interpoma 2018
Thomas Mur, director of Fiera Bolzano — organizer of Interpoma 2018 — said the event attracted 489 exhibitors and attendees from 70 countries. ( Tom Karst )

BOLZANO, Italy – Bringing 20,000 people to the mountain-rimmed apple region of South Tyrol in northern Italy, the Nov. 15-17 Interpoma 2018 was three days of “everything apple, said Thomas Mur.

Mur, director of Fiera Bolzano — organizer of Interpoma 2018 — said the event attracted 489 exhibitors and attendees from 70 countries.

In addition to optional tours of local apple orchards, a regional innovation and startup center, processors and a cave storage facility of an apple packer, the event featured two days of educational programming and three days of the trade show.

“One of the highlights of the show was the “Apple in the World,” where we had very interesting numbers on the market evolution in eastern Europe and Asia,” he said. “We talked a lot about sustainability in apple production, which is one of the key topics for the future with by with organic production also as a main topic.”

The event’s first-ever innovation technology innovation award for both the pre-harvest and post-harvest sector helps point the industry toward the future he said.

Selecting from about 25 total companies competing, the award for the post-harvest category was given to BioMetic, a division of Microtec, with “Q Eye XP,” according to a news release.

 “The Q Eye XP by BioMetic is a scanner used in the packaging line that is effective in detecting internal fruit defects. Its innovative approach involves the use of X-rays, an emerging technology not yet practically applied in the fruit industry,” the award jury said in the release. “It complements other already established multi-sensor quality scanners, thus reducing post-storage waste with benefits for consumers.”

The jury said the technology is expected to measure additional attributes in other fruit commodities, which the jury said will improve post-harvest handling and quality for fresh fruit.

The first Interpoma Technology Award in the field category (innovations in production and crop protection) was presented to the Biogard Division of CBC Europe with “Mister Pro + Isomate CM Mister 1.0.

“By taking an existing technology of pest control using mating disruption and adding a combination of pest phenology, real-time environmental monitoring and microcomputing control hardware and software, CBC Europe have developed a simple technology that supports a sophisticated, advanced pest control system,” the award jury said. “This environmentally responsive technology will overcome the multiple shortcomings of current mating disruption technologies”.

In addition to the two winners, there were also special mention firms for each category. “In the field category, the Gotrack company from Poland was recognized for its “GOtrack Remote Control.”

In the post-harvest category, Greefa was recognized or its “SmartPackr2” and Meccanica Zucal for its packaging robot “Polus 48”.

The award jury was led by Massimo Tagliavini and includes researchers and university professors from Italy and around the world, according to the release.

The two winning companies received a package of prizes valued at more than $5,700, including a certificate, financing for a 30-second product video and a Fiera Bolzano advertising package for Interpoma, according to the release.