Australian Summerfruit (peach, nectarine, plum and apricot) growers and exporters must produce high yields of fruit that satisfy consumer preference attributes for size, taste, aroma, colour and texture. Export markets are very competitive and Australia needs to be able to guarantee a quality product.
Four sensor technologies were developed and tested during the project:
•Hand held field colourimeter (Rubens Technologies Pty Ltd) to non-destructively measure skin colour.
• Hand held fluorescence-reflectance spectrometer (Rubens Technologies Pty Ltd) to non-destructively measure fruit maturity, flesh firmness and sweetness, and detect and predict fruit internal disorders.
•Mobile platform (Green Atlas Cartographer) to spatially measure fruit number ,size, skin colour and yield.
• Bistatic LiDAR (RMIT University) to spatially measure carbon dioxide flux from orchard canopies.
The Summerfruit industry now has tools that can non-destructively and reliably measure pre- and post-harvest fruit maturity, quality and yield in real time. Furthermore, as a result of this project, scientists can rapidly measure crop responses and traits that were previously expensive and undertaken on subsamples.
The project was a partnership between Food Agility CRC, Agriculture Victoria, Green Atlas, Rubens Technologies Pty Ltd, RMIT University and the Summerfruit Australia Limited.