Boiled, fried, mashed, roasted or bruised?
Not many people know how difficult it is to harvest potatoes without damaging them. In fact the harvesting process is critical in ensuring the potatoes will store well, as any damage or bruising at harvest will mean the potato will eventually break down, either in the farmer's shed or in your cupboard!
Interestingly the damage is not always immediately obvious so often a sample of potatoes are put into a 'hot-box' (a bit like an airing cupboard!) to draw any bruising out and then cut open to see what damage may be inside:
Damage at harvest is often a result of poor machine operation or setup. Did you know that the driver needs to ensure soil is taken into the machine to 'cushion' the potatoes as they move up the elevator, but this soil must be removed before unloading into the trailer! Not easy.
The cost of getting this job wrong is huge. Therefore regular crop sampling is a must for any business wanting to minimise damage, reduce waste and mitigate significant losses.
One of our Greenlight QC customers has adopted a clever approach to getting the right information to the right person at the right time. They hot-box every batch of potatoes at arrival and then complete a check on Greenlight QC. If the quality assessment fails a PDF Quality Control report is automatically sent to the tractor operator warning him of the problem. The tractor drivers have iPhone 6's (lucky guys!) and the Greenlight QC reports, with high quality images of the problem, are invaluable in immediately highlighting quality problems due to harvesting issues.
So a really great example of how our systems are helping our customers do there bit to reduce waste.
Next time you peel your potatoes watch out for that bruising!