Rapid Assessment Technology for Fruits, Vegetables and Seafoods
Most producers struggle with delivering adequate and consistent quality because current post‑harvest technology cannot detect all internal defects reliably or effectively, and manual quality checks are costly, time‑consuming and destructive. More efficient and cost-efficient systems are needed to improve grading and automated assessment of quality to ensure consistency of supply, enable new marketing opportunities and ensure customer satisfaction.
We have developed a new method for non-invasive, non-destructive testing method on our automated grading/sorting machine with different produce, incl. but not limited to apples, tomatoes, kiwi fruits, mangoes, avocados, pineapples, chilies, and prawns.
Designed for processing and packaging facilities, our system can assist to determine damage, shelf-life, taste and other eating qualities of fruits, vegetables and seafood without having to cut them open. This enables sorting according to customer preferences and adjustable settings, for example into classes such as "Premium", "Firsts", "Seconds", "Thirds" and "Rejects". Since the quality can be guaranteed, the highest quality produce can be sold at a premium price, delivering higher profit margins to the business. At the same time the technology reduces time and wage costs due to the automated grading and sorting process.
Our proof-of-concept includes our in-house, custom-developed software, near-infrared cameras and suitable hardware to run trials which have proven the reliability and accuracy of our software models that can determine the "internal" qualities, which are generally not detectable from the outside.
We can, for example, detect bruises and rot susceptibility as an indication of shelf-life using non-destructive evaluation of impact damage and rot susceptibility of whole avocado fruit.