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Prediction of bruise susceptibility of harvested kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) using finite element method

Du, Dongdong, Wang, Bo, Wang, Jun, Yao, Fuqiang, Hong, Xuezhen
Postharvest biology and technology 2019 v.152 pp. 36-44
Actinidia chinensis, bruising (plant), cameras, finite element analysis, fruits, kiwifruit, models, modulus of elasticity, prediction, ripening
Bruising is one of the most common mechanical damages of fruit, but it is difficult to detect quantitatively. In this study, the finite element method (FEM) was utilized to predict the bruise susceptibility of harvested kiwifruit. The elastic-plastic material properties of fruit flesh at different ripening times, including Young’s modulus, bio-yield stress and tangent modulus, were measured using the compression test. Then the fruit were modeled as a multiscale body of flesh and skin, and a finite element model was developed for dropped fruit. The drop scenarios were successfully simulated by FEM, and the results showed simultaneous activities of the simulation and high speed camera recordings. Results of FEM-based simulation showed that the bruise susceptibility increased with ripening time, but that different drop heights resulted in similar levels of bruise susceptibility. In addition, the horizontal orientation would cause higher bruise susceptibility than the vertical orientation. Results of accuracy analysis showed that the hourglass energy in any of the simulation scenarios kept in a very low level (<5%). The maximum errors between simulation and high speed camera recordings were 5.0%, 19.0% and 11.9% for initial velocity, maximum deformed length and contact time, respectively. Compared with experimental measurement, the maximum errors of simulation were 17.1% for bruise volume and 18.3% for bruise susceptibility. The results confirmed the FEM was reliable for prediction of bruise susceptibility of the fruit, and would be an effective approach to further investigate the bruise damage.