Postharvest monitoring of tomato ripening using the dynamic laser speckle

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Abstract

The dynamic laser speckle (biospeckle) method was tested as a potential tool for the assessment and monitoring of the maturity stage of tomatoes. Two tomato cultivars—Admiro and Starbuck—were tested. The process of climacteric maturation of tomatoes was monitored during a shelf life storage experiment. The biospeckle phenomena were captured using 640 nm and 830 nm laser light wavelength, and analysed using two activity descriptors based on biospeckle pattern decorrelation—C4 and ε. The well-established optical parameters of tomatoes skin were used as a reference method (luminosity, a*/b*, chroma). Both methods were tested with respect to their prediction capabilities of the maturity and destructive indicators of tomatoes—firmness, chlorophyll and carotenoids content. The statistical significance of the tested relationships were investigated by means of linear regression models. The climacteric maturation of tomato fruit was associated with an increase in biospckle activity. Compared to the 830 nm laser wavelength the biospeckle activity measured at 640 nm enabled more accurate predictions of firmness, chlorophyll and carotenoids content. At 640 nm laser wavelength both activity descriptors (C4 and ε) provided similar results, while at 830 nm the ε showed slightly better performance. The linear regression models showed that biospeckle activity descriptors had a higher correlation with chlorophyll and carotenoids content than the a*/b* ratio and luminosity. The results for chroma were comparable with the results for both biospeckle activity indicators. The biospeckle method showed very good results in terms of maturation monitoring and the prediction of the maturity indices of tomatoes, proving the possibility of practical implementation of this method for the determination of the maturity stage of tomatoes.

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Pieczywek, P. M., Nowacka, M., Dadan, M., Wiktor, A., Rybak, K., Witrowa-Rajchert, D., & Zdunek, A. (2018). Postharvest monitoring of tomato ripening using the dynamic laser speckle. Sensors (Switzerland), 18(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041093

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