A newly designed fruit-shaped sensor could assist cargo companies to keep fruit fresher in transit, says, researchers.
The fruit-shaped sensor mimics the size, shape and composition of natural fruit- is packed with produce in transit and accurately monitors its temperature.
The sensor is available for orange, apple, banana and mango varieties and warns the company about the issues in their cooling process, helping them to take immediate action.
It could also help the customers to buy only fresh fruits, researchers said.
The project, is still at an experimental stage. The project is conducted by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa).
The spokeswoman of Communications Cornelia Zogg said: “The fruits like mangos, bananas and oranges have to cover long distances before they reach our stores.
“Also, not all the cargo transfers it safely to its destination.
“Inspite of the fact that fruit is examined on a regular basis, some of them might be damaged or they may even perish before they reach the shop. Due to this, monitoring still has considerable scope for improvement.”
The researchers claim that this possesses the threat for both the suppliers and the consumers.
State food agencies experience loads of fruits that are being destroyed or damaged due to their storage at inappropriate temperatures.
Hence, the fruit which is overripe or not fresh can be sold to the customers.
“The fruit exporters have various ways to measure the freshness, but our newly designed fruit-shaped sensor has more accuracy since it mimics all the properties of different fruit types.”
To mimic the characteristics of the real fruit, the team of researchers X-rayed real fruits along with its shape and texture, he added.
Afterward, they have analyzed the exact composition of each fruit’s flesh and simulated the same in the laboratory, by mixing water, carbohydrates and polystyrene.
This mixture was poured into a fruit-shaped sensor mould designed using a 3D printer.
Currently, the field tests for the fruit-shaped sensors are conducted and researchers are determining their commercial partners.