TOMRA Sorting Investigates on In-line Horse Meat Detection


The recent discovery of unintended content of horse meat in food products has sparked TOMRA Sorting Food to investigate if its unique transflectance technology could be adapted to detect the presence of horse meat mixed with beef. 



Research and testing

The QVision 500 analyzer is currently focused on the meat and protein sector, measuring fat/ lean, protein, collagen and moisture with outstanding accuracy. The solution can also be adjusted to analyze by shape and temperature with all batches weighted and controlled. 

Research and testing are currently taking place to determine the accuracy of the solution in horse meat detection; all preliminary test results to date are very encouraging.

“Initial testing has shown we can detect horse meat with a degree of accuracy, in addition to the normal functionality of in-line fat analysis etc.”, explains Matthias Gessner, Market Unit Manager Meat in TOMRA Sorting Food.


Engaging with the meat industry

TOMRA now plans to engage with the meat industry to see how best to leverage this technology as part of future food safety procedures. 

The QVision system currently measures fresh or frozen meat, at any grind size (ground, diced, small trims), across the full width of its conveyor belt, with analysis penetrating as far as 20mm deep into the meat. 

“With its accuracy, price point, ease of integration and ability to simplify production control, the system has the potential to make in-line fat analysis mainstream”, explains Matthias Gessner. “With the addition of horse meat detection and unrivalled capacity at 30 tons per hour this machine will become a must have for the meat industry”. 



The benefits obtained by investing in our new analysis solution are:

  • Lean meat savings 

  • Live in-line data

  • Consistent high quality standards

  • Supplier and batch control

Great effort has been made with the design of the QVision system to meet the high requirements of the food industry; the result is a very accurate and flexible solution. In addition it provides a fast return on investment and can easily be integrated into your line and existing IT systems.

More information available with Matthias Gessner on


About TOMRA Sorting Solutions: 

TOMRA Sorting Solutions is a leading provider of sensor-based sorting systems. The experience gained from more than 10,000 installed systems in the recycling, food processing and the mining industry plus experience from 15 test facilities around the world have led to significant advances in computing power, sensor technology and detection systems. TOMRA Sorting Solutions purchased Belgian BEST Sorting in June 2012, to unify the two leading providers and enhance its position as the preferred supplier for the food market’s needs. ODENBERG and BEST have now created a powerful team, delivering leading-edge sorting, safety and quality “from farm to fork“. The companies design and supply high-performance optical sorters, peeling or process analytics systems. 


About TOMRA: 

TOMRA was founded on an innovation in 1972 that began with design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers. Today TOMRA has installations in over 80 markets worldwide and had total revenues of ~4.1 billion NOK in 2012. TOMRA has around 2,200 employees and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The TOMRA Group continues to innovate and provide cutting-edge solutions for optimal resource productivity within two main business areas: Collection Solutions (reverse vending, material recovery and compaction) and Sorting Solutions (recycling, mining, food and Specialty Products sorting).