AMTIL member GP Graders has entered into a technology partnership with Ellips of Holland to revolutionise the ability for apple packers to identify apples with internal defects.

GP Graders has been designing and manufacturing turn-key grading and packing lines for apples and various other fruit at its factory in Melbourne since its foundation in 1963, with hundreds of packing lines in operations throughout Australia and the world. The multi-award winning company’s new system uses light spectrometer technology and takes 10 images sliced across each apple to detect internal browning and core rot wherever it is located in the fruit.

“This cutting-edge technology will change the industry and strengthen the packer’s ability to provide defect-free apples to supermarkets,” said Stuart Payne, Managing Director of GP Graders.

The technology doesn’t just shoot a beam of light through the centre of the apple to look at the core in isolation, it also analyses the entire mass of the apple, slicing the apple at 10 incremental stages in order to check for internal rot or browning wherever it is located through the fruit. This is a standout feature of the technology as older technology only took one light image through the centre of an apple.

Ellips Chief Executive Officer Erwin Baker oversaw the installation in operation first-hand at GP Graders’ headquarters, where the technology has been fitted to an operating apple line. Bins of apples were run through the system allowing GP Graders to intensively test and demonstrate the technology.

“The results were remarkable,” said Payne.

Of those apples discarded to an exit with a reading of internal browning and core rot, 100% of them in fact showed those characteristics when cut open. Of those apples that were deemed not to have a reading of internal or core rot, only one single apple showed specific characteristics when cut into during the collation of test results. The total sample size was 1,500 apples.

On-site visits to GP Graders manufacturing plant to see the live demonstration of the technology working will be available until mid-August with several sales already being concluded within days of its release.