Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Supplying quality fresh asparagus to the consumer begins with rapid handling at the fresh packing shed, which in turn requires a significant amount of labor. This study analyzed the effects of reducing the required labor by using selected electronic graders in the grading and sorting process of fresh asparagus packing firms. Four alternative electronic graders were considered by using two throughput scenarios of 680 and 880 kg/h with 25 people. The electronic graders generated labor savings in all cases. In the first scenario, substituting technology for labor produced modified internal rates of return (MIRR) of between 30 and 39%. All four graders in the second scenario had positive returns, with an MIRR range of 8 to 21%. The electronic graders have the potential to increase the profitability of fresh asparagus packing firms.
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