For couple of years, one of the most important factors of the fruit prices is quality. Not all fruit are suitable for sale to retail chains which require the right size, firmness, softness and colour. Pests and blueberry diseases like Drosophila Suzuki anthracnose or mould are also a problem. So many parameters are often impossible to verify by field workers and many growers are considering the mechanization of the sorting process.
Sorting fruit by machines increases the quality of crops, opens export markets and allows to get premium prices. It is a more effective and cheaper method than manual sorting and choosing the appropriate equipment make that the investment will pay off in a short time.
In Europe, the distributor of sorting machines for blueberries, cranberries and cherries is Milbor PMC. Located in Poland, company supplies sorting equipment from the American manufacturer WECO Sorting and the Australian GP Graders.
“WECO machines have compact construction and are designed for growers willing to sort large volumes of product in the limited space environment. Full control over the final product can be obtained by combining a grading machine Jumbo Sizer, BerryTek Colour Sorter and Impulse Soft Sorter that removes too soft and overripe berries. This solution is flexible and allows to adapt the sorting line to the needs of the grower” – explains Maciej Chmielewski from Milbor PMC.
“These machines reach a capacity up to 2,5-3 tons per hour, but it is dependent on the quality of processed fruit and the speed of feeding the sorting line” – he adds.
For growers who want to select the blueberries into different categories, the company offers GP Graders machinery, – AirJet® Blueberry Grader. This sorter uses the AirJet® Vision’s Technology – system equipped with three types of cameras: Colour, Infrared and Shrivel, which provide full scanning of the fruit. When the fruit are transported under cameras, they are rotated to get a full cross-section and analysis of each blueberry. Thanks to this technology the growers and packers are able to create limitless categories depending on their target markets, for example the firmest fruit can go to the distant export markets, and softer stay on the local markets.
Milbor focuses not only on the quality of the machinery they provide, but also on after-sales support. Customers appreciate the quick response of the technical department. We are aware of the importance of uninterrupted work of the lines, especially during the season, which is why we provide 24/7 remote assistance” – says Piotr Milewski, Head of Sales in Milbor PMC.
Milbor PMC is a Polish integrator of the lines for fresh produce. The company has been providing a solution for sorting and packing fruit and vegetables as well as sealing devices for the food segment since 2013.