Driscoll’s Invests in Technology Solution to Measure Berry Sweetness
WATSONVILLE, CA - Our industry is continuously growing and innovating to bring the freshest and most nutritious products from the field to the table. As much as innovation is needed in the industry, so are partnerships. Driscoll’s is demonstrating its strength in the berry sector as it recently announced a partnership with the Israel-based technology solutions company Consumer Physics to leverage its SCiO technology to innovate the grower’s quality measurement process.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the flavor of our berries,” said Brie Reiter Smith, Driscoll’s Director of Quality Systems Design and Technology, Supply Chain. “Investing in technology that ensures more flavor 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.”
According to the press release, the Near Infrared (NIR) technology and breakthrough design offered through the Consumer Physics SCiO Cup will allow Driscoll’s to measure the Brix, or sweetness, of its berries more effectively and enables its Quality Rewards System, which measures and rewards its independent growers who consistently bring great-tasting berries from harvest to the consumer.
The Consumer Physics SCiO Cup supports cloud-based software to deliver lab-grade analyses to mobile devices in seconds. An entire clamshell of strawberries can fit in each SCiO Cup and be scanned at one time, which eliminates the need for inspectors to select which berries to measure for Brix. For raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, more than two 6 oz clamshells can be measured in a single reading.
“We are excited to see our technology adopted by Driscoll’s,” said Damian Goldring, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer 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.”
Introduced more than a decade ago, a Quality Rewards System was designed to further reward independent growers that harvest the ripest, most attractive fruit while meeting key quality elements of freshness. As part of this quality measurement system, Driscoll’s family of independent growers are rewarded based on their ripeness performance relative to growers with the same crop in the same geography. The Consumer Physics technology directly supports this undertaking by enabling the non-destructive measure of degrees Brix that is fast, simple, highly accurate, scalable, and provides real-time data without waste.
From sensors, smart systems, data warehouses, and proprietary analytics to monitor and improve product quality, innovation is embedded across 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. The art and science of growing Only the Finest Berries™ also include a dedicated commitment to a Delight Platform that measures and rewards delivering consistently great-tasting berries from harvest to the consumer.
Driscoll’s will begin integrating SCiO Cup devices within its quality measurement process this month in the United States, 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.
How will technology continue to accelerate fresh produce? Stick around as we report on the latest.