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Spotting Rot Before You Can See It

The researchers developed two lettuce-decay indices to help select breeding lines yielding longer-lasting cut lettuce. The indices also allow researchers to identify lettuce damage caused by freezing temperatures.

One index is based on evaluations performed with hyperspectral imaging, and the other with chlorophyll fluorescence imaging.

A hyperspectral sensor identifies decay by measuring light waves that bounce off plant tissues. Unlike the human eye, which sees only visible light, hyperspectral imaging detects a much broader electromagnetic spectrum including the ultraviolet, near-infrared, and infrared regions.

Hyperspectral sensors and electromagnetic spectrums are all good and well, but what’s the bottom line for growers? Simply put, if this technology were able to roll out and become more affordable, growers would be able to catch rotting or tainted crops earlier, before they make it to market.

Of course, this technology is still in its infancy, but the results could trickle down to even the smallest growing operations, meaning better quality produce for everyone.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for further advances in the field. Meanwhile, we’ll also be providing the industry with some of the toughest, most durable greenhouses on the market.

Original story via Growing Produce.