A new study published to Applied Optics on Wednesday reveals that team of researchers from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale de Brest in France have developed a method that could enable farmers to harvest climacteric fruits, such as apples and bananas, at the most optimal moment.
“Fruits are divided into two categories: climacteric or non-climacteric fruits,” Rana Nassif, a researcher affiliated with both Saint Joseph University and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale de Brest, explained in a statement. “Climacteric fruits continue their maturation off the tree or vine… and are characterized by a climatic peak.”
Laboratory Equipment explains that this new method is able to determine the precise moment that climacteric fruit needs to be harvested in order to ensure that the taste and texture are at their peak level. As the international team of researchers reports in their paper published to The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal, they were able to do this using a laser bio-speckle technique
“A group of sparkling and dark grains called ‘speckle grains’ make up this pattern. If the medium is biological, meaning that it presents some sort of cell activity, its speckle pattern will show changes with time,” said Nassif in a press release, as quoted by Motherboard. “And this pattern depends on the medium’s scattering properties, as well as its own nature.”