Putting a tag on the temperature of fruit

28 Jun, 2000 11:07 AM
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WA fruitgrowers can now prove their products have been kept in the best possible conditions through the cold chain to the consumer by using Tinytag temperature monitors. The fruit's temperature and chill time are recorded on data loggers then downloaded on to a computer where the statistics are summarised into graphical or tabular form, showing minimum, maximum and average values. Demonstrating the operation of Tinytag data loggers at the Summer Fruit Project of Agriculture WA's autumn field day, Pickering Brook, Perth Scientific Equipment salesman Norman Seed said the units were beneficial to growers pre, post and during harvesting. Mr Seed said the the tags monitored cooling curves, showed how field heat was removed, and ensured correct coolroom operation, so potential problems could be identified giving farmers the opportunity to reduce the chances of produce loss or spoiling. They are also useful for orchard monitoring, such as observing chilling hours and temperature variations in the valleys compared to hilltops. There are more than 30 different models for various applications and temperature ranges, from a disposable unit to a permanent, waterproof system for outdoors. The models are built for specific applications to suit different production and transporting systems. For example, recording conditions while importing or exporting fruit can be efficiently done with Tiny Loggers, which monitor the product temperature, air temperature, humidity, shock and vibration. A Tinytag starter kit costs $139, which includes software, PC connection cable, easy reference card and 12 months support.

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