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Environmental advantages of visible and near infrared spectroscopy for the prediction of intact olive ripeness

Casson, Andrea, Beghi, Roberto, Giovenzana, Valentina, Fiorindo, Ilaria, Tugnolo, Alessio, Guidetti, Riccardo
Biosystems engineering 2020 v.189 pp. 1-10
cradle-to-grave, energy, environmental impact, fruits, near-infrared spectroscopy, oils, olives, phenols, prediction, sustainable technology
Conventional ripeness analyses performed on olives require different analytical tools, chemicals, sample preparation and they are time consuming. The same analyses performed using an optical and non-destructive technology such as visible and near infrared (vis/NIR) spectroscopy allow prediction of ripeness parameters in a simple and quick way. The purpose of this work is to compare the environmental impact of conventional ripeness analyses and an optical approach performed on olive fruits. The conventional analyses identified as reference were: moisture, oil and phenols content. Life Cycle Assessment was applied to assess the environmental impact. The approach “from cradle to grave” considered all the inputs and outputs of each analysis, including machinery, reagents and energy necessary for analyses. Furthermore, for the optical analysis the activities required for the instrument calibration were also considered. Quantifying the environmental damage, the results showed clear advantages for optical analysis allowing vis/NIR spectroscopy to be defined as a green technology.