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Portable ethylene sensor measures fruit ripeness from “Stem-to-Sale”

Not so long ago you would likely be wearing a lab coat if you were using an ethylene sensor; now you can keep your work boots on and measure ethylene directly in the field. Ethylene sensing has moved out of the lab and into the hands of growers with the F-900 Portable Ethylene Gas Analyzer, which debuted at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica.

Ethylene-management is a major factor in controlling fruit handling and storage environments. Weighing only 2.43 kg, the F-900 promises “stem-to-sale” ethylene monitoring: “Because it is so portable and easy to use, growers can monitor ethylene at every stage of the fruit cycle, from harvest to warehousing, shipping, and even the end point-of-sale,” says Michael Larman of Felix Instruments. “It makes processing decisions far more accurate, it’s non-destructive, and is simple enough for anyone to use.”

Controlling the “stem-to-sale” process provides the control needed to present customers with an ideally fresh product. “It’s no secret that a reliable product is the holy grail for fruit producers. It’s especially crucial to succeeding in the premium-branded fruit market,” says Leonard Felix, President of CID, Bio-Science. Establishing and maintaining a credible fruit brand such as Cuties™ clementines or Zespri Gold™ kiwis hinges on being able to control every point of the production and delivery process to provide a reliable product. Measuring ethylene makes it possible for precise ripeness control through every stage of fruit handling.

The F-900 is especially useful for managing the shipping process. The F-900 automatically measures ethylene output during shipping and storage for months if needed, replacing guesswork with data for controlled atmospheres. With a resolution of 1 ppb (1 part per billion) for ethylene, the new F-900 was developed to meet the most exacting laboratory conditions. Testing in U.S. crop development programs has ranged from monitoring sweet potato cultivars to developing mango harvest protocols.

The F-900 Portable Ethylene Gas Analyzer is a welcome development in precision fruit management, offering growers the chance to bring lab-quality precision to their production processes for an affordable price. The F-900 is manufactured by Felix Instruments, a newly formed subsidiary of CID Bio-Science, Inc., which has been providing research scientists with plant science tools since 1989:


Felix Instruments
Michael Larman, General Manager
[email protected]
1554 NE 3rd Avenue
Camas, WA 98607

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