We develop new tools to evaluate the properties of fresh produce in the field and postharvest.
Plant & Food Research applies existing sensor technologies in the development of new measurement tools to evaluate the properties of fresh whole fruits, vegetables and food products. These tools are used to assess new breeds of fruits and vegetables, to determine harvest maturity and for postharvest sorting and inventory management.
Our researchers focus on rapid and non-destructive methods both for conventional physical measures - mass, colour and firmness - and for quality measures such as dry matter, sugar content and maturity. We employ a range of techniques, with particular expertise in the use of near infrared spectroscopy.
We have developed sensor systems for the evaluation of sugar and acid concentrations in citrus and for the detection of bruising in apples using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy.
We also have patented enabling technologies suitable for use in analytical instruments designed to measure the concentration of:
- Small-molecule phenols