VisionDSS: a low cost portable imaging solution to improve quality, increase productivity and reduce storage losses of premium apple varieties

Lead Participant: Worldwide Fruit Limited


There is increasing consumer and retailer demand for high-quality UK-grown premium dessert apples, and this will increase further post-BREXIT as retailers favour British produce. However, achieving consistent high quality across variable growing seasons is difficult, and premium varieties are susceptible to storage disorders that can render whole consignments unmarketable, leading to losses of £2.5-8.3Mp.a. In some years, losses of 30% present a serious reputational risk and jeopardise future production and marketing strategies. The pre-harvest factors that lower eating quality and predispose fruit to storage disorders are not yet known, but research has shown that targeted nutrition management can elevate antioxidants in apple tissue that help to mitigate against the development of disorders. However, little is known of the changes in fruit biochemical composition during the growing season that predispose fruit towards storage disorders, and so the development of mitigation strategies has been restricted to adjusting post-harvest, high cost, high stringency storage conditions. New technologies that provide assurance of quality after long-term storage will help to extend the selling season of UK-grown apples and drive import substitution. This project will develop a low-cost, portable vision system, incorporating mathematical models and algorithms to deliver a DSS for growers to inform in-season mitigation strategies and optimum picking times, to identify ‘at risk’ crops pre-harvest, to inform storage and marketing strategies, and to enhance the production, quality and reputation of premium varieties in the UK and globally.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Worldwide Fruit Limited, SPALDING £391,924 £ 171,584


Intelligent Fruit Vision Limited, Spalding £207,278 £ 145,095
T & G Group Limited, Huddersfield £38,080
Fruition Po Limited, WHITSTABLE £36,799 £ 16,008
Niab. £288,646 £ 288,646


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