Unlike previous years, 2018 has been quite rainy in Spain, and the citrus sector has been struggling as a result.
"Last year, the weather was quite dry and this allowed plenty of citrus fruits to be marketed with 'zero waste' treatments, or at least with few active substances," says Julio Aparicio, new head for Northern Spain at Sienz/Compac. "This year, the conditions are very different. It has rained a lot for a prolonged period and this has prevented the warehouses from being able to work every day with fruit harvested directly from the field. They've been forced to handle whatever fruit was kept in cold chambers. Given this year' high moisture levels, both in the fruit itself and in the environment, there has been a growing share of fruit with issues like rotting, as well as physiopathies such as the "Pixat".
In this context, citrus packing plants need good sorting and calibration systems able to discard rotten fruit. "Our customers are telling us about the high precision in the detection of fruit in poor condition that calibrators with the Spectrim system are achieving. One of our clients told us recently that in a single day, the calibrator detected up to 1,000 kilos of rotten fruit.
SPECTRIM is the only calibration system that has up to 9 cameras per line, which entails up to 270 high-resolution photos per fruit. Given that it is a modular and upgradeable calibrator, you can start simply with color cameras to determine the volume and color, and if you want to focus also on quality, you can resort to defect and rotting detection systems, implementing up to 6 infrared cameras per line. Today, Spectrim guarantees the detection of incipient rot (Penicillium, Geotrichum, Phytophthora), as well as of physiopathies such as creasing and "pixat". What makes the Spectrim software unique is that it makes it possible to add and customize new defects. Therefore, it is a tool that can be permanently updated to meet the needs of each campaign and client.
So far, the citrus season has also been characterized by the abundance of small sizes, so the medium and large sizes have reached very good market prices. "Exporters should avoid receiving complaints from their customers, since the economic losses could be very high and even play a decisive role in the campaign's end results. With a calibration system like SPECTRIM, marketers can identify and differentiate their various qualities and categories more easily."
"In a campaign as tough as the current one, every cent counts, and the importance of investing in quality becomes clearer," concludes Julio Aparicio.