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Design and performance of a controlled environment mini-chamber for measuring produce quality deterioration.

LeBlanc, D.I., Vigneault, C., Boutin, J., Toussaint, V., Charlebois, D., Forney, C.F., Bourgeois, G., Clément, A., and Bezanson, G.S. (2012). "Design and performance of a controlled environment mini-chamber for measuring produce quality deterioration.", Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology B, 2, pp. 391-399.

Abstract

To minimize losses between harvest and retail display, a system is needed to track temperature and RH exposure of fresh produce and predict its quality at each step of the distribution chain. With accurate models, such system could (1) identify problematic situations before losses occur; (2) become a management tool for decision makers; and (3) help quantify the real impact of individual inappropriate conditions. A project was initiated to develop models required for such a decision system. Because the data required to develop models were not available for most fruit and vegetables, a series of storage trials was planned for measuring changes in physiological and microbial quality, and development of physiological disorders and/or diseases, as a function of time, temperature and RH. To meet this objective, controlled environment mini-chambers were designed, built and instrumented for measuring the effect of traceable environmental conditions encountered during storage and transportation of fresh horticultural produce of similar size and shape as tomato. Detailed design and performance evaluation of these mini-chambers are presented.

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