Have you ever imagined a wonder gadget that can help you to monitor the ripeness of fruits and vegetables which you’ve kept in your store, preventing any loss caused by spoilage? Well, in that case your imagination has come true, because an MIT professor and a group of his students from the chemistry department have built a new gadget which can actually sense ripeness in fruits and vegetables.
In a recently published science journal, it was described that this new gadget is capable of detecting the tiny molecules of a gaseous component called Ethylene, that’s primarily responsible for the ripening of fruits and vegetables in plants. Timothy Swager, the MIT professor engaged in this new invention, points out that this gadget is going to help people in many ways. Mostly those grocers and retailers who hold large amounts of fruits and vegetable in their stores, sometime has to lose sizable amount of their stock due to over ripening and spoilage, and ultimate has to incur losses for this. One estimate says that only in US, around 10 percent of the fruits and vegetables get discarded due to spoilage. So to tackle this scenario, this gadget can become very handy and helpful. It will enable the grocers to monitor the ripeness of their existing stock and channelize and manage before over ripening of fruits. In the same way, it can be helpful in your kitchen too.
The research project was executed through Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT and was funded by U.S. Army Office of Research. The underlying technology behind this sensor devise is an array of thousands of carbon nanotubes closely embedded together to form a sheet like structure. These sheets are then rolled into cylindrical shapes to form a superhighway for flowing of electrons. The researchers have modified these tubes in such a way, to detect Ethylene gas. Most importantly, the researchers were able to construct this device in such a way, so that when this will be commercially produced and rolled out in the market, consumers will be able to obtain them at a dirt cheap price, owing to its cheap manufacturing cost.
Via: MIT media relations