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Shellfishes identification and selection

Bivalve shellfishesOnline sorting machinesOptoelectronicProduct quality


Effective and efficient selection of shellfishes containing sand or completely empty, using an optoelectronic selection system and a method applicable to discontinuous or in-line sorting machines. This system is based on the visible light optical transmission trough the entire shell. The different attenuation of the light passage across the shell allows the identification of the shellfish state and its following selection.

Technical features

The present patent mainly refers to clams (genus Ruditapes), but it is extensible to other shellfish bivalves presenting the same problems. The freshly picked live product always has a certain quantity of sand inside which is then expelled from the animal during the housing. Before packing, the clams are manually selected to eliminate dead, broken or qualitatively non-compliant product. However, a variable percentage of product remains unselected, since empty or with a high internal content of sand sealing the two valves. The optoelectronic apparatus consists of: lighting system, housing and support system of the single shellfish, acquisition system of the light signal passing through the shellfish, electronic system for light control and processing system of acquired signal.

Possible Applications

  • Agri-food;
  • Agricultural products conservation;
  • Processing industry;
  • Manufacturers of agri-food machines.


  • Instrumentation that allows the automatic selection of shellfish based on the sand content;
  • Considerable reduction of the unselected or non-compliant product;
  • Non-destructive product system;
  • Can be integrated with other agro-food electromechanical components.