Pre-grading of the fruits is a capital step that consists in sorting the apples by size, coloration, and quality. At this time, this complex and highly technical machine seals the future of each apple. The best apples will go directly to the end consumer. But there’s very few waste: the others, less colored, too small, or too big will be used by industrials to do pies, cakes, apple jam, or juice.
Christian Bayard – Pre-grading manager
Apples arrive straight from the orchard in 330kg bins.
A robot then plunges the fruits in a water canal.
Having the apples moving around flotting helps alleviate shock or bruising.
A first manual sorting is done to remove heavily damaged fruits, wood that can remain, leaves...
Sorting is done through optical reading : numerical cameras using LED lighting are photographing apples on all sides. Each apple is photographed roughly 20 times. At the same time, the system is weighing the apples.
With all these data, the server determines, for each apple, its category, size, and coloration based on the pre-established requirements.
Using all this information, the apple is driven to its corresponding water canal.
A pre-grading machine counts between 15 and 35 water canals.
After all this inspection, the fruits are stored back into bins, properly sorted !
Last step, the forklift driver is bringing the bins to cold storage to ensure best conservation.
At Pomanjou, our single biggest cold storage unit can store up to 800 tons of fruit.
Next step of the tour : Packaging
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