Feb 17, 2021Driscoll’s technology solution measures berry sweetness
Watsonville, California-based Driscoll’s, a consumer brand in fresh berries, announced Feb. 17 a partnership with the Israel-based, technology solutions company Consumer Physics to leverage its SCiO technology to innovate Driscoll’s quality measurement process.
The Near Infrared (NIR) technology and breakthrough design offered through the Consumer Physics SCiO Cup will allow Driscoll’s to measure the Brix, or sweetness of its berries, more effectively and enables its Quality Rewards System, which measures and rewards its independent growers who consistently bring great tasting berries from harvest to the consumer.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the flavor of our berries,” said Brie Reiter Smith, Driscoll’s Director of Quality Systems Design and Technology, Supply Chain. “Investing in technology that ensures more flavor consistency within our proprietary berry varieties is important to our continued efforts to elevate our berry consumers’ experience. Partnering with Consumer Physics was an easy decision. Their impressive and novel brix measurement device allows us to reward the independent growers across our network who provide the ripest and best tasting berries.”
The Consumer Physics SCiO Cup supports cloud-based software to deliver lab-grade analyses to mobile devices in seconds. An entire clamshell of strawberries is able to fit in each SCiO Cup and be scanned at one time, which eliminates the need for inspectors to select which berries to measure for Brix. For raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, more than two six ounce clamshells can be measured in a single reading.
Driscoll’s will begin integrating SCiO Cup devices within its quality measurement process this month in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. By the end of 2021, Driscoll’s will rely exclusively on the SCiO Cup device for Brix measurements in the approximately two million quality inspections conducted annually in North America.
“We are excited to see our technology adopted by Driscoll’s,” said Damian Goldring, Co-founder and CTO at Consumer Physics. “It fits perfectly with Driscoll’s innovative use case. The SCiO Cup delivers within seconds, accurate, consistent and non-destructive Brix analysis in berries. We have been developing this solution closely with Driscoll’s over the past couple of years and already see additional opportunities to implement this solution across the Driscoll’s supply chain in the future.”
From sensors, smart systems, data warehouse and proprietary analytics to monitor and improve product quality, innovation is embedded across the Driscoll’s supply chain. Over the years, Driscoll’s Quality Assurance team also developed analytical models and other tools that help the company proactively drive change and manage risk. The art and science of growing Only the Finest Berries™ also includes a dedicated commitment to a Delight Platform that measures and rewards delivering consistently great tasting berries from harvest to the consumer.
Introduced more than a decade ago, a Quality Rewards System was designed to further reward independent growers that harvest the ripest, most attractive fruit while meeting key quality elements of freshness. As part of this quality measurement system, Driscoll’s family of independent growers are rewarded based on their ripeness performance relative to growers with the same crop in the same geography. The Consumer Physics technology directly supports this undertaking by enabling the non-destructive measure of degrees Brix that is fast, simple, highly accurate, scalable and provides real-time data without waste.
Driscoll’s is a market leader of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage, Driscoll’s is a pioneer of berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand of Only the Finest Berries™. With more than 900 independent growers around the world, Driscoll’s develops exclusive patented berry varieties using only natural breeding methods that focus on growing great tasting berries. A dedicated team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists and entomologists help grow baby seedlings that are then grown on local family farms. Driscoll’s now serves consumers year-round across North America, Australia, Europe and China in over twenty-two countries. As a fourth-generation grower and the son of one of Driscoll’s founders, J. Miles Reiter serves as Chairman and CEO.
Consumer Physics provides innovative solutions to the food and ag industries. The company leverages its proprietary Near Infrared spectrometers and its cloud-based software infrastructure to develop solutions that are affordable, easy-to-operate, quick and accurate taking material analyses from the lab and placing it in the hands of farmers, advisors, inspectors and other users throughout the supply chain.