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High-tech brings high quality

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WENATCHEE — Cherries zip along conveyors in single-file past the digital cameras that will decide the fruit’s ultimate fate: Grocery shelf? High-end export? Cull bin?

Faster than any human crew, the new computerized sorting line at Columbia Marketing International’s facility in Olds Station scans, analyzes and sorts up to 65,000 cherries per minute and — pfft! — uses a gentle blast of air to send each on a path to its assigned shipping container.

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