Technology Wanted:
On-farm Defective Potato Identification and Removal & Solid Sorting

Status: Completed
Deadline for Submissions: May-08-15
Award: $2,000 referral fee for each accepted lead.
An accepted lead is a lead that the client decides to follow up on.

It is more cost-effective and energy-efficient to identify and remove defective or substandard potatoes upstream in the supply chain, ideally on-farm, rather than a later stage in processing. Not all defects are visible, e.g. potatoes with a higher sugar content than is desirable for frying. PepsiCo seeks small, ideally portable, low cost technologies suitable for high throughput,(up to 33,000 lb/hour), on-farm inspection of potatoes to identify and cull defective potatoes.

The specific defects of interest include:
  • High sugar content (e.g. detecting more than 1%; ideally detecting more than 0.5%)
  • Green tissue
  • Hollow centres
  • Debris such as rocks

PepsiCo is also interested in innovative solid sorting technologies based on the potato starch content to facilitate optimized subsequent processing.

A rapid scanning, conveyor system that could meet both needs – defect removal and sorting based on starch content – is the goal.

Technologies of interest will:
  1. Provide the potential for high throughput, on-farm potato screening and sorting
  2. Be small, ideally portable, and suitable for high throughput on-farm use
  3. Be available at a relatively low cost