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05/02/2012

Ripeness sensor

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    A new, inexpensive sensor able to measure the ripeness of fruit could help cut back on food waste by allowing grocers to determine which batches of fruit should be sold first.
    Fruit gives off ethylene as it ripens, which is currently monitored by costly sensors in fruit warehouses. The new sensors will be small and inexpensive enough to be used in individual grocery stores. The sensors will be made up of an array of carbon nanotubes with attached copper atoms. Ethylene particles will bond with the copper atoms, which will block the naturally occurring electron flow and allow the sensors to measure the amount of ethylene in the environment by monitoring the change in flow.
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