Evaluating the practicability of commercial food-scanners for non-destructive quality assessment of tomato fruit
The assessment of tomato fruit quality depends on a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic quality parameters such as color, firmness and sugar content. Conventional measurement methods of these quality parameters are time consuming, require various measurement de-vices, and in case of intrinsic quality, involve destructive measurements. Latest research focused on the non-destructive determination of these parameters by using spectroscopic measurements. The goal of this study was to evaluate the capability of three commercially available portable and miniaturized VIS /NIR spectrometers, so called food-scanners, in predicting various tomato quality attributes in a non-destructive way. Additionally, this study evaluated the software provided by manufacturers for building of prediction models by comparing the results derived from those software tools to state-of-the-art software for multivariate analysis. Evaluation of food-scanner spectra resulted in prediction models of high accuracy (r² > 0.90) for tomato fruit firmness, dry matter, total soluble solids and color values L*, a* and h°. Prediction models computed with manufacturer’s soft-ware showed similar accuracy to those derived from state-of-the-art evaluation software. Results of this study illustrate the great potential of commercial food-scanners for non-destructive quality measurement. Further important features of food-scanners with respect to the application along the fresh produce supply chain are addressed.
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