Visible/near infrared spectroscopy for horticulture: case studies from preharvest to postharvest

R. Beghi, V. Giovenzana, A. Tugnolo, R. Guidetti
The Italian agri-food system is mostly characterized by small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). They are characterized by the lack of crucial information for the management and control of their processes. The main parameters related to important information to better lead the decision-making stages of the production process (e.g. monitoring the shelf life and postharvest life, etc.) need to be measured in a simple, non-destructive and quick way. From this point of view, the optical techniques based on visible near-infrared spectroscopy (Vis/NIR) are an established, simple and rapid application for the determination of many parameters related to productions quality representing a valid support to the various supply chains. Nevertheless, the available optical systems are complex and expensive devices and their real use in SME is still very limited. The aim of the research was to test commercial hand-held devices and prototypes of low-costs and user-friendly systems, useful for different applications from preharvest to postharvest. This work proposed a collection of case studies regarding the application of Vis/NIR spectroscopy on different matrices with different goals: on (i) grape and (ii) blueberry for ripening evaluation, on (iii) cultivated mushrooms to control quality at harvest, and (iv) for senescence monitoring of fresh-cut baby leaf salad during shelf life. A Light Emitting Diode (LED) based prototype at four specific wavelengths (630, 690, 750 and 850 nm) was proposed and tested on grape for estimating ripeness analysis. Moreover, a commercial hand-held Vis/NIR device (400-1000 nm) was used for the evaluation of blueberries ripeness, for the postharvest monitoring of mushrooms, and for the senescence evaluation of fresh-cut baby leaf salad. The use of these devices could be helpful for the monitoring of quality standards, to provide a high quality product to the consumers.
Beghi, R., Giovenzana, V., Tugnolo, A. and Guidetti, R. (2021). Visible/near infrared spectroscopy for horticulture: case studies from preharvest to postharvest. Acta Hortic. 1311, 123-130
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1311.16
hand-held device, fruits and vegetables, ripeness, chemometrics

Acta Horticulturae