Diezma, B. and Flores, L. and Diez, J. and Ruiz-Altisent, Margarita and Barreiro Elorza, Pilar and Marañon, A.
New version of a laboratory impact device for firmness sensing of fruits..
In: "AgEng2000 European Society of Agricultural Engineers Conference", 2-7, julio-2000, Warwick (Reino Unido).
Results of previous studies conducted by different researchers have shown that impact techniques can be used to evaluate firmness (Delwiche et al., 1989; Delwiche et al.;1996; Jaren et al., 1992; Ruiz Altisent et al., 1996). To impact the fruit with a small spherical impactor of known mass and radius of curvature and measure the acceleration of the impactor is a technique described by Chen et al. (1985) and used by several researchers for sensing fruit firmness (Jaren et al., 1992; Correa et al.; 1992). The advantages of this method vs. a force sensor that measures the force as a function of time is that the measured impact-acceleration response is independent of the fruit mass and is less sensitive to the variation in the radius of curvature of the fruit (Chen et al., 1996). Ruiz Altisent et al. (1993) developed and used a 50 g impactor with a 19 mm diameter spherical tip, dropping from different height for fruits (apples, pears, avocados, melons, peaches ...). Another impact device for firmness sensing of fruits was developed by Chen and Ruiz Altisent (1996). They designed and fabricated an experimental low-mass impact sensor for high-speed sensing of fruit firmness. The impactor consisted of a semi-spherical impacting tip attached to the end (near the centre of percussion) of a pivoting arm. Impact is done by swinging the impactor to collide with the fruit. It has been implemented for on-line use. In both devices a small accelerometer is mounted behind the impacting tip. Lateral impactor and vertical impactor have been used in laboratory and the results from non-destructive impact tests have contributed to standardise methods to measure fruit firmness: Barreiro (1992) compared impact parameters and results of Magness-Taylor penetration tests for apples, pears, apricots [and peaches; Agulheiro (1994) studied the behaviour of the impact parameters during seven weeks of cold storage of two melon varieties; Ortiz (1998) used low energy impact and NIR procedures to segregate non crispy, non firm and soft peaches. Steinmetz (1996) compared various non-destructive firmness sensors, based on sound, impact and micro-deformation.