BELGIUM – TOMRA Food, a leader in smart, sensor-based sorting solutions, has unveiled its latest innovation – the LUCAi technology for the InVision2 grading platform.

This advanced system is poised to transform cherry sorting, grading, and packing by harnessing the power of Deep Learning technology.

Developed by a team of eminent scientists, engineers, and experts, LUCAi represents a significant stride forward in food processing technology, promising unmatched grading accuracy, enhanced pack-out returns, and a substantial reduction in food waste.

At the heart of the LUCAi technology is TOMRA’s cutting-edge Deep Learning platform, which employs pre-trained models to process complex data patterns. This system has already proven its mettle in other fruit applications, such as blueberries and apples, and is now set to revolutionize cherry processing.

The technology allows for an unprecedented level of precision in detecting defects, ensuring that only top-quality cherries make the grade.

Boosting efficiency and reducing waste

According to Benedetta Ricci Iamino, Global Category Director – Cherries at TOMRA Food, the LUCAi platform not only increases processing speed by 15% per lane but also optimizes defect sorting, leading to higher returns per kilogram packed than any other technology currently available. Its user-friendly interface ensures a smooth transition for operators, further enhancing productivity.

The LUCAi-enabled InVision2 grading platform excels in identifying a range of defects, from edge cracks and half cherries to cosmetic blemishes and stem pulls, with unparalleled accuracy.

It has been trained on extensive data sets collected from cherry growers worldwide, enabling it to recognize patterns on cherries of various varieties and conditions.

This “intelligent” grading system minimizes the accidental downgrade of good fruit and eliminates the need for manual re-sorting of defective ones, ensuring consistent and efficient output.

Ready “Out of the Box”

LUCAi stands out in the AI technology landscape for its readiness to deliver superior sorting and grading performance from the moment it is installed. This is attributed to the vast amounts of data TOMRA has collected over five years, building pre-trained models that continually evolve, becoming more precise over time.

This “future-proof” technology also offers cherry packers the advantage of TOMRA’s support in building tailored models to meet their specific needs and quality requirements.

The efficacy of LUCAi technology has been validated in real-world conditions, notably by Prima Frutta Packing in California, USA. Here, it has significantly increased production and packing efficiencies without expanding the workforce, a crucial advantage given the narrow harvest windows and quality challenges faced by cherry packers.

Tim Sambado, President of Prima Frutta Packing, expresses enthusiasm for the technology’s potential, foreseeing a transformative impact on the cherry-packing industry.

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