SOUTH AFRICA – Golden Macadamias, largest processor of Macadamia nuts in the world has joined hands with TOMRA to help it attain the highest product quality and large production volumes by leveraging TOMRA’s 5C sorting machine with Biometric Signature Identification technology (BSI+). 

Golden Macadamias controls every aspect of production and insists on world-class standards from all of its shareholder farmers. Due to the results shown by the Nimbus BSI+, which detects both color and chemical composition in the same pass, the business decided to continue developing its partnership with TOMRA as part of its expansion project in South Africa by acquiring 10 TOMRA 3C machines and an additional TOMRA 5C with BSI+ technology.

Thus far, the South African based company’s success has been achieved by meeting the stringent quality requirements of export markets to tap into the booming international demand for macadamias. Attaining the highest product quality with large production volumes has been made possible by investing in the best available technologies.

Peter Edmondson, General Manager at Golden Macadamias, commented noted that the company’s long-standing partnership with TOMRA has allowed them to pioneer the ideal processing solution for the macadamias market, where they continuously develop new solutions and technologies.

“Throughputs and product quality are both very important to us. We currently work two eight-hour shifts five days per week throughout the whole six- to eight-month production season, and our production volumes are continually increasing. TOMRA’s machines handle this pressure well, and we have been very impressed by the results delivered by BSI+ technology. After cracking and before manual grading, we have been able to halve the level of unsound nuts from 8% to just 4%. No other technology can match this,” he said.

The BSI+ module identifies product defects using both near- infrared (NIR) and visible spectrum wavelengths to make a highly detailed classification decision. While the standard BSI is great for foreign material removal, BSI+ goes much further. It enables customers to achieve a higher level of food safety and accurately classify multiple grades of product quality.

It instantly compares the biometric characteristics of objects to features stored in its database to determine whether they should be accepted or rejected.

This technology has an unchallenged ability to detect and reject hard-to-see and nearly invisible defects. In macadamias, such defects include early germination, mold, immature and shriveled nuts, cracked, pale, and dark or black shells, the ‘791 spot’ kernel disorder and insect damage from stink bugs, nut borer moths, and false codling moths.

Golden Macadamia’s growth

The demand for consistent supply of quality macadamias by consumers and a stable and sustainable return by farmers marked the rise of Golden Macadamias as the farmers opted to process and market their own crop in the year 2001. The company sources its raw materials from member farmers only and process the nuts at a single location, ensuring 100% traceability.

Golden Macadamia has grown from 16 to 91 shareholders in the last 20 years and realized a revenue growth of over 10 000% hence crowning it the world’s largest macadamia processor. It is currently constructing a new facility which will have a processing capacity of over 30 000 tons and will be up and running by 2022. Golden Macadamias expansion project broke ground on the 25th of August 2020.

Today 98% of the macadamia crop is exported. Approximately 55% of South Africa’s macadamias are sold to the kernel market, mostly for export to the USA, Europe, and Asia. The other 45% goes to the in-shell market, some for sale domestically but mostly for export to China, where consumers prefer to crack the shells themselves. It is the kernel market which demands the greatest product quality.

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