Leading manufacturer and former exporter of the year, GP Graders has unveiled new technology that will give apple packers the ability to identify fruit with internal defects.
The company has entered into a technology partnership with Ellips of Holland using special software that will ensure supermarkets and consumers receive only top quality apples.
In the past, it has been difficult for Australian packers to identify apples with internal browning or core rot, which has had a major impact on the industry.
“This cutting-edge technology will change the industry, and strengthen the packers ability to provide defect free apples to supermarkets,” said Stuart Payne, Managing Director, GP Graders.
The system uses light spectrometer technology and takes 10 images sliced across each apple to detect internal browning and core rot wherever it is located in the fruit.
The technology doesn’t just shoot a beam of light through the centre of the apple to look at the core in isolation. It also analyses the entire mass of the apple, slicing the apple at 10 incremental stages to check for internal rot or browning wherever it is located through the fruit.
This is a standout feature of the new technology. Previously, only one light image was taken through the centre of an apple.
Ellips Chief Executive Officer, Erwin Baker oversaw the installation operating at GP Graders’ head office in Melbourne, where the technology has been fitted to an operating apple line.
Bins of apples were run through the system allowing GP Graders to intensively test and demonstrate the new system. The total sample size was 1500 apples.
“The results were remarkable,” said Mr Payne.
Of those apples discarded to an exit with a reading of internal browning and core rot, all of them showed those characteristics when opened.
And of those apples that were deemed not to have a reading of internal or core rot, only one apple showed specific characteristics when opened during the collation of test results.
On-site visits to GP Graders manufacturing plant to see the live demonstration of the technology working will be available until mid-August.
The company reports several sales within days of the release of the new inspection technology.
GP Graders have been designing and manufacturing turn-key apple grading and packing lines since it opened its doors in 1963, with hundreds of packing lines in operations throughout Australia and the world.