HarvestWatch™ DCA-CF




HarvestWatch™ Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere Chlorophyll Fluorescence (DCA-CF) is a patented and proven fruit monitoring technology that reliably detects the low oxygen limit in fruit allowing one to store at optimal low oxygen levels with confidence.

The system is ideal for low oxygen storage of both conventional and organic fruit. Low oxygen storage is gaining popularity, specifically for organic fruit, as a non-chemical method for extending storage life and preventing superficial scald development. Research supports that it also provides significant quality benefits compared to conventional CA such as improved firmness and color retention as well as taste enhancement over the storage period.

The HarvestWatch™ system directly measures the fruits response to low oxygen conditions by analyzing the fluorescence intensity emitted from the chlorophyll in the skin of the fruit. If the oxygen levels in the storage room become too low, the system instantly indicates the fruit stress and allows for corrective measures to be taken.

Benefits of storing just above the LOL:

✓ Extended storage life

✓ Firmness retention

✓ Colour Retention

✓ Flavour enhancement

✓ Superficial scald control

✓ Reduction of browning (i.e. Stem etc)

✓ Reduced ethylene production

Benefits of HarvestWatch™ DCA-CF

✓ Direct and accurate detection of the Low Oxygen Limit (LOL) in fruit.

✓ Rapid and frequent measurement.

✓ Results are reliable and highly repeatable.

✓ Sensors are robust and durable; have no moving parts and require no calibration

✓ Non-Chemical and ideal for organic fruit

✓ Monitoring of the fruit in real time.

✓ On-site or remote monitoring and archiving of data for future reference.

✓ The HarvestWatch signal can detect changes due to senescence, decay or incorrect storage conditions, i.e temperature, unwanted toxic gases such as ammonia refrigerant.

How HarvestWatch Works:

The HarvestWatch system is modular and comprises of a number of special sensors (also called FIRMs), hubs and a monitoring computer with the HarvestWatch software.

Each sensor is placed inside a kennel holding a representative sample of fruit. The sensors continuously monitor the apples response to low oxygen levels. When the oxygen level in the room is lowered to a point where the fruit reaches it LOL (Low Oxygen Limit) the system picks up the low oxygen stress and registers a spike on the monitoring computer. The fruit are then stored typically 0,2% above the LOL determined by the system.

Example of LOL detection. HarvestWatch instantly indicates the fruit stress at the Low Oxygen Limit and allows for corrective measures to be taken.

Other Uses:

There are beneficial uses of the HarvestWatch system other than as an alarm system for low oxygen stress. The system provides an hourly baseline value that is useful regardless of the CA conditions. The baseline provides an indication of changes in the fruit due to senescence or incorrect storage conditions i.e. temperature fluctuations and unwanted toxic gases such as ammonia refrigerant leaks.

Global Research on HarvestWatch

HarvestWatch™ DCA-CF is supported by extensive positive research on many cultivars of apples and pears. DCA-CF is used in over 25 research institutions worldwide and there are many peer reviewed publications demonstrating the efficacy of the technology. Research is also being conducted on the potential applications of DCA-CF in storage of avocados, blueberries, kiwi fruit and mangos.

For more information on HarvestWatch™ contact Gas At Site.