Why Dry Matter Matters
April 20, 2016
Dry matter is everything in the fruit minus the water. This includes sugars, cell wall, proteins and starch.
Photosynthetic activity in leaves enters fruit as sugar, metabolized into storage (starch), enzymes (protein), and/or cell wall material. As the fruit grows, it accumulates dry matter.
Dry matter content has been linked directly to consumer preference. It gives a view into what the fruit’s potential is. Measuring dry matter helps gauge ripeness in fruit, detect issues with the fruit early on, and help predict harvest time.
Dry matter is measured in two ways: destructively and non-destructively
Destructive testing: fruit is cut into sections, weighed, dried in an oven for about 48 hours. The final weight divided by the fresh weight is the dry matter reading.
- Time consuming
- Requires precise sample preparation
- Cost ineffective
- Testing immature fruit could lead to delivery of poor quality fruit, uneven ripening, consumer dissatisfaction, and could affect future purchases
- Wastes fruit
- Allows for change in fruit over 2-day drying period
Non-destructive testing: Near-infrared spectroscopy. NIR light penetrates, scatters, interacts with the tissue, returns back to the instrument and is measured by a spectrometer to output the data.
- Rapid detection of several characteristics simultaneously (4-6 seconds)
- Little to no sample prep
- Consistent measurement
- Less equipment cost
- Objective results
Dry matter is an important factor in delivering quality fruit with even ripeness from growth to harvest to retail. The ease and stability provided by NIRS technology aids in providing a better product.
- Lowering cost and time gives growers a leg up on the competition.
- Measuring dry matter with NIRS gives you a picture of the fruit’s characteristics while it is still on the tree.
- NIRS testing can improve crop management, harvest scheduling, cold storage, ripening rooms and retail
- Benefits are reaped by growers, processors, consumers
Non-destructive prediction of ‘Hass’ avocado dry matter via FT-NIR spectroscopy - Wedding - 2010 - Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture - Wiley Online Library.pdf
Non-destructive evaluation of avocado fruit maturity using near infrared spectroscopy and PLS regression models.pdf