University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (General)

Please suggest a portable firmness measurer for apples.

Category
  • Quality Evaluation
Question

I am writing to ask Beth Mitcham’s advice regarding apple firmness testers.I noticed she co-authored a study which discusses the different measures of fruit quality and firmness.Our firm is conducting a market study that will involve measuring apples firmness on store shelves.We would like to purchase/rent/borrow a device that measures in “pounds-pressure” the firmness of fruit.Any tips you have would be most appreciated.(R.M.)

Answer

You probably want to purchase a hand-held firmness tester called an Effegi.There are more accurate devices, but they are costly and not very useful in the field.The hand held device is a standard in the industry.If you look under Quality Evaluation section of the Postharvest Resource Directory at our website you will find a list of companies that make firmness testers.They generally cost about $150.00.I am not aware of any place you can rent one.Be sure to use the 11mm tip for apple fruit.Use a sharp knife to remove a thin slice of skin from each side of the fruit at the equator.Place the apple against a wall or other firm vertical surface and slowly press the plunger into the apple flesh.Repeat on the second side. --Beth Mitcham

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