IMG Citrus makes multi-million-dollar investment

IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically integrated citrus grower-packer-shipper in Vero Beach, FL, has added a $1.5 million investment to its packinghouse processing line, a state-of-the-art electronic fruit grader, the “Global Scan 7” manufactured by MAF Roda Industries in France.

The new sorter has the ability to precisely capture 120 images per fruit and up to 120 fruit per second in high definition. At a processing speed of 7,200 fruit per minute, the Global Scan 7 has the capability to process a total of 864,000 pictures per minute. It then analyzes the images against specific criteria such as percentage of blemish, weight, color, shape, and density concluding with 99 percent accuracy.salMichel Sallin

“Our customers will greatly benefit from this technology because of much better consistency from carton to carton and from fruit to fruit,” said Michel Sallin, IMG Citrus president.

Based on how the product compares to the set criteria, it is routed to respective marketplaces. The sorter will improve the overall quality of fruit through the identification and elimination of late blooms, which are not as sweet or juicy, as well as greening fruit.

“In a Greening environment, it is important to protect the superior taste of Florida grapefruit and eliminate the few outliers,” said Sallin. “To be successful in the fresh business, each piece of fruit needs to bring happiness to our consumers. Not many products have the privilege to be considered to be the best in the world, and it is IMG Citrus’ mission to protect this reputation of Florida grapefruit.”

IMG Citrus recently acquired Emerald Grove in St. Lucie County, renamed to be Happy Food grove after its consumer brand. This acquisition makes IMG Citrus one of the largest growers of Florida grapefruit and an important player in the industry. The dedication to the citrus industry through investments such as the Global Scan 7, shows its dedication to fresh Florida citrus and helps bring excitement to the industry.

“We are excited to bring the latest technology in packinghouse equipment into our facilities,” said Todd Haffield, packinghouse director at IMG Citrus. “We have been known for having great tasting fruit, and this expansion allows us to bring more of it to the market. We believe in the future of Florida citrus, and our investment in the Global Scan 7 shows just that.”

The increased precision of fruit grading is critical to IMG Citrus’ ability to fully understand crop characteristics in order to enhance decision making and crop management. The Global Scan 7 also adds efficiency to its packing process while simultaneously decreasing cost. IMG Citrus has also learned that internal quality of grapefruit is better measured with density, color, and shape than with a Brix sensor, allowing the elimination of late blooms and greening fruit. With today’s enhanced technology, IMG Citrus once again is on the forefront of bringing state-of-the-art equipment to its packinghouse as it continues its commitment to customers by providing consistent taste and quality.

The addition of the MAF Globalscan 7 will increase long-term value for IMG Citrus’ stakeholders. With the introduction of this new, state-of-the-art technology, IMG Citrus can ensure a product with the consistent taste attributed to Florida citrus, fruit after fruit.

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