Israel-based technology company ClariFruit is helping growers better classify fruit quality before it is packed and distributed, and company president Elad Mardix said the savings could be huge.
The company had a virtual exhibit at the United Fresh LIVE! FutureTEC zone the week of June 15-19.
ClariFruit offers an app that allows quality control inspectors to take a picture of produce, which is analyzed with the app’s algorithm to measure quality. An inspector may use a third-party device to read internal attributes such as brix, and that data also can be transmitted to the app. The technology is set up to work with several categories, including tomatoes, table grapes, stone fruit and cherries, he said.
“What we’re trying to do is actually completely transform the way (the industry ) does quality control, to make it automatic,” he said.
According to the company, measurements taken during the process include brix, firmness, color, size, defects, variance and more, as well as GPS location, user and time of sampling.
Measurements are immediately uploaded to the cloud and processed by a patent-protected artificial intelligence algorithm. According to the company, the algorithm compares all the measurements to hundreds of thousands of existing samples of previously inspected produce.
“The algorithm incorporates previously recorded multiple users and experts feedback, and scientific data with sophisticated machine learning techniques to produce clear and simple grades for the inspected produce quality, freshness, and ripeness,” according to the company’s website.
Fruit grades are available to the user within fractions of seconds, according to the company, owing to data processing and optimization methods applied in the cloud.
Sampling data, statistical information and reports are available online for post-inspection and post-production analysis, according to the company.
Mardix said about 5% of produce loads industry-wide are rejected, which results in a loss of value between 50% and 75% for each rejected load. Another 20% of shipments result in renegotiated prices because of quality factors.
Combined, Mardix said that rejected loads and adjusted prices on produce loads results in about a 6.5% margin loss for shippers, about double of the average net income for firms.
ClariFruit aims to increase standardization of quality control standards through artificial intelligence, which Mardix said will allow suppliers to better target produce shipments with the right buyer for the quality of fruit. That will result in less rejected loads and save growers money, he said.