Food processors and packhouses are improving efficiency with the latest technology powered by artificial intelligence

It’s been quite a buzz lately concerning artificial intelligence. The capability of computers to imitate human thinking and make decisions, as well as automate jobs that previously required human thought, has sparked the world with all kinds of thrilling news reports. To prove this technological advancement, TOMRA Food has just unveiled two artificial intelligence-powered grading and sorting systems. Two new product launches in recent times demonstrate the ways in which AI transforms the process of food preparation. James French, Head of Innovation at TOMRA Fresh Food, part of TOMRA Food, explains how AI has already added value and how its significance will increase.

“One of these solutions, called the brand-new TOMRA Neon, has been designed to pre-sort blueberries harvested with machines to be sold in fresh markets. In the other case, the brand new Spectrim X series, leverages Deep Learning for unmatched sorting and grading precision for fruit. These are the beginning of a new era that could make the processing of both processed and fresh food more profitable and efficient,” says French.

A lot of advantages for processors

“There’s no doubt that automation powered by AI will apply to jobs that are currently performed manually, such as certain routine jobs in food processing and packing houses,” states French.

TOMRA Food has been utilizing artificial intelligence since its inception in 2019 to help make grading and sorting techniques more accurate than standard methods. The use of AI enabled technology in the industry of producing food is expected to continue growing in the next decade.

Don’t be fooled: AI is bringing a major technological change that companies must keep up with in order to stay competitive.

AI as well as Deep Learning in action

Deep Learning is an AI method that employs pre-trained models to instruct computers on how to analyze data, like complex patterns found within photos. The recently launched Spectrim X series grading platform provides a wonderful illustration of this. It was developed by a group of experts from the world of industry-leading engineers, scientists research scientists, experts, and researchers, Spectrim X integrates the most recent advancements in the TOMRA LUCAi(tm) Deep Learning technology.

The Spectrim the X series of grading platforms comes with LUCAi(tm) Engine Software, computers, and well-trained models that achieve unimaginable grade precision. The packing process can now be completed without any manual effort and more precisely aiming thresholds and all the while, minimizing losses to fruit.

AI can also power the brand new TOMRA Neon, to pre-grade blueberries. The automated blueberry harvesting process is quicker and cheaper than manual harvesting, but it also poses difficulties in the form undesirable debris and clusters of fruits for fresh fruit processing as well as packing machines. To tackle these problems, TOMRA Neon accepts and refuses the fruit prior to transferring it straight onto the TOMRA KATO260 optical grader and sorter. Through the use of AI the AI TOMRA Neon is able to discern, distinguish from, and eliminate unwanted clusters or fruit that are too small, as well as infertile fruit. It improves the efficiency of optical graders by eliminating over 95 percent of clusters, and greater than 90% of undesirable fruit berries, both red and green.

More information is available here:

Michelle Haynes


Tel. : +64 21 377 141


Source: The Plantations International Agroforestry Group of Companies