Spectroscopy Measuring Continues to Enhance Food Production

We want and need our food to be as sustainable and healthy as possible. That idea has been around for a long time, but what is becoming more accessible are the tools and ideas with which to measure food production. Amazingly, spectroscopy has a role to play here, and for the best results, one needs a spectroradiometer or spectrometer of fine caliber.

This finding comes based on research by the University of Basque Country and its Department of Analytical Chemistry. Scientists there used a simple but elegant technique to measure the biological composition of fruit and vegetables down to the molecular level. And they did so using a relatively simple portable Raman spectrometer, a very similar instrument to the more complex spectroradiometer.

The use of laboratory-level equipment in the kitchen may seem over the top, but it is, in fact, non-invasive and completely harmless to the food you eat according to this study. Technology also provides useful data. Josu Trebolazabala was a lead researcher in the study, and he put the possible gains to be had deploying this technology thusly: “Our idea was to come up with a tool that could help producers find out when their tomatoes have reached their optimum ripeness point. This is achieved without destroying the fruit.”

By using a spectrometer, the team was able to tell the molecular composition of tomatoes and understand its phases of ripening to an extremely precise level. Taken on a larger scale, this type of research could help growers, distributors, and consumers of vegetables better coordinate the worldwide process of food consumption.

As we move into the 21st century, sustainability will continue to be a key in how we use our natural resources. Light-based calibration processes, such as those involving spectroradiometers, may play a surprising role in helping with precision crop growth. But to do so, experts in the field of molecular light measurement will need to continue to make progress for the ease and accuracy of readings. At Gooch and Housego, we can contribute in a myriad of ways with instruments that range from laboratory level complexity to those that can run on a simple Windows-based laptop. For more information on what we can do (and to find out more about the world-class spectroradiometers in our inventory), contact us anytime at 407-422-3171.

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