Petrow Food Group has improved its levels of safety and quality capacity, following a major investment in a new fruit processing line.

Petrow, a UK supplier of ingredients to the breakfast foods, confectionary, bakery, ready meal, and snacks sectors, has spent £850,000 on a high-tech nerve centre, incorporating technology such as X-ray, flame unit, laser, throat metal detector and automatic packing units.

The technology is able to complete one of the most critical food safety operations – the identification and removal of stones, pits, glass, metal, plastic and other foreign bodies.

The line for processing dates and other dried fruits was installed in Petrow’s Haverhill production facility in Suffolk and is said to have increased automation and enhanced safety since.

Petrow Food Group managing director, Ian Tatchell, commented: “This complete processing line assures outstanding ease and reliability of operation to throw open more opportunities for customers.

“Automation maximises production efficiency while advanced quality control offers the safety, quality and throughput to take performance and competitiveness to the highest levels.”

Mark Kirkley, operations director at Petrow Food Group, added: “The new line has a maximum throughput of 1200 kilos, enabling us to respond quicker to larger volume orders from customers.

“Automation increases operational efficiency to meet and exceed customer expectations on safety, quality and legality at a time when such concerns are rising across all sectors of the food industry.

“This technology is the most advanced of its kind, fully justifying the investment. The processing line is highly intuitive and designed to satisfy the most rigorous standards in production, safety and hygiene while its sophistication combines perfect preparation of dried produce but outstanding ease, safety and reliability of operation.”