Gujiie citrus

Guijie Guangxi, China

Guangxi Guijie Agricultural Development Co. packs and sells fruit from 12 standardized citrus bases on more than 1,300 hectares (3,300 acres) of land in the Guangxi region of south-west China. To upgrade the automation of its packing facilities, Guijie recently installed a state-of the- art 12-lane sorting and packing line which was manufactured and installed by TOMRA Food. This is one of the biggest integrated sorting solutions in China, with the capacity to handle three million pieces of citrus fruit per day during the peak season.
Gujiie citrus

This investment underlines how far Guijie has progressed since it’s founder, Liang Jieyan, returned in 2006 at the age of 44 to his home town in Tanluo with the ambition of starting his own business. At that time, the land and mountains surrounding Tanluo were mostly barren – but Liang led local people into the fruit-growing industry and introduced new citrus varieties such as Orah mandarins, tangerines, and Murcotts (honey tangerines).

The combination of Guijie’s scientific cultivation methods and the favorable climatic conditions in Guangxi, where there is abundant sunshine and rainfall, have resulted in fruits of high quality. Guijie’s TIAN WAN WAN-branded Orah has gained great popularity among consumers for its sweet taste, juicy flesh, and thin peel.

Guijie

“Climatic conditions and management vary from one orchard to another, which means the citrus fruits differ in quality and appearance, but customers nowadays ask for higher-quality products. That’s why we’ve had to raise the bar in sorting, to achieve uniform standards. Now our customers can enjoy citrus fruit with an identical flavour and very similar appearance no matter which box they come from. This has been critical in our highend branding.”

- Liang Chun, General Manager at Guijie

Integrated whole-line solutions


TOMRA Food has provided Guijie’s packhouse with complete, integrated postharvest- to-pack solutions, taking care of everything from tipping the fruit onto the line to packing at the other end. These solutions are modular and scalable to businesses of all sizes.

Two sets of infeed treatment systems, handling functions such as soaking, presort, brush-washing, drying, pooling, and conveying, can be controlled centrally or operated separately. It is possible to troubleshoot without interrupting the entire production line, minimizing downtime. And automatic control of the entire process of depalletizing, tipping, moving crates, washing empty crates, and nesting and recycling empty crates has reduced the number of round-trips by forklift trucks by 60%.

The 12-lane line incorporates Spectrim, the most powerful imaging platform available for external defect detection in fresh produce, and Inspectra², the industry’s most advanced non-invasive internal quality inspection system. Spectrim captures up to 500 high-resolution color photos and infrared photos of the fruit every tenth-of-a-second, accurately identifying defects as small as 0.16 square millimeters. Inspectra² applies nearinfrared (NIR) technology to analyse the light spectra transmitted through every piece of fruit, checking characteristics such as acidity, Brix, and granulation. Both Spectrim and Inspectra² have AI defect detection and self-learning capabilities. The unrivalled effectiveness of these two solutions is the main reason Guijie decided to install them.

“TOMRA sorters are equipped with a highly accurate AI smart imaging and identification system that captures appearance defects such as scarring, decay, puff, and creases, which other systems fail to identify. They also perform internal quality control with precision and high efficiency. These sorting solutions have greatly built-up our core competitiveness through efficiency improvements, labor cost reduction, accurate sorting, and efficient packaging.”

- Liang Chun, General Manager at Guijie

Gujiie citrus
Gujiie citrus

Boosting Guijie’s big business and small volume growers


With these state-of-the-art solutions, Guijie can ensure the consistency of product quality and appearance, and can improve overall efficiency by customizing product specifications for different markets. What’s more, the sorting system’s traceability software tracks the quality of each batch of raw materials, providing detailed and objective data which can lead to better results from growers. Guijie, which has registered annual output with a value of RMB 150 million (US $21 million), is helping more than 12,000 farmerhouseholds in the region move out of poverty by increasing their incomes.
Gujiie citrus
“TOMRA is a good partner, but more than that, TOMRA can also help to lead and promote the development of Chinese agricultural products. I am more than happy to recommend TOMRA equipment to my fellow members of the fruit industry – hopefully we can work together to improve the industrialization standard of Chinese agricultural products.”

- Liang Chun, General Manager at Guijie