( File photo )

IMG Citrus, Vero Beach, Fla., has added an electronic fruit grader to its packing line.

The equipment, a Global Scan 7 from MAF Roda Industries, France, can take 120 images of each fruit, scanning up to 120 fruit per second, with a capability of processing up to 864,000 images a minute, according to a news release.

The fruit grader, a $1.5-million investment, analyzes the images to determine if the fruit meets specifications regarding blemishes, weight, color, shape and density.

“Our customers will greatly benefit from this technology because of much better consistency from carton to carton and from fruit to fruit,” Michel Sallin, IMG Citrus president, said in the release.

The equipment allows the company to improve pack quality by setting specific criteria, identifying and eliminating late blooms, which are less sweet/juicy, and fruit with huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.

“In a greening environment, it is important to protect the superior taste of Florida grapefruit and eliminate the few outliers,” Sallin said in the release. “… To be successful in the fresh business, each piece of fruit needs to bring happiness to our consumers.””

The company recently acquired Emerald Grove in St. Lucie County, Fla., a 4,000-acre grapefruit grove, renaming it Happy Food grove, after its consumer brand. 

“We are excited to bring the latest technology in packinghouse equipment into our facilities,” packinghouse director Todd Haffield said in the release.

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