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New Zealand researchers trial wireless sensor to monitor kiwifruit quality

Friday, 03 November 2017 08:57
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3 Nov - Plant & Food Research's John Mitchell has led a programme trialling wireless sensors in kiwifruit as a way of detecting abnormal fruit. Wireless sensor technology may one day be used in the horticulture industry to detect diseases or defects in stored fresh fruit.  A Plant & Food Research team developed a sensor at its Hamilton base at Ruakura, New Zealand and has been trialling it for green kiwifruit at a commercial cool store in the Bay of Plenty over the past two seasons.

Programme leader John Mitchell said the research unit wanted to find a scientifically sound way to detect any abnormal or undesirable fruit while in storage. At the peak of this season the team had 440 devices placed in 56 different pallets from 24 growers throughout the coolstore.

Mitchell said the sensors had functioned well over both seasons.

The bulk of New Zealand's kiwifruit is harvested from April-June when it is then graded, packed in pallets and stored in cool storage for up to six months.

Once stored, it was difficult to access individual packs of fruit to check its quality. If affected fruit was not identified and removed from packaging, it could spread throughout the stored crop and cause greater fruit loss, he said.

Continue here to read article on FreshPlaza  ||  November 3,  2017   |||