Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2010
Publication Date: 8/1/2010
Citation: Peterson, D.L., Tabb, A., Baugher, T., Lewis, K.M., Glenn, D.M. 2010. Dry bin filler for apples. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 26(4):541-549. Interpretive Summary: Bin filling is a critical step in handling fruit and the fruit industry is in need of an improved design. An experimental bin filler was developed, tested, and showed potential to fill bins evenly, with minimum damage, and quickly enough for commercial operation. The bin filler was tested extensively with apples in a laboratory setting and two commercial settings, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. The results suggest a potential of using developed bin filler for industrial applications.
Technical Abstract: A unique dry bin filler for apples using a sequenced tray was developed to reduce bruising in packing operations. Research and commercial trials in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington State demonstrated the ability to fill bins evenly and with low damage. Cultivars with different bruising susceptibility, ‘Pink Lady’, ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘McIntosh’, ‘Mutsu’, ‘Delicious’, and ‘Fuji’, were used to test the bin filler in research trials and commercial assessments. Fruit that were downgraded from U.S. Extra Fancy grade after handling by the bin filler were 1.7 percent, 1.4 percent, and 2.9 percent at each test location. The filler was shown to produce less than 5 percent bruising on fruit and to have the ability to operate in commercial locations.