Tomra Food has unveiled SmartGrade, a new grading accuracy solution for its Spectrim platform.
The software allows multiple inspection passes on each image of the fruit, with individual defects assigned to each pass.
Kurt Bagby, research and grading team lead at Tomra Food, said the system improves accuracy in identifying individual defects and blemish types – even with hard-to-detect defects.
“The advantage is that you can look for different things on each pass, rather than having to bundle them together,” explained Bagby. “This is very useful when defects occur together or on top of each other. It allows you to get very granular in your grading.”
Bagby said the multiple passes mean SmartGrade maintains a consistent grading performance when there are quality variations across each crop.
“Incoming fruit and the distribution of defects within the fruit can change a lot,” Bagby said. “Systems rely on compromise settings to deliver the required grade pack. Some defects will be detected better than others and good fruit will be more likely to be rejected as a result of this trade-off.”
California-based apple and cherry company Prima Frutta tested SmartGrade at its packhouse. Tim Sambado, owner of Prima Frutta, was impressed with the results achieved.
“This season we experienced the new SmartGrade software on our brand new InVision2 cherry grading line,” Sambado said.
“SmartGrade immediately allowed us to grade consistently and with high accuracy, challenging defects like open sutures and subtle browning from wind scarring.
“SmartGrade clearly differentiates between cosmetic surface blemishes and defects with the potential to cause later spoilage of the fruit. The result is greatly improved accuracy and performance, and being able to target difficult defects with ease.”