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Inter seasonal validation of non-contact NIR spectroscopy for measurement of total soluble solids in high tunnel strawberries


Autonomous field robots are being developed for picking of fruit, where each fruit needs to be individually graded and handled. There is therefore a need for rapid and non-destructive sensing to measure critical fruit quality parameters. In this article we report how total soluble solids (TSS), a measure for total sugar content, can be measured in strawberries in the field by non-contact near-infrared (NIR) interaction spectroscopy. A specially designed prototype system working in the wavelength range 760–1080 nm was tested for this purpose. This novel instrument was compared with a commercial handheld NIR reflection instrument working in the range 900–1600 nm. The instruments were calibrated in the lab using data collected from 200 strawberries of two varieties and tested in a strawberry field on 50 berries in 2022 and 100 berries in 2023. Both systems performed well during calibration with root mean square errors of cross validation for TSS around 0.49 % and 0.57 %, for interaction and reflection, respectively. For prediction of TSS in new berries in 2023, the interaction system was superior, with a prediction error of 1.0 % versus 8.1 % for the reflection system, most likely because interaction probes deeper into the berries. The results suggest that interaction measurements of average TSS are more robust and would most likely require less calibration maintenance compared to reflection measurements. The non-contact feature is important since it reduces the spread of diseases and physical damage to the berries.
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Academic article


  • Nofima AS / 13342
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 314111
  • Nofima AS / 202101
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 309259
  • Nofima AS / 202102
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 321555
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 314599
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 296083





  • Nofima, The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • SINTEF Digital / Smart Sensors and Microsystems



Published in

Spectrochimica Acta Part A - Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy






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