Abstract: In order to design optimal packages, it is of pivotal importance to determine the rate at which harvested fresh fruits and vegetables consume oxygen. The respiration rate of oxygen (RRO2) is determined by measuring the consumed oxygen per hour per kg plant material, and the rate is highly influenced by temperature and gas composition. Traditionally, RRO2 has been determined at discrete time intervals. In this study, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) were used to determine RRO2 continuously in plant material (fresh cut broccoli florets) at 5 °C, 10 °C and 20 °C and at modified gas compositions (decreasing oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide levels). Furthermore, the WSN enabled concomitant determination of oxygen and temperature in the very close vicinity of the plant material. This information proved a very close relationship between changes in temperature and respiration rate. The applied WSNs were unable to determine oxygen levels lower than 5% and carbon dioxide was not determined. Despite these drawbacks in relation to respiration analysis, the WSNs offer a new possibility to do continuous measurement of RRO2 in post harvest research, thereby investigating the close relation between temperature and RRO2. The conclusions are that WSNs have the potential to be used as a monitor of RRO2 of plant material after harvest, during storage and packaging, thereby leading to optimized consumer products.
Keywords: wireless sensor networks; vegetable; post harvest research; respiration rate; temperature
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Løkke, M.M.; Seefeldt, H.F.; Edwards, G.; Green, O. Novel Wireless Sensor System for Monitoring Oxygen, Temperature and Respiration Rate of Horticultural Crops Post Harvest. Sensors 2011, 11, 8456-8468.
Løkke MM, Seefeldt HF, Edwards G, Green O. Novel Wireless Sensor System for Monitoring Oxygen, Temperature and Respiration Rate of Horticultural Crops Post Harvest. Sensors. 2011; 11(9):8456-8468.
Løkke, Mette Marie; Seefeldt, Helene Fast; Edwards, Gareth; Green, Ole. 2011. "Novel Wireless Sensor System for Monitoring Oxygen, Temperature and Respiration Rate of Horticultural Crops Post Harvest." Sensors 11, no. 9: 8456-8468.