Sorting, grading, packing machines and equipment for Fresh Fruit

After the harvest, fruits and vegetables of all types have to be sorted, packaged and transported: apples, avocados, cherries, citrus, kiwifruit, onions, pears, peppers, potatoes, salad, strawberries, stone fruit, tomatoes, etc. The list is almost unlimited. A wide range of technologies have been developed or refined over the years for sorting according to colour, density, diameter, shape and weight.

Supermarkets and consumers are placing ever-higher demands on fruit and vegetables. They want a higher level of consistent quality and are becoming more and more unwilling to accept blemishes.

Grading of fruits and vegetables after harvesting is an essential step in post-harvest management. Grading of fruits and vegetables on the basis of physical characteristics like weight, size, colour, shape, specific gravity, and freedom from diseases depending upon agro climatic conditions. The known methods of grading of fruits and vegetables are manual grading, size grading.

Various companies offer unique solutions to the fruit sorting industry. Here is what some industry players have to say about their product offering:


  1. Duijndam Machines- used apple & fruit sorting machines

Duijndam Machines is specialized in supplying various used machines for fruit and vegetables growers.

Machines for sorting, washing and packaging are an import part of our 700 machines counting stock. Besides washing, grading and packaging machines we also have machines in stock for seeding, transplanting and harvesting various type of vegetables, fruit and ornamental flowers and plants.

The company has a wide range of sorting machines with a capacity of 500 kg hour till 7500 kg / hour. So these machines can be interesting for small and larger fruit and vegetable farmers.

The purchase team at Duijndam Machines searches for the best used agricultural and horticultural machines in Western Europe on a daily base.

Machines are only bought after they have been thoroughly assessed and tested. The machines are checked technically, cleaned and repaired as soon as they arrive at our location in the Netherlands. Reconditioning is done by our technical staff, in collaboration with specialist experts and manufacturers.

Before delivery we run a final test to make sure the machine is fully operational. If required, we can provide additional services such as transport.

It is important that delicate fruits like apples and pears are not damaged during sorting and processing. It is therefore important to choose a fruit sorting machine that minimises the risk of damage.

The fruit sorting machines from Aweta, Greefa and Wamel perfect have been developed to minimise the risk of damage. Many apple sorting machines have brushes by the singulator and the sorting outfeeds to prevent the apples colliding with each other.

This include the grading and packing machines for tomatoes in South Africa, grading and brushing machines for organic avocados in Kenia and grading machines for mangos in Ivory Coast and Mali.

Sorting is important to the growers since most profit in the fruit industry is made from selling a uniform product. This uniformity can be achieved by sorting the fruit in a fruit sorting machine. Fruit, such as apples, pears, oranges and citrus fruits, can be sorted by weight, size and/or colour. The newer and more extensive machines can even sort by internal and external quality.

The type of sorting is therefore decisive for the choice of a specific fruit sorting machine. A camera, that scans each apple or pear, sorts by colour and often size while the weight of the fruit is determined by a weighbridge which weighs each cup. Sorting by weight or size can be done mechanically or electrically depending on the type of sorting machine and your budget.

  1. Shibuya Seiki Co., Ltd- Using technologies to build a more prosperous society

Shibuya Seiki Co.,Ltd has been contributing to society through research and development of labour-saving systems, using original technology and know-how.

In order to respond to constantly changing industrial structure, they have delivered agricultural equipment and factory automation systems with the goal of reducing manpower and the amount of energy needed, and have earned the trust of customers.

In the age where computerisation and internationalisation are advancing quickly, the company seeks to develop technology from a global viewpoint and aid in improving production environments and increasing productivity.

In order to preserve the freshness of agricultural produce and provide consumers with high value-added products, a system that can accurately and quickly sort, package and ship a wide variety if agricultural products are required.

As a manufacturer of fruit and vegetables sorting and grading systems Shibuya Seiki has cultivated technology and wealth of experience over many years, and fully incorporates the needs of our customers in suggesting systems that are optimal for each location.

In addition, by continuing to provide rapid and appropriate support in order to keep the equipment running optimally, they aim to become number 1 customer satisfaction.

The company’s advanced sensor technology achieves accurate grading that was previously possible only by skilled operators. Furthermore, it allows to detect characteristics not visible from outside such as sugar content and acidity, so that you can sort and grade produce with a high degree of accuracy without damaging it. Grading produce by stressing internal quality-this is a challenge for developing the sensory flavour.

Shibuya Seiki also offers optimal sorting and grading systems that include labour-saving peripheral equipment such as depallitisers and automated packing machines.

The company produces advanced handling technology to pack and box every kind of products as well. In order to transport products safely and reliably, a variety of packaging solutions have been worked and applied.

  1. Alfa Laval

There are thousands of different types and varieties of fruit that are normally designated tropical because of their origin. Patterns of agriculture and global trade have subsequently brought about an even wider spread and greater diversity. Juices and purées made from these large numbers of tropical fruits are now in great demand – both in local, domestic markets and in the wider, global marketplace.

Full spectrum of equipment Alfa Laval equipment and systems are available for processing virtually the entire spectrum of tropical fruits. These include pineapple, mango, passion fruit, acerola, araza, lychee, guava, papaya, banana, star fruit, dragon fruit and many others. We can supply all the equipment you need, either as individual units or as complete processing lines, with all sub-processes integrated for maximum end-to-end efficiency

The efficiency and versatility of Alfa Laval solutions provide  excellent opportunities for establishing cost-effective multi-fruit processing systems. Full spectrum of know-how Alfa Laval has more than 40 years’ experience in satisfying the needs of juice and purée manufacturers all over the world.

The company’s know-how in this field extends over the full spectrum of fruit, berries and vegetables grown in all the climate zones of the world. This provides one with the ideal pool of knowledge for improving, extending and developing your tropical fruit processing set-up.

Their specialist experience is backed by the R&D resources, materials technology and know-how available from the world’s foremost specialist in the use of heat transfer and separation in food processing operations.

Use Alfa Laval equipment in your tropical fruit processing set-up to

  • make sure your plant is easy to extend, to comply with your changing needs
  • ensure that the juices and purées you produce comply with international standards and requirements, for better sales
  • consistently get the most – and the best – out of all the kinds of fruit you process
  • achieve maximum versatility, so you are not dependent on any specific crop or crops
  • ensure exceptional plant reliability and stringent hygiene management.

The vast body of know-how is available to customers, the company is fully familiar with all the international requirements – both technical and commercial – that one may encounter when tackling both commodity and niche markets throughout the world. Alfa Laval can deliver equipment and plant configured to comply with the national and international codes and standards of your choice.

Adding value from start to finish By combining highly efficient equipment, excellent processing performance, operating reliability and premium-quality results, we enable you to make sure of achieving the best possible juice and purée yield from any crop. Ensuring consistently high quality and an attractive appearance, as well as retaining full nutritional value, requires protecting juices and purées from physical stresses and heat impact.

Alfa Laval solutions help you do this effectively, and to achieve colour, aroma and taste that ensure you the best possible price – whatever current market conditions may be.

Alfa Laval provides complete lines for processing tropical fruit into high-quality juice and purée – along with all relevant engineering work, if required. Alfa Laval equipment for tropical fruit processing includes

  • Reception, inspection, washing and conveyor
  • Peeling, destoning, crushers, extraction equipment and finishers
  • Foodec decanter centrifuge
  • Clara disc stack centrifuge
  • BaseLine/FrontLine™ plate heat exchanger
  • Alfa Laval membrane filtration system
  • Alrox deaerator
  • AlfaVap cassette evaporator
  • Alvac aroma recovery system
  • AlfaTherm pasteurizer
  • ViscoLine tubular heat exchanger
  • SteriTherm sterilizer
  • Aseptic bag-in-box filler
  • AlCip cleaning module
  • Sanitary flow handling and tank cleaning equipment
  • Flow control and automation system. These are backed by a full range of Alfa Laval training and support services.
  1. Agrisort- South African Fruit Sorting Technology to the rescue

Fruit sorting machines are expensive capital investments that are supposed to last many years.  Sadly, African users who have older legacy machines are often left behind with few options when the electronic parts of their machines need replacement.  They are forced to purchase imported machines and pay for them in Euros.

John is an apple farmer in the picturesque Langkloof region of South Africa.  At peak times, he processes 60 tons of apples a day, and any downtime on his cup sizer machine is a huge problem.  In 2016, all hell broke loose when a nearby lightning strike took out his sizer in the middle of the season.  After a few frantic calls and a visit from a sympathetic supplier who could not do much, panic set in.  A lucky tip from another farmer ended up in a call to Agrisort.  Three days later a team arrived at his farm, worked through the night, and the next day he was packing again at full speed.  This is what Agrisort does.

Capetown-based Agrisort is a supplier of 3rd party fruit sorting and sizing control systems.  They do not manufacture sorting machines, but instead focus solely on the supply and development of the electronic wizardry that makes these machines work.  Their systems are regularly retro-fitted to old machines (of any make) as in the story above, and are also supplied as original equipment for a number of machine manufacturers.  If a sizer comes from South Africa, chances are it will have Agrisort electronics and software.

The computer in your cellphone today outperforms the fastest supercomputers of yesteryear..  Things get faster and cheaper with time, and the same should be true

For the technology behind fruit sorting.  In the old days, it took expensive computer racks and various “high speed” (read: “very expensive!”) components to get these machines to work, and even then, they were never very accurate.

Agrisort leverages the latest advancements to deliver a world-class product at very attractive prices.  The latest in digital weighing and filtering technology does away with frustrating “screwdriver calibration”.  Results are accurate to 1gram, even at speeds of up to 5 cups per second – a level of accuracy only matched by a handful of imported machines.  Lastly, the intuitive software specially developed for these machines is extremely easy to use.  In fact, the average user training session lasts only 5 minutes.

Agrisort is a division of Polygon Technologies, an ISO9001:2015 certified engineering firm established in 2003.  It has a local team of development and support engineers, as well as an installation team available for retrofits.

  1. MAF RODA -A family company with international dimensions

As undisputed market leader in fresh fruit and vegetable grading and packing processes, MAF RODA is committed to bringing high performance solutions, which are adapted to customer exact needs and evolving according to their future development.

The involvement of the Blanc family in the fruit sector dates back to 1905, with the cultivation of orchards. This production experience, which lives on today with the growing of apples in orchards belonging to the family in the Montauban region, brings with it knowledge of the constraints faced by the fruit farmers, and by the same token, strong added value in the daily activity of the company. Passion still drives the development of the company, and is the major asset underpinning its international success.

The MAF RODA Group devotes an average of 3% of its annual turnover to technological innovation. These continuous investment efforts in research have led MAF RODA to possess numerous patents linked to major technological developments enabling it to offer its customers the most cutting-edge tools, to best meet the requirements of their markets.

MAF RODA’s strength is built upon the capacity for innovation of its R&D+I Department, with headquarters in Montauban (France), its complete mastery of the necessary technological skills and its 100% integrated manufacturing process, which allows to provide solutions for every enquiry, from the most simple to the most demanding one.

MAF RODA AGROBOTIC designs and produces bespoke, turnkey solutions to meet your needs. By incorporating in your installations high-performance systems for weight grading, colour and diameter sorting, and inspecting external and internal quality, we can offer you high-performance solutions. Our offering covers the entire fruit and vegetable preparation chain, from supply through packaging to palletizing.

Since 1979, MAF RODA AGROBOTIC has developed its own electronic sensors for sorting fruits and vegetables, and designed cutting-edge technology equipment to meet requirements for measuring weight and external/internal quality: color, volume, diameter, density, shape, and even the sugar content (BRIX index), or checking for internal defects, such as internal browning, for example.

Weight measurement takes place by means of an electronic strain gauge associated with a mechanical weighing conveyor installed on the grader, thereby guaranteeing precise, individual weighing of each item of produce.

The external quality sorting systems developed by MAF RODA AGROBOTIC analyze the surface aspects of fruits and vegetables to detect predefined parameters of color and shape, for example, along with defects on the skin such as puncture marks, mold and bruising. These sensors guarantee optimum selection of the produce for packaging.

Packing is the last phase of the packaging. It must therefore guarantee absolute respect for the fruit or vegetable. Depending on the organisation and the equipment installed on the line, considerable manpower and performance gains can be envisaged at this stage of packaging.

From bulk produce to bedded produce, each fruit and vegetable has its specific packing characteristics. MAF RODA AGROBOTIC is capable of proposing the best-suited solutions for the delicate handling of fruits and vegetables when packing, through to the complete automation of this stage.

Among African countries, MAF RODA has been active in the South African market for more than 20 years now.  In 2011, due to its rapid development in this Nation, the Group established MAF RODA RSA as its subsidiary located in Somerset West, within the heart of the deciduous fruit growing region of the Western Cape Province.

The main objective is to offer the best possible support to the South African fresh fruit & vegetables Industries, providing full turnkey solutions comprising the most innovative machinery & systems required for all ever-demanding aspects of Fruit & Vegetables handling needs for all customers across the Country.

  1. Flowpack Systems

Flowpack Systems is renowned for providing fast and efficient packline solutions to the South African fruit industry. With specific expertise in the handling of deciduous and citrus fruit varieties, Flowpack Systems has recently been appointed the exclusive agent in Southern Africa for Redpack Packaging Machinery. Recognised as an international market leader, UK-based Redpack offer pioneering flow wrapping technology that combines design innovation with unique packaging requirements − producing the softest handling flow wrap machine on the market and the only machine custom-engineered for apple handling.

Equipped to provide customers with premium packaging solutions, Flowpack Systems is able to cater to a broad range of market requirements. The full-package service covers all phases of a project as it moves from initial conception and design to the installation process, including on-site training and a dedicated aftercare service. Importantly, Flowpack Systems carry stock of all critical parts therefore reducing machinery downtime to a minimum.

Flowpack Systems has an extensive range of flow wrapping machinery, with three machines from the

  1. Flowpack Systems

P325 Series specialised for agricultural production:


The P325E BOTTOM SEAL is an industry leading horizontal flow wrapping machine that has been designed for versatility and easy configuration to suit all flow wrapping applications. It is designed as primarily a punnet packing machine especially efficient for packing table grapes, tomatoes, berries and stone fruit.


The P325E-T TRAYLESS flow wrapping machine is renowned as a reliable, versatile, efficient and technically-advanced flow wrapper. For further versatility, the machine can be easily adjusted to allow fruit to be wrapped trayed or trayless in-line in various configurations.  With its frictionless infeed, the machines ensures that damage to the fruit is kept to a minimum. Although originally developed for apples the machine can wrap almost any graded top fruit including pears, plumbs, kiwi, oranges, lemons, etc.


The P325E-FI TRAYLESS APPLE has been specifically designed with a frictionless infeed to wrap fruits such as apples to minimise bruising the fruit when packing. The P325E-FI has been developed from the P325 range specifically for flow wrapping apples without a tray. It has a frictionless infeed that gently carries the apples to the flow wrapping module and onto the wrapping film with minimum bruising. The frictionless infeed can be easily adjusted for collations of 4,6,8 & 10 apples in ”Soldier Pack” formation and an in-line pack, for variations in apple size grades. The P325E-FI TRAYLESS APPLE flow wrapping machines saves costs, reduces packaging waste and the frictionless infeed transports the apples collations with minimum bruising.

Flowpack prides itself on optimising production lines and offering our customers quality service.

Contributor’s Details

  1. Duijndam Machines

Tweede Tochtweg 127 2913 LR Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel
(Rotterdam area)The Netherlands

  1. Shibuya Seiki Co., Ltd

630 Sasagase-cho, Higashi-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 435-0042

  1. Alfa Laval’

Rudeboksvägen 1 SE-226 55 Lund Sweden

  1. Agrisort

7 Gert Kotze Street Brackenfell , 7560


  1. Flowpack systems

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Farmers Review Africa
Farmers Review Africa
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