Logo

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house challenges

Pack houses are facing new challenges with constant changes in the blueberry business

TOMRA Foods blueberry solutionsModern solutions to challenges faced by blueberry pack houses. (Image source: TOMRA Foods)

With increase in production, new growing regions are gaining market strength, resulting in a rise in consumer quality expectations. “There are now pressures to improve both quantity and quality – and solutions that make this possible,” said Joshua MiersJones, global category director for Blueberries at TOMRA Food. “For blueberry businesses, this is a time of change. Global demand is climbing,” he added. 

The US still produces the greatest volume, followed by Canada. However, China is expected to soon overtake and become the number one domestic producer of blueberries. Today the world’s biggest blueberry exporter (and third-biggest grower) is Peru, followed by Chile and Mexico, with the US standing fourth in the exporter rankings. 

Demand for quantity and quality

With the increasing availability of blueberries, consumers are becoming more discerning about quality. TOMRA Food, the world-leading manufacturer of optical inspecting, sorting and grading machines for the food industry is also the only integrated line provider for blueberries, offering solutions for all varieties of blueberries, and handling everything from tipping the fruit onto the line, to sorting, grading, and packing. In addition to sorting, TOMRA also offers artificial intelligence for increased grading superiority across calyx, stem hole, and advanced defect detection

Innovation through R&D

One reason behind the effectiveness of TOMRA’s pack house solutions is the company’s long-standing culture of innovation, which includes an inhouse Fruit Science Program, run from the company’s Field Research Centre in Waikato, New Zealand. Another reason is TOMRA’s acquisition of BBC Technologies. This led to world-class expertise in precision sorting and grading systems, and punnet and clamshell filling solutions, for blueberries and other small fruits. Yet another reason is that TOMRA’s engineers have acquired a deep understanding of pack houses’ operational challenges by working closely with their customers for over two decades. 

The impossible becomes possible

The industry-leading precision sorting and grading system for blueberries is the KATO 260 which provides five or seven outlets for seamless sorting in any size packing facility at speeds of up to 286 or 572 berries per second. The process also ensures a consistent supply and even distribution of blueberries onto the sorter, hence optimising throughput. Moreover, it allows for a complete 360 degree surface inspection and can identify defects as small as 0.2mm.

A valuable, optional add-on for the KATO 260 is a software and hardware package called LUCAi, which employs artificial intelligence to classify and grade fruit with unprecedented accuracy. In 2022, another game-changing innovation known as KETE 16 was launched from TOMRA, which comprised of a robotic case packing technology that automated the process of placing punnets and clamshells into cases, trays, boxes, and crates. The CURO-8 packing system which can handle 110 packs per minute was also used by blueberry packers. These machines increased productivity by reducing human handling errors and fruit give-away, and were also capable of simultaneously packing for different markets.


LATEST NEWS IN Machinery & Equipment

Farming goes hi-tech with robotics

Farming goes hi-tech with robotics

Already in action for some time in France, the US and some Eastern European countries, robots are now also the future of technological innovation in agriculture in Italy

Rwanda and UK governments join IFC to advance Africa’s cold chain progress

Rwanda and UK governments join IFC to ad…

Government representatives from Rwanda and the UK have joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to sign a Statement of Cooperation at COP27 to help accelerate the scaling up of innovative...

Innovating technologies for Food, Feed & Biofuel industries

Innovating technologies for Food, Feed …

Desmet is continuously improving its technologies and discovering new ways to cope with market requirements 

MSC drives tea production industry in East Africa with supply chain opportunities

MSC drives tea production industry in Ea…

The season of tea, which is one of the most popular beverages in the world, is upon us, with East African countries accounting for 94% of all African tea exports...

EIMA, the key role of training for agriculture 4.0

EIMA, the key role of training for agric…

Italian agriculture holds a record: it is the most sustainable in the world 

Monosem introduces new ValoTerra Ultimate: An innovative addition to the ValoTerra range

Monosem introduces new ValoTerra Ultimat…

The new ValoTerra Ultimate which enables precise planting, regardless of work speed, thus fulfilling both farmers and contractors’ needs, has been designed to be able to plant seeds from 2-18...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Machinery & Equipment

Case IH delivers tractor fleet

Case IH delivers tractor fleet

Case IH, through its local distributor Northmec, recently delivered the first units of a fleet of 138 tractors and four sprayers to South African clients Pieter Van Zyl,...

Zimbabwean farmers receive US$38mn funding for farming equipment

Zimbabwean farmers receive US$38mn fundi…

Zimbabwean farmers will receive agricultural equipment worth US$38mn from Brazil under the ‘More Food Africa’ programme to be used during the 2014-15 summer cropping season

Tractor power; the 60-130hp range

Tractor power; the 60-130hp range

The popular power output for new tractors sold in Africa is from 60 to about 130hp, a power range that covers many of the specialist fruit and vineyard models as...

Pöttinger’s tractor seed drills to protect crops and soil

Pöttinger’s tractor seed drills to prote…

Drilling and harvesting technology provider Pöttinger has launched a new range of TERRASEM tractor seed drills with intelligent technology to protect crops and soil

Radonova launches new Ecotrak soil detector

Radonova launches new Ecotrak soil detec…

Radonova Laboratories has announced to launch a new detector that makes it safer and easier to monitor radon in soil

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house challenges

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house…

Pack houses are facing new challenges with constant changes in the blueberry business

State-of-the-art nuclear technology to bolster Africa’s food security

State-of-the-art nuclear technology to b…

On 29 September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organised an event on the sidelines of the 66th General Conference to discuss nuclear techniques to improve food security in Africa

‘CASE IH attracts big crowds at ADMA Agrishow 2016’

‘CASE IH attracts big crowds at ADMA Agr…

Case IH’s participation at the second Agricultural Dealers and Manufacturers Association (ADMA) Agrishow was a success with its product display and demonstrations attracting big crowds, the company reports

AGCO see 1.7 per cent increase in EAME in Q3 2016

AGCO see 1.7 per cent increase in EAME i…

AGCO reports their third quarter results with some growth in Europe/Africa/Middle East (EAME)  AGCO, the worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has reported net sales of approximately US$1.8 bn for...

JOSKIN announces online configurator for its machines

JOSKIN announces online configurator for…

JOSKIN has recently announced the launch of an online configuration tool for its range, in a move to attain digital development

Juwel 6 completes LEMKEN plough range

Juwel 6 completes LEMKEN plough range

LEMKEN is set to introduce a new addition to the family, the little brother of the Juwel 7, 8 and 10 mounted reversible ploughs

Prev Next

Template Design © Joomla Templates | GavickPro. All rights reserved.