Berry brand Driscoll's announced yesterday a partnership with Israel-based Consumer Physics to leverage its SCiO technology to apply to Driscoll's quality measurement process.
The Near Infrared (NIR) technology and design offered through the Consumer Physics SCiO Cup will allow Driscoll's to measure the Brix, or sweetness of its berries, more effectively. It also enables its Quality Rewards System, which measures and rewards its independent growers who consistently bring quality berries from harvest to the consumer.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the flavor of our berries,” said Brie Reiter Smith, director of quality systems design and technology, supply chain for Driscoll’s. “Investing in technology that ensures more flavor consistency within our proprietary berry varieties is important to our continued efforts to elevate our berry consumers’ experience. The brix measurement device from Consumer Physics allows us to reward independent growers across our network who provide the ripest and best-tasting berries.”
The new technology allows Driscoll's to measure Brix and enable its own Quality Rewards System.
The Consumer Physics SCiO Cup supports cloud-based software to deliver lab-grade analyses to mobile devices in seconds. A clamshell of strawberries can fit in each SCiO Cup and be scanned at one time, eliminating the need for inspectors to select which berries to measure for Brix. For raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, more than two six-ounce clamshells can be measured in a single reading.
Driscoll's will begin integrating SCiO Cup devices this month in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. By the end of 2021, Driscoll’s will rely exclusively on the SCiO Cup device for Brix measurements in the approximately two million quality inspections conducted annually in North America.
Over the years, Driscoll’s Quality Assurance team also developed analytical models and other tools that help the company drive change and manage risk. The art and science of growing what it calls Only the Finest Berries™ also includes a commitment to a Delight Platform that measures and rewards delivering consistent berries from harvest to the consumer.
Introduced more than a decade ago, the Quality Rewards System was designed to further reward independent growers that harvest the ripest, most attractive fruit while meeting key quality elements of freshness. As part of this quality measurement system, Driscoll's family of independent growers are rewarded based on their ripeness performance relative to growers with the same crop in the same geography. The Consumer Physics technology directly supports this undertaking by enabling the non-destructive measure of degrees Brix that is fast, simple, accurate, scalable and provides real-time data without waste.
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