Recog­nis­ing rot­ten ap­ples

This Aussie-Dutch tech is weed­ing out rot­ten ap­ples

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Aus­tralian food grad­ing com­pany GP Graders has em­barked on a tech­nol­ogy part­ner­ship with Dutch com­pany El­lips to rev­o­lu­tionise the abil­ity to recog­nise rot­ten ap­ples.

The joint ven­ture with El­lips has de­vel­oped a sys­tem that uses light spec­trom­e­ter tech­nol­ogy to help ap­ple pack­ers iden­tify in­ter­nal de­fects of the fruit in or­der to meet in­creas­ing su­per­mar­ket de­mands.

“This cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy will change the in­dus­try and strengthen the pack­ers’ abil­ity to pro­vide de­fect-free ap­ples to su­per­mar­kets,” GP Graders man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Stu­art Payne says.

The sys­tem’s light spec­trom­e­ter tech­nol­ogy shoots a beam of light through the cen­tre of the ap­ple to look at the core and takes 10 images sliced across each ap­ple to de­tect in­ter­nal brown­ing and core rot wher­ever it is lo­cated in the fruit.

GP Graders says its abil­ity to take 10 in­cre­men­tal images of an in­di­vid­ual fruit is a stand­out fea­ture, as previous tech­nolo­gies could only take one light im­age through the cen­tre of the ap­ple.

El­lips chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Er­win Baker over­saw the in­stal­la­tion at GP Graders’ Mel­bourne head­quar­ters and was left im­pressed by the ini­tial tests.

“The re­sults were re­mark­able,” Payne says.

GP Graders fit­ted the new tech­nol­ogy to an op­er­at­ing ap­ple line, test­ing 1500 ap­ples.

Of the ap­ples dis­carded due to in­ter­nal brown­ing and core rot, 100 per cent were found to show de­fects.

Of the ap­ples that passed the test, only one showed signs of in­ter­nal brown­ing af­ter a col­la­tion test.

GP Graders is a world-lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of cherry sort­ing and pack­ing ma­chin­ery and also Aus­tralia’s lead­ing sup­plier of pro­duce grad­ing ma­chin­ery.

The com­pany has been de­sign­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing turn-key ap­ple grad­ing and pack­ing lines since 1963, with hun­dreds of its pack­ing lines now op­er­at­ing on sites through­out Aus­tralia and around the world.

Above: The ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal ap­pear­ance of the same bad ap­ple

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