The all new Kiwi Quality Meter, designed and manufactured by US-based Felix Instruments, promises to be a game-changer for kiwi fruit producers worldwide. Slated for release in early 2020, the new measurement tool will enable growers and QA personnel to measure fruit dry matter and Brix more quickly and more accurately, while completely eliminating the destruction of measured fruit. With validation studies showing highly accurate readings of less than 1 dry matter unit, the $7.6B kiwi industry has never seen anything like it.
For those that want a sneak peek at the device, Felix Instruments plans to showcase the new meter in a webinar held on December 12th. The event is open to anyone and will be held live at 2 times to fit all schedules worldwide – 8AM and 6PM PST. To attend, signup here for the 8AM broadcast or signup here for the 6PM broadcast.
"We are very excited to be expanding our line of quality meters and making this new tech available to kiwi growers, breeders, and distributors," said Scott Trimble, Marketing Director of Felix Instruments. Trimble added, “This device enables organizations at both ends of the agricultural spectrum – breeders and growers on one end and distributors and retailers at the other, to non-destructively measure the quality of their fruit.
“For growers, the meter not only offers straight cost savings in manpower and destroyed fruit, but additionally, reduces guesswork and provides more data. Measuring more fruit, more often helps growers make better decisions at harvest.
“For breeders, NIR can help better determine how different applications of nutrients or herbicide affect fruit quality.
“For distributors, exporters and importers, NIR gives more visibility into the quality of the outgoing and incoming product, laying the groundwork for better decision making and cost savings."
Developed in partnerships with Central Queensland University in Australia, and commercial organizations in New Zealand and Italy, this critical development comes at a time when the industry is facing increasing demand for kiwi fruit, with market expectations set to continue an upward consumption trend of nearly 4 percent by 2025 - an equivalent market volume of 5.9 million tonnes.
NIR technology is not new to agriculture. However, according to Trimble, the new devices from Felix Instruments have a considerable advantage when compared against other NIR tools. Most NIR devices are negatively affected by light interference. Fruit are irregularly shaped, and this can lead to ambient sunlight entering the lens during the scan or near infrared light leaking out around the fruit. While other NIR instruments may work in the lab under perfect lighting conditions, they fail in the field.
"Thanks to some very clever problem solving on the part of our engineering team, our instruments have overcome this hurdle. Our instruments deliver accurate measurements in the field, in normal weather conditions, where no others can. Which begs the question - if you cannot use the device in the field, what good is it?"