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Sorting Equipment Maker QualySense Enlists Big Coffee Companies in Development Deal

QSorter Explorer

The QSorter Explorer machine for the analysis of coffee and other agricultural goods. QualySense promotional photo.

Swiss industrial sorting equipment manufacturer QualySense says it has entered a partnership agreement worth $1 million with six of the world’s largest coffee companies to further develop its AI-driven green coffee sorting equipment.

The company says the development partnership involves participation from roasting giants such as Starbucks, Nespresso and Suntory, along with Brazil’s largest green coffee cooperative Cooxupé, the Dubai Multi Commodity Center (DMCC), and a Swiss branch of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe.

QualySense has been active since 2010, providing mechanized sorting and analysis solutions for agricultural products such as beans and seeds. In 2018, the company made its first big launch in the coffee sector, introducing the QSorter Explorer. The machine won a Best New Product award from the Specialty Coffee Association in at the World of Coffee event in Amsterdam that year.

More recently, at the tail end of 2021, QualySense announced it had raised $2.5 million for continued market expansion in the United States. The funding round was led by fellow Swiss company and manufacturing partner Ferrum AG.

In an announcement sent to Daily Coffee News, the company claims the latest iteration of the QSorter machine represents the only high-speed single-bean analyzer in the world that combines 3D imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy with machine learning algorithms, precision sorting and data handling in a single platform.

The company says as many as 30 individual green coffee beans can be inspected per second, while the machine tracks properties that are and are not visible to the human eye. The first units of the latest QSorter were scheduled for installation this summer.

“QualySense will revolutionize and globally standardize the way we inspect coffee, will bring to the market the must-have tool for traders or roasters,” coffee industry veteran and MB Coffee Consultancy Founder Marco Bellinato said in the announcement shared by QualySense. “This machine will help me improve efficiency and speed of service; we will be able to inspects hundreds of samples in a fraction of time compared to today standards.”

[This story has been updated. An earlier version contained a typo that said the QSorter machine can inspect 30 beans per minute. The machine actually can inspect 30 beans per second.]

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