Headquartered in Switzerland, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, examines advanced materials and technologies. Dr. Thijs Defraeye, based at the institute’s Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles, works on cold-chain technology for postharvest applications. Seeking a means to enable produce purveyors to better manage food quality and meet food safety guidelines, Defraeye and his team of researchers developed a fruit-sensing device that accurately measures pulp temperature of fresh produce. Armed with this data, produce transporters can better monitor temperatures throughout the postharvest supply chain and identify possible problems. The researchers are hoping to work with a third party to productize their invention.
Creating the technology was challenging, given all of the considerations involved when fruit is shipped long distances. Core temperature of fruit provides a meaningful indicator of quality, so the researchers sought an accurate way to measure this area. They needed a small, low-power sensor with data logging, and found their answer in Maxim’s DS1922L iButton temperature logger.
Read Empa’s story to learn how the research team used the iButton to create technology that could potentially minimize food waste and prevent related revenue loss.