Israeli tech company Consumer Physics has a handy bit of kit that scans and analyses harvested crops in real-time to provide quality reports on the spot. Their patented SCiO Cup uses miniaturized Near Infrared Spectrometer technology to scan its contents before sending lab quality results through the cloud to a mobile phone in seconds.
Today Driscoll’s, the leading US fresh berry consumer brand, announced that SCiO Cup technology will become part of its quality measurement process. Berry sweetness is measured in ‘Brix’, now by utilising the SCiO Cup, Driscoll’s will be able to measure the Brix quantity more effectively. This will help support its decade old Quality Rewards System, a programme which measures and rewards its independent growers for consistently bringing great tasting berries from harvest to the consumer.
An entire clamshell of strawberries is able to fit inside each SCiO Cup and be scanned in one single batch, this potentially eliminates the need for inspectors to select which berries to measure for Brix (though one imagines tasting them to find out is half the fun). For raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, more than two six ounce clamshells can be measured in a single reading.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the flavour of our berries,” said Brie Reiter Smith, Driscoll’s Director of Quality Systems Design and Technology, Supply Chain. “Investing in technology that ensures more flavour consistency within our proprietary berry varieties is important to our continued efforts to elevate our berry consumers’ experience. Partnering with Consumer Physics was an easy decision. Their impressive and novel brix measurement device allows us to reward the independent growers across our network who provide the ripest and best tasting berries.”
Driscoll’s will begin integrating SCiO Cup devices within its quality measurement process this month in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. By the end of 2021, Driscoll’s will rely exclusively on the SCiO Cup device for Brix measurements in the approximately two million quality inspections conducted annually in North America.
From sensors, smart systems, data warehouse and proprietary analytics to monitor and improve product quality, innovation is embedded across the Driscoll’s supply chain. Over the years, Driscoll’s Quality Assurance team also developed analytical models and other tools that help the company proactively drive change and manage risk.
“We are excited to see our technology adopted by Driscoll’s,” said Damian Goldring, Co-founder and CTO at Consumer Physics. “It fits perfectly with Driscoll’s innovative use case. The SCiO Cup delivers within seconds, accurate, consistent and non-destructive Brix analysis in berries. We have been developing this solution closely with Driscoll’s over the past couple of years and already see additional opportunities to implement this solution across the Driscoll’s supply chain in the future.”
The SCiO Cup also has practical applications beyond berry Brix measurement. Other areas of agriculture where the technology is placing near-live data into the hands of farmers, advisors and inspectors include:
- on-field corn moisture analysis
- animal feed nutrient analysis
- precision grain analysis
The folks at Consumer Physics claim that SCiO Cup is the world’s fastest lab-grade dry matter analyzer ‘combining portability, accuracy and ease of use.’