Evaluation a portable Bluetooth impact probe prototype for rapid flesh firmness assessments in peaches and nectarines.
Background and aim of the study:
- Portable non-destructive devices for rapid maturity assessment are sought after by the horticultural industries for in situ and post-harvest use
- New handheld instruments provide the opportunity to collect large volumes of data via smartphones and wireless communication (Bluetooth/WiFi)
- Flesh firmness is a measure of fruit maturity and quality in stone fruit
What the research found:
- The portable probe was user-friendly, reduced data collection time and avoided fruit sample destruction
- Predictions for peach and nectarine’s fruit firmeness were not affected by skin characteristics
- The prediction of fruit firmeness was best in softer fruit, suggesting suitability in the post-harvest chain
- Future studies could focus on the application to softer fruit crops, such as berries
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- Experiment conducted in 2019/20 on 200 fruit per cultivar
- Peach cultivars: 'August Flame', ‘O’Henry', ‘Redhaven’ and 'September Sun’
- Nectarine cultivars: ‘August Bright’, 'Autumn Bright' and 'September Bright’
Portable impact probe
- Exerts a known force through a non-penetrating tip.
- Bluetooth wireless data communication.
- Device outputs: Peak acceleration (PA); Full width at half maximum (FWHM)
Reference determination of Flesh Firmness
A penetrometer (FT327, FACCHINI srl, Alfonsine, Italy) equipped with an 8-mm tip.
A. Scalisi1,a, M.G. O’Connell1,2, A. McGlone3, S. Langdon-Arms3
1Agriculture Victoria, Tatura, Victoria, Australia; 2Centre for Agricultural Innovation, The University of Melbourne, Australia; 3The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, Hamilton, New Zealand.
The experiment was supported by the Tatura SmartFarm stone fruit experimental orchard project (SF17006 Summerfruit Orchard – Phase II) funded by Hort Innovation using Summerfruit levy and funds from the Australian Government with co-investment from Agriculture Victoria. We gratefully acknowledge the technical support and assistance of Cameron O’Connell and Laura Phillips.