Harvest / Post harvest

Handheld Sensor: Prototype for fruit chain quality management technology

Hand held sensor to measure fruit quality a maturity

This hand held sensor is an all in one system for maturity assessment. The sensor is in its final development and testing phase for the Summerfruit industry, part of the Food Agility CRC project: Deploying real-time sensors to meet Summerfruit export requirements, run by Agriculture Victoria at the Tatura Smart Farm and supported by Summerfruit Australia.

Video: Dr Daniel Pelliccia of Rubens Technologies discusses this new hand held sensor at the 2021 Summerfruit webinar series.
Summerfruit Webinar August 2021- Hand held sensor for Stonefruit
Handheld, field use or post-harvest

Rubens Technologies new hand held sensor for Stonefruit measures fruit on trees:

Harvest timing

Real-time prediction of fruit quality prarameters

  • Sugars
  • Firmness
  • Internal / external colour
  • Internal disorders
  • Acidity
  • Dry matter
  • Ethylene
  • Iodine starch

Connects to smart phones and tablets


Technical report Calibration of a handheld fluorescence-reflectance sensor to measure fruit quality attributes in stone fruit. (Note: this PDF document does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines)

Technical report Download word document

Technical Report Field testing the accuracy of  the Rubens Technologies handheld colourimeter  against the Minolta spectrophotometer. (Note: this PDF document does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines)

Technical report Download word document


Videos: Prototype hand held sensor for fruit chain management technology

Horticulture Innovation Funded project

Prototype for fruit chain management technology (Sensor 1 - hand held sensor) with Nick Parris ACN Orchards

Nick Parris from ACN orchards discusses a new technology to measure fruit quality and maturity on trees before harvest as a part of a Horticulture Innovation Fund from the Victorian Government.

Rubens Technologies in partnership with A.C.N. Orchards developed and tested prototype instruments that assess and monitor stone and pome fruit non-destructively.This technology, supported by the Horticulture Innovation Fund, is designed to provide a cost-effective solution for pre- and post-harvest fruit and add value to the entire fruit value chain, by

  • reducing variability pre-harvest,
  • reducing losses by monitoring the quality of the stored fruit, and
  • increasing the overall consistency of the products to meet consumer demands.

The technology is composed of sensors and analytic software, designed and optimised to cover the entire fruit value chain. The operation of all sensors will be based on the spectral monitoring of chlorophyll fluorescence to assess fruit maturity and colour non-destructively.

Prototype technology for fruit quality management with developer, Dr Daniel Pelliccia

Dr Daniel Pelliccia, developer of prototype technology for fruit quality management, discusses a new hand held sensor, developed for Pome and Stonefruit, as part of a Horticulture Innovation Fund from the Victorian Government.

Sensor 1 is a hand-held sensor used in conjunction with a smartphone app, that enables pre-harvest maturity monitoring and harvest prediction based on spectral data and other parameters (such as GPS localisation). This sensor will help reduce fruit variability by identifying and picking fruit at the optimal harvest time for the chosen market.

In development:

Sensor 2 will be specifically designed to monitor conditions of fruit in real time during cold storage, especially during long term period required by pome fruit. The sensor will be based on the same principle of spectral monitoring, and will comprise a real-time monitor and alert system to timely alert about changing ripening conditions of stored fruit. This sensor will improve fruit quality management and reduce waste by monitoring fruit ripening progression. These data can then be used to determine optimal storage length given the fruit initial conditions.

Sensor 3 will be designed for the graders and packing lines. This system will enable fruit segregation before packing and distribution and can be used in conjunction with currently available NIR systems for Brix. Segregation of fruit based on similar maturity will allow for increased consumption and return buying by reducing fruit variability, which is one of the main consumer complaints. This will also further reduce losses by deciding the market of choice based on fruit maturity at packing and associated shelf life length.

Presentation from Stonefruit Research Roadshow August 2019: New fruit monitoring technology. Download PDF in new window (Note: this document does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines).

To enquire about the sensor or for more information: https://rubenstech.com/

Harvest Prediction using Rubens Technologies for Horticulture. Download PDF in new window (Note: this document does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines). Contact: hello@rubenstech.com


Food Agility CRC

This study was financially supported by the project ‘Deploying real-time sensors to meet Summerfruit export requirements’ funded by Food Agility CRC Ltd., under the Commonwealth Government CRC Program with co-investment from Agriculture Victoria and Summerfruit Australia Limited. The CRC Program supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community.

Horticulture Innovation Fund

The Horticulture Innovation Fund (HIF) enabled industry to partner with research organisations on projects that use new technologies and techniques for improving overall economic performance. Through the HIF, the Victorian Government supported a horticulture sector that is innovative, collaborative and well informed.