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Bélgica 17/03/2023

Game-changing sorting and grading solutions for cherry packhouses

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Sales of cherries show a steady growth, despite being one of the priciest stone fruits. International demand is booming, and new growers and packers arise to profit from these opportunities. Market researchers project that the international cherry market will continue to grow over the next 5 years at a compound annual growth rate of 5 to 10%.

Aiming to keep up with demand, the world’s leading cherry grower, Türkiye, boosted production four-fold in almost a decade. The U.S. remains the second-largest producer, followed by Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, and Chile. 

The latter doubled production in just 3 years. Significant production increases are also observed in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. 

Packhouses in all of these countries are constantly under pressure to handle bigger volumes. Moreover, cherry is a fragile fruit which is difficult to sort and grade. In order to reliably detect defects, appropriate sorting and grading technologies are a must, as the ones offered by TOMRA. These machines stand out for their throughput capabilities, grading accuracy, handling gentleness, and packing speed. Being modular and scalable, they can be tailored to businesses of any size. 


Separating, sorting, grading

The company’s Cascade Singulator separates clusters of cherries with a gentle carrying method. While traditional cluster cutters push cherries at speed to blades, putting the cherry at risk of bruising and pitting, the Cascade Singulator decreases the cherries’ velocity with a non-motorized water system that slows up the flow of water between each bank of separation. The improved separation location at the knuckle where two cherries join, ensures clean and even separation, avoiding tearing of cherries. This also minimizes operational time and maintenance costs, usually needed by other systems for adjusting and cleaning the machine. 

TOMRA offers 2 cherry sorters: the MIRA360 and the Small Fruit Sorter (SFS) with InVision2 and TotalView Plus, which accept, reject, or redirect the cherries for sale at a lower grade following different criteria. 

The MIRA360 sorts into multiple streams by size, according to the standard sizing bands. It also grades in accordance with color and defects. This is a perfect solution for small-medium size volumes and for grading cherries destined to the processed industry. 

The inspection technology InVision2 with TotalView Plus is capable of viewing 100% of the fruit at full production speed and without blind spots. If compared to other sorters, the end-view cameras of TotalView are located closer to the fruit and at lower inspection angles. High image quality enables identification of nose cracks, suture splits and stem bowl mildew. 


Filling & packing

Approaching the end of the line, cherries meet with TOMRA’s filling machines. These solutions can simultaneously pack fruits of different grades for different markets. 

The CURO filling system is available with 2, 8, 12, and 16 filling stations. This machine ensures consistent, high-speed filling at precise weights and is easily switchable between packing options. 

Quality tracking system enables monitoring the whole process, from harvesting to processing, packing, and arrival in the point of sale. The software named Freshtracker enables packhouses to trace the origins and features of each product. It also informs when one grower’s product has been packed and another’s is going down the line so that the pause is not needed in production between the two. Freshtracker is also capable of comparing and analyzing yields to provide a quality end product. 

All this contributes to minimizing food waste and increasing profit. When packhouses invest in such solutions, they quickly realize it’s a wise move. And when those solutions are provided by TOMRA, packhouses are backed with the operational training and technical support to be sure that the machines reach optimum performance with minimum downtime.



If you seek to improve output of your cherry business, send your inquiry today





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The CURO filling system is available with 2, 8, 12, and 16 filling stations. This machine ensures consistent, high-speed filling at precise weights and is easily switchable between packing options.
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