Plant & Food Research scientists develop accurate and inexpensive method of measuring kiwifruit color. They modified the ‘Cube’, a portable color digitizer device developed by Melbourne design collective Palette for measuring paint color, to provide Zespri staff in export markets with quick accurate assessments of kiwifruit flesh color. Until recently, the only option was a US$10,000 chromameter. The Cube retails for about US$139.
Export fruit must comply with stringent Zespri grade standards, with color checked both in New Zealand and at the destination. The Cube, about the size of matchbox, measures the amount of green, blue and red light in the flesh and is said to be accurate to color differences not usually perceptible to the human eye.
According to plantandfood.com, Zespri is now trialling 10 Cubes in overseas markets.