June 30, 2022

Tomra Food to highlight future-proofing avocado production at Global Avocado Congress

The Global Avocado Congress, to be broadcast live online from Melbourne and London on July 7, comes at a time when growers cannot plant avocado trees quickly enough. 

So many consumers around the world have developed a taste for this superfood that avocados have been nicknamed “green gold.” But as sponsor of the Congress’ keynote interview, Tomra Food is sounding a timely note of caution: history warns us that gold rushes don’t last forever.

Jacinto Trigo, Category Manager Director for Avocados at TOMRA Food, said: “These are good times for the avocado business, and Tomra is pleased to support the Congress as keynote sponsor. The industry’s future can be prosperous, too — but businesses that get complacent could also get left behind. Growers and packhouses profiting from today’s boom would be wise to prepare for tomorrow. Market forces have a habit of changing, and when they do, fortune will favor those businesses that have taken measures to future-proof themselves.”

Inspecting, sorting and grading technologies

Tomra’s solutions for avocado packhouse operations (and for citrus fruit and apples) include the 5S Advanced sorting and sizing platform, the Spectrim sorter and grader and the Inspectra² grading system.

The 5S Advanced, which first became available in 2021, builds on the class-leading performance of Compac’s Multi Lane Sorter (Tomra acquired Compac in 2016), but was redesigned from the ground up. As its name suggests, this is the fruit industry’s most advanced sorting platform. The software features provide for optimization and efficiency across the line, improving productivity, quality, and efficiency. These include programs for element mixing, exact packout optimization and throughput control, as well as a Dynamic Lane Balancer. All these programs are easily controlled via the sorter’s intuitive graphic user interface.

Unrivaled efficiencies are made possible by the machine’s specialized software features and connectivity to the cloud-based data platform Tomra Insight, which can make sorting machines the digital heart of packhouse operations. This enables better, data-driven decisions and future-proofs packhouse businesses to meet the industry’s evolving needs. Insight also enables better flow of information up and down the supply chain and opens a pathway to traceability from bin to pack — exactly the kind of thing consumers want to see when questioning where an avocado has come from.

When using Spectrim, the avocados are sorted according to color and surface blemishes. Then the fruit can be graded for size and minor to major defects, including skin blemishes, insect damage, misshapen fruit, bruising and abrasions. Spectrim’s sorting parameters can be configured to grade for differing levels of defects, so that there’s full control when matching product grades to different markets.

Inspectra² is a non-invasive solution for internal grading, particularly for dry matter content. This platform’s near-infrared spectrometer can detect dry matter content, fruit by fruit.

By utilizing these capabilities, avocado packhouses can eliminate some of their toughest daily operational challenges, enhance efficiencies and profitability, and provide customers with precisely the product quantity and quality they’ve asked for. And in a world where the market value of food brands depends mostly on intangible assets, including brand equity, packhouses can also help customers protect their brand reputations.

More on the Global Avocado Congress can be found here.

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