Submitted to: Proceedings Florida State Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2010
Publication Date: December 29, 2010
Citation: Du, X., Bai, J., Plotto, A., Baldwin, E., Whitaker, V., Rouseff, R. 2010. Electronic nose for detecting strawberry fruit maturity. Proceedings Florida State Horticultural Science. 123:259-263. Interpretive Summary: The electronic nose tires to crudely replicate the human nose and can distinguish samples based on their aroma profile. This instrument was used here to show that it could successfully distinguish between strawberries of different harvest maturities. The goal is to use this instrument to do quality assessment of strawberries by sorting out those that are less ripe and, therefore, of inferior quality.
Technical Abstract: An electronic nose (e-nose) composed of eighteen different metal oxide gas sensors was used to characterize the volatile patterns of ‘Strawberry Festival’ and ‘Florida Radiance’ strawberry fruit at five developmental stages: white, half red, three-quarter red, full ripe, and overripe. Strawberry samples were harvested at three harvest dates from early February to the end of March. Three gram aliquots of strawberry puree were employed for headspace sampling in 10 mL vials, which were incubated at 40 °C for 2 minutes prior to analysis. Volatiles from each sample were sampled for 2 minutes with data acquisition every second. After analysis, there was an 18 minute delay for sensor recovery. E-nose data replication was good. Sensors P30/1, T30/1, and P30/2 were the major differentiating sensors for strawberry maturity as indicated by their loadings on the first principal component (PC1). Immature and less mature fruit were well separated from full ripe and overripe fruit on PC1, regardless of cultivar. Harvest date was separated primarily by the second principal component. E-nose volatile patterns of ‘Strawberry Festival’ and ‘Florida Radiance’ strawberry cultivars were separated at identical stages of development. E-nose technology has the potential as a tool to rapidly monitor strawberry maturity and fruit quality.