Sweet cherry freshness evaluation through colorimetric and morphometric stem analysis: two refrigeration systems compared
Pallottino, F.; Costa, C.; Antonucci, F.; Menesatti, P.
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In food science, colour is a fundamental property for the evaluation of freshness, quality and conformity. One of the most important attributes indicating sweet cherry freshness is stem colour and shape. Fruit post-harvest cool storage retards respiration and colour ripening changes. The common technology of refrigeration is based on active cooling determining high evapotranspiration for the passage of air over the products surface. An innovative preservation system, such as the Passive Refrigeration System (PRS™), could guarantee perfect shelf-life preservation maintaining optimal temperature and relative humidity close to 100%, minimizing colour changes in medium-long storage range. There is the need to numerically quantify cherry stem thickness and colour changes to compare fruit postharvest conditions under the two systems. The use of the Thin-Plate Spline 3D warping (TPS3D) in the 3-dimensional-RGB colour space allowed an effi cient colour calibration. Sweet cherry stem images belonging to the two different storage systems (active and passive refrigeration) were acquired before and after 7 days to preservation through a professional high resolution scanner. Thickness and colour (after calibration) were measured. Results indicate, in terms of sweet cherry quality of preservation, that the ones preserved in passive refrigerator after 7 days appears similar to the fruits at the beginning of the experiment.