Case Study – Gas Sensors – Fruit Deterioration

Electronic sensors offer the opportunity for better monitoring of fruit quality during storage and transport, and early detection of events such as disease, rot and infestation.

CDT has developed gas sensors based on printable OTFTs, that can distinguish healthy apples from diseased apples when tested in a controlled exposure environment. The sensors can be tailored to create sensing arrays with a small footprint and a low cost, low power (<1 µW) operation. They can be used for stand-alone and distributable sensing.

CDT was part of an Innovate UK funded collaboration with the Universities of Manchester and Greenwich and with NIAB EMR in Kent, to evaluate printed arrays as discriminatory gas sensors to detect early onset of disease during apple crop storage.

The principle behind the ‘electronic nose’ operation could be extended to different diseases and other fruit varieties.

Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showing successful differentiation of healthy vs infected apples using CDT’s low cost gas sensor based on OTFTs