February 9, 2017 – Oakshire Mushroom Farm is an award-winning innovator and patent holder in the mushroom industry. In business for more than 31 years, the fungi producer develops, grows and packs their own OAKSHIRE branded products as well as DOLE® mushrooms, as the exclusive licensee in North America. When Oakshire needed a new metal detector in 2015 to accommodate rising demand, they turned to Mettler-Toledo Safeline and selected a Signature Touch to maximize food safety and final product quality.
“Before purchasing our first metal detectors, we went to trade shows and considered four different suppliers. Mettler-Toledo Safeline stood out, so we bought three of their systems,” said Stephen Anania, Director of Operations. “Last year, we needed another one and decided to stay with Mettler-Toledo because of the great equipment reliability and customer service. Our sales rep, Dick DeNenno from Reliant Packaging Systems, guided us through the purchase process and helped us identify the best system for our current and future needs.”
“We love our Signature Touch for its impressive detection sensitivity and ease of use. From a maintenance perspective, I never have to think about this metal detector – it just runs and runs and runs,” said Steven Lathe, Maintenance Manager. “Installation was so easy, we did it ourselves. Just put it in place, level it and plug it in.”
“Mushrooms are grown in wooden beds held together with nails and screws, so metal detection is a crucial part of our process,” explained Lathe. “It’s extremely important that none of that metal gets mixed in with the product and goes out the door.”
Safeline metal detectors find ferrous and non-ferrous tramp metal, as well as the most difficult to detect non-magnetic stainless steel fragments and non-spherical fine wire fragments. With high frequency advanced coil technology and dynamic filtering techniques, these systems maximize detection sensitivity and stability. “We check the performance of our metal detectors every hour by running test strips through,” added Mike Morrison, QC Manager. “The sensitivity on the Signature Touch is the best we’ve ever seen.”
Mushrooms can challenge detection technology with their changing moisture content and density, which vary from batch to batch as well as from one mushroom type and size to another,” noted Lathe. “Our new metal detector works equally well for all our mushrooms and handles most product variations without requiring adjustments.” Oakshire processes a variety of mushroom types, with changeovers occurring as often as four times per line per shift, depending on the season.
The aperture on the Signature Touch at Oakshire is unusually large, allowing it to accommodate a wide assortment of package sizes. With an opening 20 inches wide and 9 inches high, it can inspect lugs of incoming product as well as the final product quality of retail-sized tills and 10-lb. bulk packages for foodservice customers.
“We pack hundreds of thousands of pounds per week and distribute throughout the U.S. Because we’ve licensed the DOLE brand, we can go to our customers with a nice value proposition, offering both the OAKSHIRE brand and a national brand,” said Quintin Schroeder, Product Manager. “We’ve been growing very aggressively year after year.”
“Product safety is our most important objective. That’s why we rely so much on our metal detectors,” concluded Morrison. “The Signature Touch is a huge part of how we ensure we’re putting out the high quality mushrooms that Oakshire is known for.”
About Mettler-Toledo Safeline
Mettler-Toledo Safeline is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mettler-Toledo Inc., a global supplier of precision instruments with sales and service locations in 37 countries. The Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection Division, which includes the companies CI-Vision, Safeline, PCE and Safeline, is an industry leader and innovator in the field of automated product inspection solutions with vision inspection, checkweighers, track-and-trace systems, metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems. Industries including food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, chemical and personal care use our solutions to continuously improve the quality of their products and improve the efficiency of their manufacturing and packaging processes.