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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Renfu Lu

Agricultural Engineer

Research Interest and Expertise:

  • Sensors and sensing for quality measurement and grading of fruits and vegetables before, at, and after harvest
  • Property characterization and determination for horticultural and food products
  • Mathematical/computer modeling and analysis for quality evaluation of fruits and vegetables


  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. in Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University
  • B.S. in Engineering, Zhejiang Agric. University (now Zhejiang University), China

Research Synopsis:

Dr. Lu's research is focused on sensors and sensing for property characterization and quality evaluation of fruits and vegetables. He leads a research group to apply state-of-the-art technologies in imaging, spectroscopy, and computer as well as advanced mathematical/statistical methods for assessing quality and condition of fruits and vegetables before, at, and after harvest. His research integrates properties of characterization, models/algorithms, and sensors development for rapid, non-destructive measurement, sorting, and grading of fruits and vegetables. His research program is also supported by outside funding from commodity industries. Some of Dr. Lu's current research activities include:

  • Method and technique for measuring optical properties of horticultural and food products
  • Optical characterization of apples and other food products
  • Technology for presorting and grading apples in the orchard
  • Sensors for assessing the maturity/postharvest quality of apples
  • Spectral scattering technology for postharvest quality assessment and grading of apples
  • Hyperspectral and/or multispectral imaging for quality detection and grading of pickling vegetables and pickled products

Last Modified: 9/7/2017
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