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Sensors 2010, 10(12), 11126-11143; doi:10.3390/s101211126

Evaluation of Mechanical Tomato Harvesting Using Wireless Sensors

* ,
Department of Projects and Rural Engineering, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus Arosadia, 31006 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2010 / Revised: 12 November 2010 / Accepted: 16 November 2010 / Published: 7 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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The harvesting of processing tomatoes is fully mechanised and it is well known that during harvest, fruits are subjected to mechanical stress causing physical injuries, including skin punctures, pulp and cell rupture. Some wireless sensors have been used for research during recent years with the main purpose of reducing the quality loss of tomato fruits by diminishing the number and intensity of impacts. In this study the IRD (impact recorder device) sensor was used to evaluate several tomato harvesters. The specific objectives were to evaluate the impacts during mechanical harvest using a wireless sensor, to determine the critical points at which damage occurs, and to assess the damage levels. Samples were taken to determine the influence of mechanical harvest on texture, or on other quality characteristics including percentage of damages. From the obtained data it has been possible to identify the critical points where the damages were produced for each one of the five harvester models examined. The highest risk of damage was in zone 1 of the combine—from the cutting system to the colour selector—because the impacts were of higher intensity and hit less absorbing surfaces than in zone 2—from colour selector to discharge. The shaker and exit from the shaker are two of the harvester elements that registered the highest intensity impacts. By adjusting, in a specific way each harvester model, using the results from this research, it has been possible to reduce the tomato damage percentage from 20 to 29% to less than 10%.
Keywords: IS-100; electronic fruits; harvest; quality; mechanization; physical damages IS-100; electronic fruits; harvest; quality; mechanization; physical damages
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Arazuri, S.; Arana, I.; Jaren, C. Evaluation of Mechanical Tomato Harvesting Using Wireless Sensors. Sensors 2010, 10, 11126-11143.

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