Driscoll's, a global player in the berries market, has announced a partnership with Israeli company Consumer Physics to leverage its SCiO technology to innovate the quality measurement process. The Near Infrared (NIR) technology and innovative design offered by the Consumer Physics SCiO Cup will allow Driscoll's to measure the Brix of its berries more effectively. It will also enable its Quality Rewards System, which measures and rewards its independent growers who consistently deliver great-tasting berries from harvest to consumer.
"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 supply chain technology.
"Investing in technology that ensures greater flavour consistency within our proprietary berry varieties is important to our ongoing efforts to elevate our consumers' experience of berries. Partnering with Consumer Physics was an easy decision. Their new brix measuring device allows us to reward the independent growers in our network who provide the ripest and best tasting fruit.
The SCiO Cup from Consumer Physics supports cloud-based software to deliver lab analysis to mobile devices in seconds. An entire package of strawberries can fit into each SCiO Cup and be scanned at once, which eliminates the need for inspectors to select which berries to measure for Brix.
For raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, more than two six-ounce (170g) packs can be measured in one reading.
Driscoll's will begin integrating SCiO Cup devices into 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 checks conducted annually in North America.
"We are excited to see our technology adopted by Driscoll's," said Damian Goldring, co-founder and CTO of Consumer Physics. "It fits perfectly with Driscoll's innovative use case." "The SCiO Cup offers accurate, consistent and non-destructive analysis of the Brix grade of small fruits in seconds. We have been developing this solution closely with Driscoll's for the past two years and already see further opportunities to implement this solution across Driscoll's supply chain in the future."
From sensors, intelligent systems, data warehouses and proprietary analytics to monitor and improve product quality, innovation is embedded throughout Driscoll's supply chain. Over the years, Driscoll's Quality Assurance team has also developed analytical models and other tools that help the company proactively drive change and manage risk, using its Delight platform that measures and rewards good quality supply.
Introduced more than a decade ago, the Quality Rewards System is designed to further reward independent growers who harvest the ripest and most attractive fruit, meeting the key quality elements of freshness. As part of this quality measurement system, independent growers in the Driscoll family are rewarded on the basis of their ripeness performance compared to growers with the same crop in the same geographical area.