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TOMRA Food revolutionizes food processing with AI-driven solutions and new organizational structure

TOMRA Food has unveiled its new, more agile and focused organizational structure, showcased its sorting, grading, and packing solutions, and launched three new AI-powered sorting and grading solutions.

The announcements were made at a press conference held at the Fruit Logistica exhibition in Berlin, Germany, by Harald Henriksen, Executive Vice President and Head of TOMRA Food, and Karel Strubbe, EMEA Regional Director of TOMRA Food.

In the afternoon, TOMRA Food’s Vice President, Head of Customer Value Sebastian Stoof gave a presentation on the event’s Tech-Stage about the new Artificial Intelligence sorting and grading evolution in the food industry.

The Fruit Logistica exhibition (February 7-9), held annually at the Berlin ExpoCenter City, is the world’s leading fresh produce industry event and attracts trade visitors from 140 countries.

Closer to the customer with the new organizational structure

TOMRA Food’s new structure creates a more agile and responsive organization, closer to its customers, with greater capacity for innovating and bringing effective solutions to the market. To this end, it is adopting a new, regional structure consisting of three areas: EMEA, Americas, and APAC. Within each area, it is merging its TOMRA Processed Food and TOMRA Fresh Food business areas into one TOMRA Food team.

The final element of the new structure is the creation of a new central hub that brings together R&D, product development and operations, increasing TOMRA Food’s operational efficiency and innovation speed.

Harald Henriksen, Executive Vice President
and Head of TOMRA Food

Mr. Henriksen explained: “Throughout its history, TOMRA Food has shown its ability to adapt and innovate to provide the solutions our customers really need. That’s what we are doing with our new organization, which will benefit them in different ways.

“The regional approach will allow us to operate as a local partner, having a more direct dialogue with our customers and responding swiftly to their very diverse needs.

“Unifying our two business areas into one TOMRA Food team means that we can capitalize on the best practices from each to work more effectively and deliver top-tier solutions and services. Finally, by centralizing our R&D and operations into a dedicated unit, we will be able to leverage the collective expertise and efforts of our entire team, boosting our ability to innovate and bring more and better solutions to our customers – and lead the resource revolution with them.”

Part of TOMRA Food’s commitment to meeting the real needs of its customers around the world is  its collaborations with key partners. It is the case of Italian manufacturer of fruit handling, processing, and packaging equipment, ICOEL, whose stand at Fruit Logistica shares the reception area with TOMRA Food’s.

New sorting and grading solutions leverage the power of AI

TOMRA Food launched three solutions that demonstrate how Artificial Intelligence is changing food processing. The first is TOMRA Neon, a new blueberry pre-grader that uses AI modelling to detect clusters with unrivalled accuracy. A compact, durable and easy to clean machine, it will be a valuable addition to blueberry processing and packing operations. Extensive validation tests have shown TOMRA Neon removes more than 95% of clusters and over 90% of red and green berries to optimize the optical grader’s efficiency. With its entry into the market, TOMRA now offers a suite of solutions that integrates its Harvest Cleaner, Small Fruit Eliminator, TOMRA Neon, and KATO260 for easy and effective processing of machine-harvested blueberries.

Also introduced at Fruit Logistica was the new-generation Spectrim X grading platform featuring its LUCAi® Deep Learning technology for apples. This intelligent optical sorting and grading solution, equipped with LUCAi® Engine Software, computing hardware, and pre-trained models meets customers’ demand for greater productivity with unparalleled grading precision, higher yields, minimal fruit loss and reduced operational costs.

TOMRA Food also unveiled TOMRA LUCAi® for its InVision2 grading platform for cherries. TOMRA’s Deep Learning technology maximizes pack-out results and minimizes fruit loss. It detects with extreme accuracy edge cracks, pacman cherries (half cherries), open sutures, cosmetic blemishes and stem pulls, and ensures improved spur detection as well as cracks and defects around the stem. Customers will benefit from enhanced pack quality and consistency with minimized waste and premium yields.

Three-dimensional holographic display of sorting, grading and packing solutions

TOMRA Food’s hologram machine, which debuted at Fruit Logistica 2023, returned for this year’s exhibition to showcase a wide range of the brand’s solutions. It clearly showed 3D animations and video of the TOMRA 3A, TOMRA 5A, TOMRA 5C and TOMRA 5SA sorters; the CURO-16 small-fruit packing system; the KATO precision grading system for blueberries; the Spectrim grading platform with UltraView inspection module; the Inspectra² internal inspection system; and the new TOMRA Neon pre-grading technology for machine-harvested blueberries for the fresh market.

The new AI sorting and grading evolution – speech highlights

Sebastian Stoof

Sebastian Stoof, TOMRA Food’s Vice President, Head of Customer Value, gave a presentation on Fruit Logistica’s Tech-Stage. He spoke about developments in AI technology in the food industry and how it is used to solve challenging problems in food sorting.

Sebastian explained that, for the successful application of AI in food sorting, several critical conditions must be met. They include high-quality imaging for training and operations, expert industry knowledge, expertise in Deep Learning technology, and a suitable organizational setup that allows for scale.

Sebastian concluded with remarks about the way the introduction of AI technology in food sorting is shifting customers’ expectations of sorting precision, adaptability of technology, the skillset of operators, and the support they receive from their technology providers.

Source: TOMRA Food
Nuria Martí
Alarcon & Harris PR
Michelle Haynes
Head of Marketing TOMRA Food
New Zealand
Cover image: TOMRA Food leadership team

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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