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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Technologies for Nondestructive Quality Evaluation of Fruits and Vegetables

Authors
item Abbott, Judith
item Lu, Renfu
item Upchurch, Bruce - ARS AFRL KEARNEYSVILLE WV
item Stroshine, Richard - PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Horticultural Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 13, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Development of nondestructive sensors of various quality attributes is essential to enable fruit and vegetable packers to pack high quality produce for domestic and international markets. We review methods for assessing quality-related attributes of fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables are notoriously variable, and the quality of individual pieces within a lot may differ greatly from the average. Sorting and classifying by presence of quality attributes or absence of defects adds value to the product. Human inspection is limited by human senses; by sensitivity, speed, endurance, and availability of inspectors; and by labor cost. Automation is needed to improve sorting accuracy, uniformity, and efficiency. Practical commercial sorting requires nondestructive high-speed sensors to measure several quality attributes on each item, a means to combine those measurements into a classification decision, and a mechanism to physically place the piece into its proper category. We discuss mechanical, electromagnetic, and electrochemical technologies for sensing textural, appearance, and compositional characteristics. We provide an extensive bibliography. This information will be of use to horticulturists, food scientists, and agricultural engineers interested in measuring quality of fruits and vegetables.

Technical Abstract: Development of nondestructive sensors of various quality attributes is essential to enable fruit and vegetable packers to pack high quality produce for domestic and international markets. We review methods for assessing quality-related attributes of fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables are notoriously variable, and the quality of individual pieces within a lot may differ greatly from the average. Sorting and classifying by presence of quality attributes or absence of defects adds value to the product. Human inspection is limited by human senses; by sensitivity, speed, endurance, and availability of inspectors; and by labor cost. Automation is needed to improve sorting accuracy, uniformity, and efficiency. Practical commercial sorting requires nondestructive high-speed sensors to measure several quality attributes on each item, a means to combine those measurements into a classification decision, and a mechanism to physically place the piece into its proper category. We discuss mechanical, electromagnetic, and electrochemical technologies for sensing textural, appearance, and compositional characteristics. We provide an extensive bibliography. This information will be of use to horticulturists, food scientists, and agricultural engineers interested in measuring quality of fruits and vegetables.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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