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European Fruit Magazine

BelOrta commissions new grading centre

At the end of August, Belgian auction BelOrta opened a brand-new automated grading centre for apples and pears at the Borgloon location. The centre has a surface area of 11,800 m2 and an annual capacity of 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes of apples and pears. The construction has cost 21 million euros. The new grading line is fitted out with optical and infrared camaras for an accurate internal and external quality assessment. During the construction a lot of attention has been paid to sustainability, among other things, by minimising water use by recycling via wastewater treatment and the use of rainwater for the discharge of rotten fruit and sanitary facilities. In addition, there is a short transport distance between storage of packing materials and the grading line. Moreover, total energy consumption will be taken care of by solar panels on the roof with a capacity of 1.6-megawatt peak.

Latest grading technologies
The new grading centre has some technological firsts. The Maf Roda installations in the pre-grading of apples, including the high-tech Globalscan 7 camera and Orphea software, are the most modern of their kind in Western Europe. The Twinscan 7 installation, used for the pear grading lines, is unique for Belgium. After a first scan the pears are turned around here, so that the second scan screens the other side for internal and external quality characteristics.