Application Profile: UC Davis Postharvest Team uses F-750 for work with Cherries & Pears

Posted by: CID Staff
Oct. 22, 2015

By Sandra Escribano Larson, Postdoctoral Associate to Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham

To facilitate the use of near infrared technologies (NIR) for the California fruit industry, Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham from the Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of California has recently tested the Felix Instruments F-750 Produce Quality Meter on California cherries and pears. Robust and accurate NIR models for the rapid and non-destructive evaluation of soluble solids content and dry matter content in ‘Coral’, ‘Chelan’ and ‘Bing’ sweet cherries were successfully developed in 2015 to be applied in cold and room temperature environments by cherry growers, packing houses, and processors. The sweet cherry work has been published:

S. Escribano, et al. Non-destructive prediction of soluble solids and dry matter 
content using NIR spectroscopy and its relationship with sensory quality in sweet
cherries,Postharvest Biology and Technology, Volume 128, June 2017, Pages 112-120,

According to Dr. Mitcham, the device is simple to use, while providing the flexibility to create new models, when desired. Considering the importance of dry matter content as well as soluble solids content in the eating quality of sweet cherries, the use of handheld NIR devices, such as the F-750, could become a useful tool for routine analyses of cherry quality. Additional work is needed to confirm these promising results.

The F-750 device is also being tested by Dr. Mitcham’s team for ‘Bartlett’ pear postharvest quality. NIR techniques could provide a nondestructive way to predict optimum harvest dates, quality of stored pears and/or pear fruit response to SmartFreshTM (1-methylcyclopropene). With those objectives, a study was initiated in 2015 with early-, mid- and late-season pears. Hopefully the study will provide Dr. Mitcham’s team with predictive models which could open the door to real-time nondestructive assessments of pear fruit maturity and postharvest performance. The SmartFreshTM (1-methylcyclopropene) work has been published:

S. Escribano, et al., Impact of 1-methylcyclopropene treatment on the sensory 
quality of ‘Bartlett’ pear fruit, Postharvest Biology and Technology, Volume 111,
January 2016, Pages 305-313,
Dr. Beth Mitcham has served as Director of the Postharvest Technology Center at UC Davis since 2010. The focus of her research and extension program is the postharvest biology and technology of fruits, especially apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, as well as almonds and walnuts.