The days of cutting into a bad quality onion could soon be a thing of the past as supplier Produce World gets set to install a new defect detection system for the veg.

Produce World Rustler - one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of onions to UK supermarkets - intends to start trialling the system at its Chatteris site, in Cambridgeshire next month.

The system uses Near Infrared technology - which uses electro-magnetic radiation - to check for defects in the veg.

Produce World was always looking for ways to improve performance and over the past few years it had made substantial capital investments to increase efficiency and sustainability, said Rustler business unit director Andrew Holding. “This is an exciting development that has the potential to further improve the quality of the onions we supply to our retail customers.”

NIR has been used for many years to detect internal defects in fruit and Produce World has been involved in trials on onions since 2007. Although defects only affected a small percentage of the crop, detection would boost customer satisfaction, added Holding.