Family Tree Farms adds UNITEC blueberry lines
California-based grower-packer Family Free Farms has installed two additional UNITEC blueberry lines, having first started working with the sorting technology company in 2018.
The lines are equipped with UNITEC Blueberry Vision 3 system, which is able to sort blueberries with great accuracy and reliability according to multiple parameters - internal quality (softness), external defect, shape, size and color.
This allows the creation of many quality classes that can satisfy the different tastes of the consumer and the different markets and distribution needs.
Thanks to its high-resolution cameras which scan 100% of each blueberry, Blueberry Vision 3 separates “premium” quality blueberries, with valuable characteristics, from those of second or third quality for the food industry. Moreover, it divides the product of second or third quality into different additional categories.
"In the years passed when we had to sort conventionally, with human eyes, there was so much more room for error," said Family Tree Farms owner Daniel Jackson.
"When we had a heat wave or a rain event, we saw our quality go down and at times we would have to stop, stop picking, but thanks to the UNITEC lines we were able to continue picking, to sort out that bad product and the result is a product of great eating quality, a great experience blueberry that we can give to our customer and be proud of."
These are all advantages that Family Tree Farms has found not only in handling blueberries, but also in handling peaches.
In 2019 the packing house also invested in a UNITEC line equipped with Peach Vision 3 system, dedicated to the quality selection on peaches and nectarines.