Photo by Sahand Babali on Unsplash

Brief: Driscoll’s partners with foodtech startup Consumer Physics to measure sweetness in berries

February 23, 2021

  • US berry producer Driscoll’s is teaming up with Israeli startup Consumer Physics to measure strawberry sweetness.
  • Consumer Physics will apply its SCiO technology, which uses near-infrared spectrometers and cloud-based software, to Driscoll’s quality measurement process.
  • By the end of 2021, Driscoll’s will rely exclusively on Consumer Physics’ technology, it said.
  • Driscoll’s rewards independent growers who can consistently deliver strawberries that meet the right sweetness and flavor profile through its Quality Rewards System.

Why it matters:

Instead of developing an in-house solution to better measure sweetness, Driscoll’s is leaning on startup expertise. Consumer Physics’ tool, the SCiO Cup, can hold an entire clamshell of strawberries and scan it for sweetness, which eliminates the need for inspectors to select individual berries for evaluation. The device sends “lab-grade analyses” to mobile devices within a few seconds, too. It can also evaluate raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

Driscoll’s has been using the Quality Rewards System for over a decade. Because the system is designed to reward growers who bring the best tasting berries, bringing in some data-based objectivity could make the process fairer. Perhaps best of all, the SCiO Cup does not require destructive testing, so growers don’t lose out on a portion of their crop when proving its sweetness.

Singapore-based agribusiness Olam International has also partnered with Consumer Physics to help improve its cocoa production by capturing data on the exact amount of cocoa within a bean pod. 

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