Spectrim with LUCAi from TOMRA. Photo courtesy of TOMRA.

Jul 10, 2024
New tech enables Freshco to detect stem splits and punctures in apples

Apple grower and exporter Freshco has enhanced its grading process by upgrading to TOMRA’s Spectrim LUCAi. This new technology has enabled Freshco’s to detect stem splits and punctures, key defects that previously required intensive manual labor.

Spectrim with LUCAi from TOMRA. Photo courtesy of TOMRA.
Spectrim with LUCAi from TOMRA. Photo courtesy of TOMRA.

Founded in 1989, Freshco is a company in the fruit and vegetable export market, with operations across New Zealand.

The LUCAi technology employs deep learning models, trained on extensive datasets from TOMRA machines worldwide, to assess thousands of high-resolution, multi-channel fruit images per second. This allows for precise detection and classification of apple defects, such as splits and punctures, across various apple varieties without needing adjustments.

“The main defects are around the stem area. The splits are really hard to get around the stem, and you’re forever working on the splits and punctures,” said Robin Mudgway, technology and machinery manager at Freshco. “With LUCAi we get a model from TOMRA and then we just put our own severity and confidence into it.”

Spectrim with LUCAi from TOMRA. Photo courtesy of TOMRA.
Photo courtesy of TOMRA.

The technology enables seamless switching between different apple varieties, maintaining efficiency.

“You can use a model for stem split and punctures on Gala apples, then move to another variety with the same defect without adjustments,” said Glen Kaunds, senior application engineer for TOMRA Food.

The user-friendly interface of the Spectrim with LUCAi allows for adjustments of grading parameters, catering to seasonal changes and market demands.

For more information, visit tomra.com

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