Optical Ethylene Analyzer for Food Crop Quality Assurance

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2010-02159
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
67 CONDESA RD, Santa Fe, NM, 87508
DUNS: 134161533
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Pilgrim
 President, Principal Scientist
 (505) 466-3830
Business Contact
 Jeffrey Pilgrim
Title: President
Phone: (505) 466-3830
Email: jpilgrim@vistaphotonics.com
Research Institution
Improved production yield is a constant objective of increasingly sophisticated agricultural practices. As Earth's population grows, higher yield is a critical mechanism for insuring adequate food supply. An effective way to increase yield is by reducing waste. Crops react to stressors by releasing ethylene at low levels. If these levels can be detected, stressors may be mitigated before crop viability is compromised. Further, detection of elevated ethylene can also eliminate compounding of post-harvest waste due to rot or senescence. The proposed high-performance ethylene sensor will provide research plant physiologists a tool with which to correlate the causes and effects of ethylene release and the means to quantitatively measure resulting mitigation strategies. Present monitors are inadequate due to sensitivity, selectivity, ruggedness or cost. New faster monitors will be enabling components for controlled plant growth, early detection of stress, precise application of ripening inhibitors and other chemical agents, and successful long-term storage and delivery. This tightly monitored life cycle will provide modern agricultural industry the tools to continually increase production yields. Vista Photonics proposes to develop a compact, rugged, low parts-per-billion (ppb) gaseous ethylene analyzer, ultimately suitable for widespread application in the agricultural industry.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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