Tom KarstThis 32-lane UNITEC Cherry_Vision optical sorter is expected to double the cherry packing output at Washington Fruit & Produce Co. this season. A new packing house means Washington Fruit & Produce Co. could double its cherry packing output for the 2014 season.
The facility is equipped with a 32-lane UNITEC Cherry_Vision optical sorter that uses a system of cameras and software to examine each cherry internally and externally, according to a news release from the Yakima, Wash., grower-shipper.
The system sorts cherries based on uniformity of size, shape and skin quality while good fruit is sorted from damaged fruit in greater quantities without slowing the packing line, according to the release.
Improved temperature controls before, during and after packing are in place at the new 85,000-foot packing facility. Company officials said maintaining appropriate temperatures helps ensure high-quality fruit that withstands the trip to retailers’ shelves.
Washington Fruit primarily processes dark sweet and Rainier cherries, according to the release.