Real time and non destructive fruit quality testing
- Partners or investors with potential distributor networks with an initial focus on Australian and south east Asian markets
- Partners looking to integrate this product (real time, non-destructive fruit quality testing device and analytics) within an established agricultural data platform
- Investors to support the commercialisaiton of the devices and provide full time support for customers
Industry challenge: For producers, rapid fruit quality determination is key in deciding on optimal harvest timing and guaranteeing fruit quality for export markets. Significant loss of value of exported fruit comes about by poor handling down-stream in the supply chain meaning downgrading or rejection of product.
In Australia alone the horticulture sector exceeded $15 billion in production value in 2019-20. Australian fresh fruit export to south-east Asia has grown in value in the last five years. For the year ending June 2020, Australia exported $3B worth of horticultural products, fresh fruit being the largest value export group, being 49% or a value of $1.475B.
Our technology combines a hand-held scanner with machine learning analytics. Users can scan the fruit pre- or post-harvest and obtain real-time information on quality parameters such as sugars (brix) pressure firmness, dry matter, maturity, colour, internalcolour, internal browning and mealiness, etc.
Current opportunity: Rubens Technologies is offering specific prediction of fruit quality before harvest (for harvest timing) and projected quality along the value chain. It provides vertical data integration with existing supply chain analytics; we provide non-destructive fruit testing but also prediction on the future quality of the fruit as it travels to the consumer.
This device is specifically designed to:
- be affordable and simple to use, it does not aim to replicate the performances of high-end spectroscopy devices, but rather offers a reliable solution for field use that does not require specific training
- offer a ‘one stop shop’ where different types of testing can be done at the same time, in a single scan, and without destroying the fruit
- assist producers deliver premium products to export markets, reducing the downsides of product recalls or downgrading
- help producers decide the optimal harvest time, for any given target market, and as a consequence provide information on the optimal shipping (for instance air vs sea freight) or storage of the fruit. It allows producers to accurately predict and guarantee the quality of the fruit they are shipping.
Rubens Technologies has completed trials with an advanced prototype and has also completed the design of the commercial unit. Rubens is piloting this technology in Australia and South East Asia.
Potential other applications
Rapid detection of contaminants in food or produce. Rubens is currently developing machine learning models in a pilot for rapid contaminant detection in meat.
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