Using Spectroscopy to Grade and Sort Fruit

Due to the studies published in Postharvest Biology and Technology and the Journal of Food Quality by researchers, the use of spectroscopy in agriculture is gaining wider popularity. For the sustainability of modern food production, monitoring of fruit quality during production, during the harvest and while transporting a harvest to market is likely to grow more and more.


Spectroscopy, Grade Fruit, Sort Fruit

During production, important data might include water content, soluble solid content, or firmness. Post-harvest, and from a marketing perspective, monitoring bruising, frost or scald damage, and rot, allows producers to ensure uniform quality is made available for the consumer, even while maintaining the maximum possible yield.

Work with ‘Fuji’ Apples Improves Production

Researchers who used the Near-Infrared Spectrometry (600–1,100 nm) on Fuji apples analyzed the near-infrared spectra to initially develop an algorithm correlating fruit properties for solid content, firmness, and water content.

From this data, the team could isolate sensitive wavelengths beneficial for estimating internal fruit quality. They then discussed the different approaches for choosing appropriate wavelengths for the purpose of decreasing the data set compared to monitoring the entire NIR spectra. This technique of choosing crucial wavelengths to decrease the data set becomes essential to the development of portable and inline sensing systems such as those presently being developed by Avantes’ OEM partners.

Spectroscopy, Grade Fruit, Sort Fruit

These researchers depended upon the AvaSpec-ULS2048-USB2 spectrometer together with a fiber optic reflection probes (400-µm diameter, FCR-7IR400-2-ME, Avantes), Tungsten Halogen illumination source (the AvaLight-HAL-S-Mini), and power supply (PS-12 V/1.0 A, Avantes).

Since this article was published, Avantes launched the AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 in Avantes Sensline product series. This spectrometer is perfectly suited to diffuse reflection measurements in the third overtone of the NIR because of the excellent response and signal to noise of this instrument.

Work on ‘Jonagold’ Targets Post-Harvest Monitoring

A research paper published in Post-harvest Biology and Technology examined reflectance spectra in the visible/ NIR spectra using a spectrometer and camera system. By comparing the reflectance of sound and damaged tissue, the researchers were successful in isolating four filters that predictably enabled the quantification of apple quality for this bicolor apple type.

Integrated with process control systems, this combination of filters promotes innovation in the automation of fruit sorting.

In this research, reflectance spectra were obtained with an initial version of the AvaSpec-ULS2048-USB2 spectrometer.

Avantes, OEM partner for the future of Agriculture

Avantes is focused on using photonics technologies to ensure the world is a better place, by partnering with innovators to enhance agricultural production. With over 2 decades of experience in the production of high-quality photonics equipment and close partnerships with experts and researchers in the photonics field, Avantes is an ideal OEM partner.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Avantes BV.

For more information on this source, please visit Avantes BV.


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  1. Neville Wood Neville Wood Australia says:

    We are working to provide a blockchain solution that captures data on cold storage fruit from farmer to distribution centre to retail store to consumer. As a chemical engineer I am interested in trialing agricultural industry measurement equipment like I used 10 years ago when I ran chemical plants.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of

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