USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Chemically Active Label for the Visual Estimation of Fruit Ripeness

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2002 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway Suite #130 Littleton, CO 80127-4107
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2002
Title: Chemically Active Label for the Visual Estimation of Fruit Ripeness
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2002-33610-11878
Award Amount: $79,997.00


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.

Principal Investigator:

John S. Lovell

Business Contact:

James Butz
Vice President, Operations
Small Business Information at Submission:

ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Ste. 130 Littleton, CO 80217

EIN/Tax ID: 840984053
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No