Fruit Attraction 2021

Fruit Attraction 2021 incorporates new areas of Innovation, Research and Technology © Fruit Attraction

Madrid, 16 June 2021 – Fruit Attraction, a trade fair organised by IFEMA MADRID and FEPEX, will hold a new edition from 5 to 7 October aimed at promoting the sector’s competitiveness and growth. For this, and with the aim of promoting innovation, research, technology and digitisation as fundamental keys to future growth, Hall 5 will bring together the three solutions and services areas related to agricultural sector innovation: Biotech Attraction; Smart Agro and Smart Water&Energy.

Biotech, the great challenges of the horticultural and agricultural sectors

The fruit and vegetable sector faces major issues and challenges that will restrict its capacity for growth, development and competitiveness, such as the opportunities and future of plant biotechnology, its impact on the environment, on industry and society; new digital solutions that add value to the entire agri-food chain; the improvement of production in terms of productivity and sustainability; technological solutions to irrigation; and new developments in energy efficiency aimed at fruit and vegetable farms, among others.

Likewise, agriculture faces new challenges presented by demographic growth, which will increase demand for raw materials, by preferences in consumption, by environmental and legal aspects, and by issues related to the globalisation of the economy. Overcoming these challenges requires an increase in the efficiency (higher productivity with fewer inputs), quality (nutritional, organoleptic) and sustainability (lower environmental impact, reuse of waste, etc.) of agriculture that can only be achieved through the application of new technological developments.

The knowledge generated in applied Plant Biology offers a set of strategic technologies (development of new plant varieties, bioinformatics, genomic editing techniques, agrobiologicals for plant nutrition and protection, revaluation of waste and circular economy, new plant sources for obtaining protein, bioproducts of plant origin with industrial, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, plant biofactories, etc., applications that will make it possible to get to grips with global challenges (productivity, sustainability, quality) faced by the agri-food sector.

Driven by this reality, Fruit Attraction 2021, with the collaboration of BIOVEGEN, is including the plant innovation hub in its BIOTECH ATTRACTION programme, aimed at bringing together and promoting technological innovation and innovation-based business development opportunities. A new specialised area, aimed at companies dedicated to research and technological development of plant genomics.

Smart Agro, precision technological solutions

Likewise, Smart Agro will once again be the specialised space for technology solutions companies in precision agriculture, focused on showing the latest developments in management products for agri-food companies and advanced mobility and analytics solutions, promoting agro-industrial transformation.

Fruit Attraction will also have the collaboration of AgroTech ESPAÑA, which aims to encourage and create business opportunities for agrotech. To this end, different initiatives, such as ´AgroTech Tours´, will be launched, which will allow producers and other agents in the sector to be put in contact with those ‘Techs’ that propose specific solutions. In short, to generate encounters between supply and demand.

Smart Water & Energy, water and renewable technologies

Fruit Attraction incorporates, also as a novelty, Smart Water & Energy, which is oriented to water and renewable technologies in the agri-food sector. Thus, SMART WATER is a new area with the goal of addressing the technological transformation of water in horticulture for the best and most efficient use of water and to improve crop productivity.   It is aimed at professional horticultural producers, and managers and technical directors of companies that install irrigation systems and are interested in learning about new irrigation technologies. In this space, participating exhibitors will present equipment, products and services that incorporate the latest technological solutions in irrigation that are dedicated to smart water management.

In addition, renewable energy on fruit and vegetable farms is a valuable opportunity for farmers to reduce costs and emissions. SMART ENERGY was created with the aim of promoting the transformation of energy use in the sector. It is aimed at fruit and vegetable producers, agriculture and energy consultants, installation companies, engineering companies, and technicians from public bodies and administrations. Leading companies in the renewable energy sector linked to agriculture will participate in this exhibition area; suppliers of renewable energy, electricity, green hydrogen, battery storage, bioenergy, solar pumping, self-supply, financing, etc., which will showcase all the new developments in energy efficiency aimed at fruit and vegetable farms.

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UNITEC blueberry vision 3: Competitive advantage for blueberry quality selection

UNITEC blueberry vision 3: Competitive advantage for blueberry quality selection
Photo: Unitec

UNITEC, specialized in designing and manufacturing innovative technologies for sorting, grading, selecting the quality and packing fresh fruits and vegetables, for 97 years has been committed to improving fruit and vegetable quality selection in over 65 countries of the world in which it operates.

Thanks to its experience, gained working side by side with Customer Packing Houses all over the world, UNITEC Research and Development Team has developed over the years advanced vision systems dedicated to blueberries to ensure accuracy and reliability in selecting this delicate fruit.

UNITEC sorting lines equipped with Blueberry Vision 3 technology, the latest generation upgrade, offer many advantages: reduction of the number of claims due to discrepancies between the product agreed with the distributor and the delivered one (UNITEC technology as a true mark of quality and reliability); full satisfaction and loyalty of the Final Consumer who never feels betrayed; increased production efficiency in the Packing House; minimization of labor on the lines thanks to the line high level of automation; delicacy in the treatment of the fruit as it has never been achieved before.

UNITEC continues to innovate tirelessly, with the aim to help its Customers in enhancing the value of their product and improving their business.

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Tosca, global leader in reusable packaging solutions

Tosca, global leader in reusable packaging solutions
Photos: Tosca Ltd

With the acquisition of Polymer Logistics and Contraload NV, Tosca is is a global leader in reusable packaging solutions and pooling for food supply chains. It has over 100 years of combined experience managing large supply chains and the financial scalability needed to grow and bring innovations to the market. For the Fresh produce, Tosca offers  a comprehensive portfolio of reusable solutions from pallets to crates and bulk containers to meet  various needs. “Our RPCs (Reusable Packaging Crates) is purpose-built for Fresh produce, providing the strength and structural integrity that corrugated cannot match to prevent damage. They are also uniquely designed for superior ventilation, keeping produce cooler and delivering it fresher. Our customers from the fresh produce sector can also benefit from our “smart” pallets to track and trace their products, controlling critical aspects of the process as they gain control throughout the journey, increasing their efficiency along their supply chain” says Jesse Sels, President EMEA Tosca.

Nowadays their R&D teams are working on innovations specifically for fresh produce. Looking for solutions to improve containers’ ventilation to ensure the product quality is enhanced while it is well protected. Or how to keep the robustness of their RPCs while they can be stackable without damaging the products inside. Tosca is also working further in their Active Lock to ensure they have different mechanisms to provide their fresh produce customers ensuring the containers are closed without contaminating the product in the RPCs. Moreover, their R&D department is developing other solutions on traceability to improve efficiency in the fresh produce sector. We have been strongly growing, we are projecting double-digit growth in 2021. Jesse Sels afirms: “Fresh Produce is a very important segment for us since we started our operations. Nowadays, more than 35% of our revenue comes from it. Fresh produce is one of our core markets and we have a very long-standing history servicing this industry”. Tosca have offices in Israel for a long time and they just opened an office in India, and they are in the process of expandingtheir operations network in East Europe in countries like Poland, Russia, and Turkey. They are also reinforcing their presence in LATAM with a special interest in Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Peru.     

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Sorma Group launches HyperVision, the new high-tech platform for SormaTech optical sorting machines

Sorma Group launches HyperVision, the new high-tech platform for SormaTech optical sorting machines
Photo: Sorma Group & Fruitecom 

A patented system that selects 15 pieces of fruit per second based on internal and external quality and guarantees elimination of almost all defects, an unprecedented level of achievement on the market

SormaTech, the Sorma Group’s proprietary optical sorting machine designed to sort fruit with extreme precision, now features a further technological advancement: the research and development centre run by the Group’s Spanish subsidiary, Sorma Iberica, has developed the HyperVision platform, a cutting-edge, multi-wavelength lighting solution that offers superior fruit sorting and a high level of efficiency: it can analyse up to 15 pieces of fruit per second, compared to an average of 12 for other solutions on the market.

Thanks to the exclusive SormaTech Hyper-Map system, up to 2160 images are processed for every analysed piece of fruit. The result is a 360-degree view of the surface of the fruit, which makes it possible to detect, classify and counteract the smallest imperfection: “Consumers, when they see that one or more pieces of fruit inside the pack are damaged, may not proceed with the purchase,” explains Daniele Severi, Director of the Technology Division of Sorma Iberica. “These new technologies demonstrate Sorma Group’s commitment to tackling food waste: it’s therefore not just a question of production efficiency, but also of ethics.”

Using SormaTech’s powerful deep learning algorithms and a large number of cameras – 9 for each optical sorter machine line, 3 colour cameras and 6 NIR (an analysis method that exploits the material’s interaction with near-infrared radiation) cameras, featuring digital Ultra-HD technology with superior optics – HyperVision simultaneously analyses every point of the fruit’s skin over the entire bandwidth of visible and invisible light, guaranteeing accurate sorting: “The platform,” continues Severi, “acquires and analyses superimposed hyperspectral images in both the visible region and NIR for each piece of fruit that rotates under the inspection system. This ensures the most accurate selection based on internal and external quality, colour and shape. Thanks to its technology, HyperVision makes it possible to discard fruit with over-ripe areas that cannot be detected by normal vision, enabling fruit and vegetable companies to organise export plans to international markets with full product quality assurance, even after several days’ travel.”

In addition to boasting superior accuracy and speed compared to any other platform previously available on the market, HyperVision is also distinguished by its use of the Linux operating system, which is faster, safer and more virus-proof than other more popular systems. Moreover, it guarantees long-lasting performance and privacy, since it does not collect data.

HyperVision is also easy to use: thanks to the InstanDefect interface, the user can modify and customise the defect detection options for fruit selection by simply moving a cursor.

The new platform is already available on the global market and is receiving great acclaim: “HyperVision is the result of the adoption of the best existing technologies and a continuous dialogue between Sorma and operators”, comments Andrea Mercadini, CEO of the Sorma Group. “Our goal is to develop projects that meet concrete needs, including in the post-collection segment, where we can now offer a unique service. Not surprisingly, HyperVision was a great success right from the start of testing: it represents another step forward in technological innovation and the fight against waste.”

About Sorma Group

Sorma Group was founded in 1973. It is currently the world’s only corporate group able to offer a turnkey solution comprising the entire line of machines required to automatically grade, weigh and pack fruit and vegetable products, together with supply of the technical material for creating all forms of packaging. It offers more than 160 automatic machine models, protected by 60 patents entirely developed by an in-house team of 35 engineers. More than 30 fruit and vegetable products can be graded and presented with the utmost precision and reliability to effectively respond to the increasingly demanding needs of the large-scale distribution. The Group has its own operations centres in Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, the Netherlands, the USA and Brazil. Alongside these subsidiaries, there are also 40 specialist distributors operating at the global level.

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Alibaba invests in tech for fruit handling

Alibaba invests in tech for fruit handling
Photo: Alibaba

Alibaba has announced that it will add several new fruits, including Dekopon tangerines, to its online and offline ranges, thanks to the firm’s five new digital agricultural processing centres set up across the country, fitted with the latest technology. In Shandong, a sorting line for locally grown cherries will start operating in the Alibaba Zibo Digital Agriculture Warehouse in April. Until now, China had only been able to grade fruit for size and appearance, but not the colour. Colour is important not only for appearance but also as an indicator of ripeness. The new sorting equipment not only adds a colour index, but also establishes a more detailed index for inspecting appearance to eliminate problems such as soft flesh, cracked fruit, and deformity.

Meanwhile, the Alibaba Production Warehouse in Xi’an, in the northwest of the country, is developing a new robot whose main function is to transport the packed fruits to a location according to instructions and stack the boxes neatly. As the Spring Festival approaches, Orah mandarins from Yunnan and Guangxi are expected to reach large marketed volumes by mid-January. To this end, Alibaba’s two production warehouses in Kunming and Nanning are equipped with three fully automatic smart packaging lines, which can pack at least 100,000 packs per day. From sorting to packaging, 70% of the work can be done by robots.


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Eat-Grow-Repeat: Grow your own pea sprouts in a Schur®Star bag!

Eat-Grow-Repeat: Grow your own pea sprouts in a Schur®Star bag!
Press release by Shur

Fresh pea sprouts can now be grown in a Schur®Star bag

Danish based Grow Up FARM is now launching a brand-new product, named Eat-Grow-Repeat: Small pea plants that grow in hemp in a bag. Refrigerated and bagged, the pea sprouts keep fresh for a week. Rip off the upper section of the bag, and the bottom of the bag is now the pot. Place the bottom of the bag with pea plants on your windowsill and care for it with light, water, and a little love. The growth will continue, and after a few days you can cut completely fresh pea sprouts for your salad bowl. It is easy, it is healthy, and it is delicious!

Bean sprouts are in Grow Up FARMs & Greenow’s DNA

The corner stone of the Greenow family business was laid back in 1966, when the first generation pioneered the professional cultivation of bean sprouts. It turned into a success and still is – who does not regularly add the crisp and healthy bean sprouts to the shopping cart? Sales of organic bean sprouts are growing steadily, and this has led Greenow to seek a more efficient packaging solution.

Fresh and crisp produce

Initially, the Schur®Star Packaging Machine was only planned for packing bean sprouts fully automatically into reclosable bags. Often, one does not eat all the sprouts at once; but in a reclosable bag, the sprouts do not desiccate in the refrigerator, but will retain their crispness for up to eight days. Hereby, the consumer can make his contribution to reducing problematic food waste, which is today an issue in both the retail outlet and the home. Usually, bean sprouts are packed in a tray and then flow wrapped, so the consumer would have to repack any sprouts that may be left over. But now this is history!

Capacity for new project

With its large capacity, the Schur®Star Packaging Machine has given Greenow & Grow Up  FARM the opportunity to realize the Eat-Grow-Repeat project. The pea plants are initially grown in an entirely new, vertical greenhouse – on five floors, in a 100% controlled climate, with recirculated water, under artificial light and completely without soil. And to match the 100% compostable contents, the bag is produced of PE, a single-layer material that does not require separation to be processed in a recycling system.

The Schur®Star Concept gives us a lot of opportunities

”Bean sprouts are our core product, for which we chose the Schur®Star Concept ”, says Lasse Vilmar, CEO and third generation in the company. ”But because of the versatility of the packaging machine and its high capacity, we decided to speed up the new Eat-Grow-Repeat project. When starting up a new project, flexibility is of the utmost importance, as you must be able to quickly adapt to market reactions”.

Lasse Vilmar continues: ”Now we can change from a fully automatic to a manual packing process in a few minutes – e.g. if we want to pack meal salads with different elements. Also in terms of bag constructions we are not at all limited to the two bag types that we started up with. We are excited about the new flexibility and the many options, and we feel convinced that the market will welcome our novelties: Healthy and tasty products in convenient packaging.”

A packaging concept for all product types

With its rectangular fill opening in the entire width of the bag, the Schur®Star Packaging Machine is ideal for filling of light and unevenly shaped products, such as a portion of bean sprouts or small pea plants. With more than 500 companies around the world, the concept packs all types of products – including a broad range of fresh produce, into a comprehensive range of bag constructions.

About Schur

Schur is an international team of 11 companies, offering packaging, packaging machines, packaging systems, and knowhow. Schur has a staff of approx. 950 people employed at factories in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Australia, and the USA. Schur®Star Systems is operating out of Flensburg Germany, Melbourne Australia, and Carlsbad USA. We take advantage of the knowhow of the entire Schur group to offer the best possible flexible packaging solution to our customers.

For mor information:

Schur®Star Systems, Tel.: +49 461 9975 120,

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Sormac: Disinfection using UV-C

Sormac: Disinfection using UV-C
Press release & photo: Sormac

Consumers who buy a bag of lettuce expect to find a clean product with a reasonable shelf life and no health risks. Processers need to meet this need without using excessive amounts of water and, in many countries, without using resources such as chlorine. Sormac investigated to what extent UV-C can disinfect washing water in its laboratory, on a pilot-scale as well as in a practical setting. The results are promising, as long as UV-C is used correctly.

UV-C is ultraviolet light that lies outside the spectrum that can be observed by humans. The germicidal effect is the highest between 240 and 280 nm. At this wavelength the light disrupts the DNA of microorganisms, such that they can no longer reproduce. These properties make UV-C extremely suitable for disinfecting wate


The test results are unequivocal: the microbiological contamination in washing water with UV-C disinfection is more than 2 log (about 99%) lower than the contamination in washing water without UV-C disinfection, graph below.

The microbiologically cleaner washing water also has a substantial positive impact on the washed end product. A reduction of approximately 1.5 log (some 96%) was measured in a 2-step washing process that involved UV-C only in the second washing cycle, shown in the graph below. Without using UV-C, the reduction is no more than approximately 65%.


GB/US: colony-forming units (cfu)

Using UV-C disinfection has three benefits for processors. It reduces the probability of cross-contamination where pathogens are transferred from one product to another. Secondly, it extends the product’s shelf life because it is microbiologically cleaner. Finally, UV-C disinfection offers a financial saving because less fresh water is needed.

Do you want to learn more about UV-C disinfection? Contact Sormac today!


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Melinda and Novamont team up for circular bio-economy

Melinda and Novamont team up for circular bio-economy © Melinda and Novamont

© Melinda and Novamont


Melinda and Novamont have teamed up to launch a more sustainable form of packaging. Begun last October, general director of Melinda, Paolo Gerevini, said the strategy is aimed at defining “who we are and what we want to become”. The totally compostable solution for organic apples that comes from Melinda’s processing waste.

Managing director of Novamont, Catia Bastioli, said: “We thank Melinda and La Trentina for choosing to experiment with us on pioneering solutions to regenerate natural resources. This collaboration in the field of the circular bioeconomy allows us to learn by doing.”

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Co-op using facial recognition to scan customers

Co-op using facial recognition to scan customers

UK retailer Co-op has begun implementing facial recognition technology at 18 of its stores in a bid to reduce crime and abuse against staff. Southern Co-op was the first to trial the controversial technology, with other regional Co-op franchises now believed to be using it too. According to Wire, the retailer, which experienced a sharp rise in crime levels during the pandemic, began using the technology 18 months ago.

Co-op is reportedly implementing a facial recognition system from Facewatch, which scans the faces of shoppers when they enter the store to check them against a watch list of known suspects. The system alerts store staff via their smartphones if someone who has a past record of theft or antisocial behaviour enters the store.

The Court of Appeal has previously criticised the lack of transparency around the creation of such watch lists, which are understood to be compiled based on decisions of Co-op staff. In July, Co-op announced it was issuing body cameras to staff in response to an “unprecedented crime wave”, which it says was largely carried out by repeat offenders when they are confronted by staff.

Despite the apparent reduction in crime, the use of facial recognition technology remains a controversial topic, and its largely silent adoption across the private sector has drawn major criticism from privacy advocate groups.

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REYBANPAC recognised for good agricultural practices

REYBANPAC recognised for good agricultural practices © REYBANPAC


During Fruit Logistica 2020, Reybanpac received recognition from Bayer Ecuador for the implementation of good agricultural practices in the banana sector. In recent years, Reybanpac has been incorporating biofungicides into its production processes as part of its environmental care commitment. Biofungicides are an alternative form of phytosanitary control that can reduce chemical use in preventing diseases such as sigatoka.

Reybanpac is a pioneer in the banana industry in applying this type of product for the sustainable management of pests and diseases. “We are honoured by this recognition, which motivates us to continue constantly and proactively developing. We believe in the application of new techniques that contribute to our objectives of productivity and socio-environmental responsibility. As a company, we adapt to changes and are prepared to move forward with the new market trends,” said CEO Vicente Wong.