Chemically Active Label for the Visual Estimation of Fruit Ripeness
The US pear industry is facing the challenge of marketing an increasing harvest of winter pears-one that will soon exceed 20 million bushels. Agricultural specialists have long recognized that the biggest obstacle to the successful marketing of the winter pears is the fact that the consumers are generally ignorant of the requirements to ripen fruit and are often disappointed with their experience with pears. There are similar problems with other produce, such as melons. Given that most fruit is now labeled, ADA Technologies proposes to develop a non-toxic, chemically active label that will progressively change color in response to the ripening of fruit. As it is currently envisioned, the label will respond to the increasing flux of the plant hormone, ethylene, as the fruit approaches the climacteric, marking the on-set of ripening. The consumer will be able to quickly tell whether the fruit is near-ripe, ripe, or over-ripe. This approach is applicable to a wide range of different fruits, but, for the proof-of-concept work in Phase I, ADA proposes to use d'Anjou winter pears. Phase I tasks will be focused upon demonstrating the feasibility of designing and producing safe, low-cost labels that will provide the target performance.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Ste. 130 Littleton, CO 80217
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