About one-third of all food produced in the United States gets tossed each year. Worldwide, the United Nations has estimated that half of all fruits and vegetables go to waste. Now, a new study claims that automated, non-invasive and scalable technologies can play a role in reducing all that waste.

Researchers from Princeton University and Microsoft Research have developed a fast and accurate way to determine fruit quality, through the use of high-frequency wireless technology. The new tool can give suppliers a way to sort fruit based on fine-grained ripeness measurements. It promises to help cut food waste by optimizing distribution: good fruit picked from bad bunches, ripe fruit moved to the front of the line.

Yasaman Ghasempour, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Princeton and one of the study’s principal investigators, says: “There is no systematic way of determining the ripeness status of fruits and vegetables. It is mostly random visual inspection, where you check one fruit out of the box on distribution lines and estimate its quality through physical contact or color change.”


Source: nextg.princeton.edu