The aim of the proposed project is to develop an innovative non-invasive technique capable to provide reliable information on the internal quality of fruit and vegetables.
The technique will be based on a novel optical methodology, recently developed for the study of living tissue, which is named diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). DRS allows a completely non-invasive assessment of the bulk optical properties of diffusive media such as fruit and vegetables. This is achieved through the simultaneous evaluation of two parameters : the scattering and absorption coefficients. The interest is therefore to study the internal quality of fruit and vegetables by meas of these optical parameters, which are judged to be able to assess structural and compositional quality independently.
The targets of the project will be therefore :
- establishing the links between optical properties (absorption and scattering
coefficients) and internal quality of fruit and vegetables (stage ripening, sugar
content, acidity, firmness, etc);
- development and testing of prototype optical systems, based on DRS, able to
predict, in a non-invasive way, the quality of fruit and/or vegetables.
The project will be divided into two main phases : a research phase, where the potential of the DRS technique for internal quality evaluation will be fully evaluated, and a development phase, where, in accordance to the results obtained in the research phase, a simple prototype instrument will be designed, constructed, commissioned and its performance tested in situ at an end user site.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
ME19 6BJ West Malling