Evaluating the practicability of commercial food-scanners for non-destructive quality assessment of tomato fruit

  • Simon Goisser University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Freising, Germany
  • Michael Fernandes Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Technology Campus Grafenau, Germany
  • Sabine Wittmann University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Freising, Germany
  • Christian Ulrichs Division Urban Plant Ecophysiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • Heike Mempel University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Freising, Germany


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.