders in food safety and quality in potato production.”

RWL Holdings is a value-added potato preparation company that offers services to local producers including cleaning, drying, grading and load optimization.

The company is a partnership owned by Kinkora Holdings Inc., Valley Grove Enterprises Ltd. and Hilltop Produce Ltd.

Friday’s contribution included $375,000 from ACOA and $30,000 from the provincial government.

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