Simulated Scenario: Use of An Impact Recording Device in Packaged Potatoes
Date & Time
Monday, July 18, 2022, 2:15 PM

Handling potatoes during packaging operations can create opportunities for potatoes to develop blackspot and shatter bruise and cause quality defects. Three trials were conducted to examine how handling can influence the risk for physical damage and bruise of packaged potatoes. An impact recording device was used to record peak acceleration (max g-force) in common fresh market packaging options (boxes or bales) at four drop heights on to three common storage surface types. When boxed potatoes were dropped on to concrete or a plastic slip from heights of 15 to 91 cm, the potatoes on the bottom of the box had the highest risk of damage (greater than 100 g-force). The risk for damage was lower for potatoes in the top or middle of the box. When drop heights were lowered, or when cushioning material was added to hard surfaces (wooden pallet), the risk for impact damage was decreased throughout the box. When palletizing boxed potatoes, the risk of bruise decreased after the first layer was stacked on the pallet. High peak accelerations (over 100 g-force) were not seen in the dropped or stationary bales for any of the drop heights examined. There are three main implications from these trials. Increased cushioning for the bottom stack of potatoes during palletization in fresh pack facilities could lower the risk of bruise. Cushioned plastic slips could provide an economical and efficient alternative to wooden pallets. Lowering drop heights to below 15 cm, especially when making the first layer in a palletized stack of packaged potatoes, would reduce the risk of bruise damage. These results can inform fresh pack business protocols and worker education materials for managing human and robotic handling of fresh potatoes, with emphasis on adjustments to ensure lower drop heights of packaged potatoes.

Session Type
Parent Session
7/18 - Concurrent Sessions B