Jeju Island - South Korea

Drones used to check illegal distribution of unripe mandarin oranges

In the southern resort island of Jeju, drones are being used in a crackdown on the distribution of unripe Gamgyul that are below state quality standards. The citrus fruit is a winter delicacy in South Korea.

Jeju Gamgyul is a kind of mandarin orange that is harvested between October and January when it is green, to be ripened later at room temperature. When picked too early, Gamgyul maintains its very sour taste. Jeju prohibits the distribution of Gamgyul with less than eight degrees Brix. Degrees Brix represents how sweet an aqueous solution is. One degree Brix is one gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution. Growers must apply for a state sweetness test before shipping Gamgyul.

Seogwipo, a Gamgyul farming area in southern Jeju, reported in a statement on September 21 that a retailer was caught trying to distribute unripe citrus by using drones and human inspectors. quoted a Seogwipo official as saying: "We will direct all our efforts to preventing bad products from being distributed in the market.”

Therefore, Seogwipo launched a crackdown; if a drone spots a farm that is harvesting Gamgyul too early, human inspectors are dispatched. Drones are widely used for various purposes. Lifesavers use drones to locate stranded people, while state inspectors check the structural durability of buildings with limited accessibility such as chimneys of thermal power plants and antenna towers atop of high-rise buildings.

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