Ensuring the highest levels of food safety and quality is critical to us. Every Kelley Bean facility runs under the P.A.S.S. System - Process Assuring Safety and Specification. This system, unique to and internally developed by Kelley Bean, is built on GFSI standards and 85+ years of experience in the dry edible bean industry. We have multiple BRC certified facilities as well as several others that successfully pass annual AIB audits.
Kelley Bean carries a standard array of product specifications including, but not limited to, U.S. #1 grade, packaging quality, canning quality, and prewash. For packaging quality, we take great care to select product with the best color. For canning quality, we focus on cooking characteristics such as checked seed coats. Prewash product is positioned perfectly for the food service and restaurant segments where foreign material is the top concern. However, one of our strengths is working with our customers to define a specification that works best for them.
Regardless of the quality parameters, food safety trumps everything. Dry beans coming in from the field are run over multiple machines (hence the industry term 'triple clean') in an effort to remove all foreign material originating from the field and harvesting process of this natural product.
[In the milling process, dry beans are run over a series of round and slot hole screens. These machines process against the SIZE of the dry bean vs. that of the potential foreign material. Depending on the screen size, the foreign material either stays on top or falls through the screens while the dry beans continue on in the process.]
[The gravity machines process against the WEIGHT of the dry bean vs. that of the foreign material. Through gravity, the lighter foreign material makes its way to one side of the machine while the heavier dry bean stays to the other. Another piece of equipment, called a de-stoner, also uses gravity except the heavier rock moves to the back of the machine while the lighter dry bean continues on in the process.]
[The electric eye sorter is the highest tech and most exciting of the typical bean cleaning equipment. It processes against the COLOR and REFLECTIVITY of the dry bean vs. that of the foreign material. Each individual bean and potential piece of foreign material passes down a channel and between a front and rear optical sorter (camera). The sorters compare every object against a preset color background along with measuring its degree of reflectivity. Objects that are not beans or damaged beans are shot out of the channel with a puff of air. The latest electric eye sorters incorporate a full color spectrum analysis into the sorting.]
Other pieces of equipment are also used in the process including rare earth magnets, metal detection, and prewash machines. Kelley Bean invests in new equipment each and every year to ensure we are doing everything in our power to produce the safest and highest quality products in the world. It is important to note that machines don't run themselves. Bean processing is more of an art form as the incoming quality can differ from year to year and from grower to grower depending on what Mother Nature provides us. It takes the best employees in the world to pull this all together!