Managing produce quality from farm to table has long been an issue for growers, manufacturers and ultimately distributors given the limited lifespan of a mature product. Given the dramtic advancements in sensors it seems like there must be a better way to use data and monitoring to drive higher quality.

A swiss company called Empa is looking to help manage the process using data and sensors to predict quality and freshness.

Essentially the concept is to place sensing devices (“spy fruit”) in produce boxes (and yes they look like the real thing) to measure temperature, density of packing (causes bruising) and quality of ride. These devices not only look like the real fruit, but they are made from material that makes them the same density…this is how you get to knowing how the fruit felt about its journey.

To date, the company has developed apples, oranges, mangoes and bananas. Devices are expected to cost somewhere around $50 USD to begin and can be used endlessly.

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