Industry Leading Shock Sensor Displayed at Fruit Attraction
For fruit growers and producers concerned about high wastage levels caused by damage during handling and processing, crop quality specialists Martin Lishman Ltd have developed a unique tool called ImpacTrack to identify problematic areas of production lines quickly and effectively.
ImpacTrack is a shock sensing data logger with a family of dummy food shapes that replicate the movement characteristics of fruit and vegetables during handling and transport. By recording the journey through handling and packing processes, ImpacTrack users can make modifications to machinery or processes to reduce the amount of produce wasted because of damage such as bruising.
Introduced to the industry 4 years ago, the award-winning ImpacTrack has captured the attention of growers and producers across the globe, helping countless users adjust their processing and handling lines to significantly reduce spoilage. Martin Lishman will once again be demoing the ImpacTrack at this years Fruit Attraction exhibition in Madrid, Spain.
For David Restrepo, Assistant Director of avocado producer Agrícola Ocoa in Colombia and Chile, the ImpacTrack played a key role in improving the post-harvest process: “Using the ImpacTrack has helped improve the quality of our avocados. We were able to clearly see the areas of production that needed attention and have made adjustments to help reduce impacts. This has helped us to reduce waste and, knowing that the fruits are being handled carefully, has given us a reassurance boost that the avocados are of the best quality.”
The ImpacTrack sensor is housed in a carrier shell designed to meet the customer’s specific requirements. Martin Lishman’s in-house design team can match the size, shape, and density of real produce to reproduce the movement characteristics (including floating in water) of produce prone to damage and bruising during handling and transport, and therefore get as close as possible to a realistic representation of impact ‘black spots’ in handling machinery.
Data from the ImpacTrack is transmitted in real time using Bluetooth to Martin Lishman’s “ML Sensing” smartphone App, making it ideal for instant on-site analysis of handling equipment. The App can also be used to record the journey of fresh produce during shipping and other transport methods. The data is downloaded at the end of the journey and provides a record of any impacts sustained.
“In an industry filled with high-cost precision equipment, the ImpacTrack is proof that not all quality control systems need to cost the earth,” explains Dr Gavin Lishman, Chairman of Martin Lishman Ltd. “In fact, the potential cost savings involved when using ImpacTrack makes it incredibly cost effective. In the early stages of development, we worked with a local avocado processor to field test the product and within minutes revealed several problematic areas of their production line. After some adjustments, they reported a significant drop in wastage levels.”
Martin Lishman has worked with growers and producers to create more than 40 different ImpacTrack shapes, including 9 different apple versions, 3 avocado sizes, clementine, mango and even a full-size pineapple, including the leaves of the crown.
The most recent shape took the ImpacTrack into the horticulture industry. After using the ImpacTrack for tracking parsnips in a previous role, Technical & Quality Developer of MM Flowers, David Booth saw the potential in using the ImpacTrack for the cut flower market. They have dubbed this the “Magic Flower”!
“Designed to be the same size and shape as a premium-quality rose and complete with interchangeable stem length, the Magic Flower is placed in a bouquet for shipping. We use the ImpacTrack during transit to identify opportunities to improve the quality of our flowers”, explains David Booth.
The Martin Lishman team will be attending this year’s Fruit Attraction event held in Madrid from October 4-6. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet face to face and see the latest developments in the ImpacTrack range. Find them on the British Pavilion in Hall 8, Stand 8B09.
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