A box of perfectly ripe strawberries.

The Pomegranate Sorting Technique that Went Viral on Twitter

On June 26, 2020, a video posted by Vala Afshar on Twitter depicting a simple fruit-sorting system went viral. In the video, a man rolled individual pomegranates down a set of rods that increased in distance, dropping the pomegranates directly into the box that corresponded to their size.

As far as fruit sorting technology, this video caught on with viewers because it showed the force of human ingenuity and lateral thinking — this man had made his job much easier using a simple, ingenious solution.

Assessing Your Fruit-Sorting Needs

Typically, fruit growers in the United States have much more complex needs and requirements when it comes to sorting fruits and vegetables than simply sorting the fruit by size. You need to check for ripeness, disease, worms, and blemishes as well as grading the fruit by quality.

When you have thousands or even millions of pieces of fruit to sort, there are basically two ways to get the job done: Employ hundreds of people to sort and pack your fruit or source a machine that can do the job for you.

Optical Fruit Sorting: The New Movement in Postharvest Technology

Because of the complex needs of effective and efficient postharvest fruit processing, the machines that we’re seeing appear on the market utilize optical and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to simulate the role of a human.

Previously, postharvest machinery washed the fruit and applied fruit wax before packing the fruit into corrugated boxes for transport to market. However, these machines are not able to assess fruit quality or make decisions — that’s where this AI technology really shines.

Meet the New Generation of Fruit-Sorting Machines

There are several brands of fruit and vegetable sorting machines that were unveiled at the Fruit Logistica 2018 trade fair in Germany. Three of these were featured by Produce Processing in their 2019 food-tech round-up:

SORTEXT FA1 by Bühler Group

The SORTEX FA1 is your go-to machine when it comes to ensuring product purity. 128 ejectors locate and spit out extraneous material from glass and stones to fine wood shavings, making this the perfect machine for premium, niche products like organic berry ice cream and smoothies.

Dryce by RayTec Vision

As the name of the company implies, Dryce is an optics machine that examines dried and frozen fruit using a free-fall double side view system and detects defects, unripeness, rotten pieces, and foreign materials.

Xcalibur by OptiServe

Described as a more affordable machine, the Xcalibur uses a four-camera interface to create an image of the fruit on the conveyor belt. This machine makes decisions about product quality in less than a second and can process an impressive 3,500-4,000 pieces per second.

Other Brands

In addition to these three featured brands, several other brands around the world now offer intelligent fruit-sorting machines. The machines are typically made for a specific crop and sort fruits and vegetables according to specific parameters — size, ripeness, quality, and so on.

Sorting Fruits and Vegetables: How Fruit Growers Supply Can Help

A small box of tangerines with leaves attached.

Fruit Growers Supply Company is fast becoming a household name when it comes to postharvest technology and solutions. We currently offer fruit-wax coating machinery and food-grade wax for a large variety of crops. Once your fruit is graded and waxed, our corrugated cardboard boxes offer a fruit-specific transport solution with eye-catching graphics and full customization to take your produce safely to market.

The advantage of working with Fruit Growers Supply Company for fruit sorting and waxing solutions is that we’re local and make our machinery in-house, so it’s easy to get the replacement parts that you need. We can also come out and visit your site to help you find the solutions that will work for your climate, the size of your land, and the specific crops and varieties you grow.

Are you ready to upgrade your fruit sorting and postharvest machinery? Give Fruit Growers Supply a call today!

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