The Enschede start-up OneThird has devised a scanner that can see how long fruit and vegetables will still be good. And that is handy: “If you can predict how long fruit and vegetables will last, retailers and growers can decide to sell a product at a discount or to process it in a smoothie”, Marco Snikkers of OneThird explains to EditieNL.
This can prevent you from buying a container of strawberries that immediately starts to go moldy, or an avocado that is far from ripe. “In the future, we expect that consumers will also be able to use the scanner at home or while shopping, as this technology will eventually become available in a smartphone.”
The scanner can be compared to an X-ray machine. With infrared light he makes a scan of the inside of the fruit and with data from a database it can be seen exactly what stage of freshness the fruit is in.
The scanner is still under development. But how can you as a consumer already prevent that you can throw that container of raspberries in the wheelie bin after purchase? “Apples and pears can generally be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks, says Maarten Luiten of LuitenFruit. But that does not apply to soft fruit.” Soft fruits such as blueberries, cherries, strawberries and raspberries can be stored the least long and spoil the fastest. That’s because these fruits are picked when they are ripe. “
Look and feel
For products that are not picked ripe, such as kiwis and avocados, as a consumer you should especially look and feel good, according to Luiten. “An avocado that is hard is not yet ripe. One that you can fully press is probably already overripe. The same applies to kiwis. The opposite is true for tangerines. They become hard when they are no longer good.”
But as a consumer, should you throw away everything that is overripe? According to Luiten, this is due to the species. “You can still eat apples or peppers with a fair spot if you cut the brown piece out. But you shouldn’t eat strawberries that are soft anymore. Please throw them away.”