Unripe cantaloupe? Could be, the electronic nose knows
"We are involved in a project geared towards developing rapid methods to evaluate ripeness and flavor of fruits," explained Negre-Zakharov, who authored the paper. "We evaluated an electronic nose to see if it can differentiate maturity of fruit, specifically melons. The goal is to develop a tool that can be used post-harvest to better evaluate produce, and develop better breeds."
When fruit ripens, it develops a characteristic volatile blend, indicating its maturity. Traditionally, the gold-standard of evaluating these volatiles has been gas chromatography, but it takes up to an hour to analyze a single sample, which makes it impractical to use outside the lab. Negre-Zakharov’s team wanted to determine if the much cruder— but much faster— electronic nose was able to determine if the melon they used in the experiment were ripe. It was.
"It’s quite encouraging technology for the purposes of determining maturity," she said. You can access the study here.