Sunforest is a South Korean provider of innovative portable NIR Spectrometers that measure fruit attributes in a non-destructive manner.
“Using a Sunforest device, growers can gather accurate information about fruit sweetness, dry matter, and internal defects while the fruit is still hanging on the tree. To a large extent, it saves product loss and provides a high working efficiency,” the general manager Jay Hwang explains.
Jay Hwang at Asia Fruit Logistica in September 2023. On the table different versions of the company's innovative portable NIR Spectrometers
The company has developed a tool dedicated to Shine Muscat grapes, measuring the fruit's sugar content and ripeness. The tool can be hand-held, and is very easy to use.
Shine Muscat grapes are a premium product in South Korea, and production and consumption is growing globally. In Korea, the Shine Muscat grape is no ordinary fruit; it is a symbol of luxury and opulence. The Sunforest's lays a pivotal role in ensuring the quality and flavor of these prized fruits.
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For growers, achieving the perfect harvest is paramount. To guarantee the quality and taste of their produce, many utilize the Shine Muscat Tool to measure the sweetness and Brix of their fruits. The importance of timing cannot be overstated – harvesting too early or too late can greatly affect the fruit's marketability and quality. This applies not only to grapes but also to a variety of other fruits.
Another success story covers a device that measures the ripeness and moisture levels of fresh corn. Jay introduces: "One of the most compelling narratives surrounding our tools are their adoption by industry giants like Bayer and Monsanto. These companies have embraced the technology to measure corn moisture, with over 460 units purchased for this purpose. This underscores the tool's precision but also highlights its versatility in various agricultural applications."
Sunforest has partnered with StarAfresh – Horticultural Innovator in New Zealand, where they explored Sunforest H-100C kiwifruit quality meter to collect bunch of data over the last four seasons and resulted in reliable models with pretty good confidence.
Sunforest H-100C could be used by growers and industry technical reps to independently and nondestructively monitor kiwifruit Dry Matter on orchard throughout the season.
They employ the tool's data to make informed harvesting decisions year after year. The tool's adaptability is demonstrated by its ability to be used on different fruits. Developed in collaboration with kiwifruit experts in New Zealand, H-100C has been commercially released for growers in time for this year season. Non-destructive fruit testing to measure Dry Matter of kiwifruit provides growers to understand fruit has reached its optimum maturity before picking. This could allow growers and packhouses to determine when to submit samples for maturity clearance testing.
Initially embraced by growers and packing houses, the tool's usage has extended to retailers. Large retail chains rely on it to ensure the quality of the fruits they receive from orchards. Retail staff find it easy to use, even at the storefront. For the Korean market, customized models can be constructed for various fruit types, although overseas markets may have some limitations.
The science of calibration models
Creating a reliable and globally applicable calibration model is at the heart of Sunforest's mission. Calibration models, based on fruit-specific test data, are essential to interpret the tool's measurements accurately. While some fruits can share calibration models, others require tailored solutions. Growers and users actively participate in validation tests, contributing to the creation of robust calibration models. This global effort ensures the tool's reliability worldwide.
Pioneering the avocado market
The company is now setting its sights on the lucrative avocado market. Developing accurate indicators for growers to determine the right harvest time, particularly measuring dry matter, is critical. This initiative involves cooperation with growers in various regions, including Peru, Colombia, Kenya, New Zealand and the United States. The goal is to create a single, universally applicable calibration model by analyzing genuine data.
Expanding Worldwide Distribution
Sunforest is actively growing its international presence. Distribution partners in Latin America, North America, the Netherlands, and Italy are making the tools accessible worldwide. The company is continually exploring new partnerships to reach even more markets. The company will exhibit at IFPA Global Produce & Floral Show from October 19 to 21.
IFPA Global Produce & Floral Show stand number: 4921
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