Smart science to improve lives™
Open search

Seed upgrading

To get the best possible performance from a seed lot you need to maximise the germination potential. You can expect a good yield from a seed lot when the number of seeds that germinate is high. We offer a range of mechanical upgrading techniques as well as more specialised techniques like liquid density separation and our innovative X-ray upgrading to increase the germination potential of a seed lot.
Incotec specialists in the lab

Upgrading techniques

Incotec’s upgrading technologies are based on measurements that determine seed quality. To determine what the seed’s germination potential is, we look at parameters like size, weight and shape.
Our upgrading products range from conventional methods to more sophisticated methods like liquid density separation to the highly innovative X-ray upgrading involving advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence.  

Liquid density separation

Liquid density separation is an upgrading method used to increase the number of good plants in a seed lot. A seed sample is divided into six fractions that may vary in quality. By evaluating the germination results of each fraction, we calculate the effect of removing one or more fractions on the percentage of useable transplants of the remaining fractions. Using this information, the seed lot can be upgraded.   

X-ray upgrading

Incotec was the first to introduce highly innovative automated seed sorting systems using X-ray imaging. With X-ray upgrading technology we look inside the seed to determine whether all the essential components are present and detect incompletely developed or damaged embryos. This fully automated sorting system is the most efficient seed upgrading to date. At present we offer X-ray upgrading products to significantly increase the percentage of useable transplants in a seed lot for tomato, rootstock tomato and pepper.

Incotec's upgrading technologies are based on measurements that determine seed quality...we can even look inside the seed and examine the internal structures.

X-ray upgrading process

We determine the percentage of useable transplants in an intake by carrying out X-ray imaging on a sample of 800 seeds before planting them in a climate chamber. Based on the results, we calculate the percentage of useable transplants for the outcome requested by the customer. This process allows the customer flexibility in the percentage of useable transplants or output of the upgraded fraction.

X-ray neXt

An even more advanced upgrading product is X-ray next upgrading: an extremely efficient seed selection technique. With artificial intelligence, this technology has improved its own accuracy and can now detect more precisely which seeds meet all the criteria of each quality classification. This product, which is available for tomato seeds, delivers more top-quality seeds at the requested percentage of useable transplants.

X-ray eXpress

For customers who need a faster lead time, there is X-ray eXpress. The X-ray upgrading procedure evaluates each seed individually and is capable of highly accurate results. To reduce the production time, we offer an upgrading product without the intake step and start production immediately. The experience we have accumulated with this technology enables a high degree of accuracy and flexibility in useable transplants percentage even without the intake step.

Published by

  • Sander Willemse Technology Specialist
green seedlings in a field

SDS and other documents

Find SDSs, product information, leaflets, labels and certificates

seedlings from primed seeds compared to seedlings from non-primed seeds

Seed priming

By influencing germination, specific seed or crop challenges can be overcome. We offer primings to meet the needs of a broad range of crops, including primings to break seed dormancy.

X-ray upgrading

Combination products

Upgrading is available for a wide range of vegetable seeds. To get the best out of a seed lot, our customers often choose to combine upgrading with other seed enhancements. One popular combination often requested for rootstock in Europe is priming, X-ray upgrading and pelleting. This has clear advantages. All the seeds with germination capacity are prepped to do so by the priming. The X-ray upgrading then maximises the number of useable plants produced from the batch by detecting and removing the ‘bad’ seeds (seeds that are unable to germinate or won’t germinate well). The remaining ‘good’ seeds are then pelleted to make mechanical sowing possible.

Another example is our Improver Split Pill Special for celery seeds. This powerful product combines upgrading, priming and pelleting. Celery seeds need to be primed for faster and more uniform germination and to widen the germination temperature range. The small seed size makes pelleting necessary and by including upgrading a higher germination percentage can be achieved.
Product finder
For more information about upgrading for your crop,