Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ripe pineapple and delicious pork

05.08.2009
When buying a pineapple, the customer often stands helplessly in front of the supermarket shelf – which one is already ripe? If the fruit is eaten immediately it's often still not sweet enough, if it's left too long it has rotten patches. Laboratory tests are too slow and too costly to provide the answers.

Major suppliers might soon be able to call on the help of a novel system that uses volatile components to detect when the pineapple is ripe and when it can be delivered to the supermarket. The system has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institutes for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Schmallenberg and for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in Freiburg.


Customers want fresh food, which is neither unripe nor spoiled. A new system based on metal oxide sensors could check the safety and quality of foods reliably, quickly and economically -- such as how ripe that pineapple really is. Credit: Fraunhofer IPM

It checks gas emissions on-line – directly in the warehouse for instance. "We have brought together various technologies based on the use of metal oxide sensors, similar to those installed in cars, for example, to close ventilation vents when driving through a tunnel. Researchers at IPM have developed these sensors further. If a gas flows over the sensor, at temperatures of 300 to 400°C, it will burn at the point of contact.

The subsequent exchange of electrons changes the electrical conductivity," explains Dr. Mark Bücking, Head of Department at IME. "Before the gas reaches these sensors, it has to go through a separation column with polymers. Certain substances are already filtered out here." A prototype of the analysis equipment already exists. Initial tests were promising – the system measures the volatile substances just as sensitively as conventional equipment used in food laboratories. In a further step the researchers want to optimize the system and adapt it to specific problems. Bücking reckons that the equipment could come onto the market at a four-digit euro price.

The researchers are also investigating whether the equipment could be used to test pork. The male pig produces hormones and certain odorous substances necessary for reproduction. What the female pig finds attractive, however, smells anything but pleasant to human noses. It's true that most pigs are slaughtered well before sexual maturity – before any odorous substances have formed in the majority of pigs. As there is the risk, however, that some boars could produce odorous substances prematurely, all boars are castrated when they are young piglets. Castration may not be necessary in the future if the pork could be tested on-line before it is packaged.

Mark Buecking | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ime.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>