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Portable optical analyzer for agri-food sector

Agri-foodAgricolturacropsEstimation quality parametersOptical analyzerPortable systemRipeness control

Introduction

The invention consists in a low-cost optical analyzer (SMART-HAND) that allows capillary controls in the agri-food sector. The instrument, thanks to its small-size, is portable and allows to perform the analysis of berries and leafy vegetables directly on site; it provides a precise indication about the degree of ripeness and qualitative parameters, favouring the correct determination of harvest time.

Technical features

The capillary control of the ripeness and quality of crops, without the destruction of the analyzed product, is a very important need in the agri-food sector. The instruments present on the market, however, do not fully meet this requirement: the non-destructive technologies used are expensive, complex and, using bench-top optical instruments, which cannot be used directly on site.

This invention, on the other hand, combines high performance in predicting qualitative parameters and cheapness, both guaranteed by the presence of an optical system capable of reading a discrete number of independent wavelengths, with the fact of being small-sized and lightweight, thanks to the use of a miniaturized optical bench. In addition, the system can be customized and adapted for the analysis of many types of plant matrix (e.g. berry or leafy crops).

Possible Applications

  • Field monitoring of fruit/vegetables to determine the ideal harvest time;
  • Product selection to homogenize product batches to optimize transformation processes;
  • Berry control (for fresh consumption) directly at logistic platforms
  • Monitoring of water content for irrigation planning.

Advantages

  • Use of a discrete and non-continuous spectrum of wavelengths;
  • Customizable for different applications;
  • Estimation of qualitative (chemical/physical) parameters;
  • Portable and usable directly on site
  • Smart-oriented data management (WiFi, cloud storage), controllable with a dedicated app.