The DA Index® is usually used to find the right time for the harvest, to check the homogeneity of the batch and to evaluate the storage life of the production batch. Further uses of the whole production/distribution chain are being tested at the moment.
It is also used by nurserymen to verify the cultivation protocol of new species.
Up to now, the DA Index® has been used for pears, apples, plums, apricots and peaches. At the moment it’s being tested for many other plant species.
One commercial version of the instrument used to measure the DA-index called «DA-meter®», has been developed with the “Alma Mater Studiorum-Bologna University” license.
The DA-meter® measures the amount of chlorophyll inside the fruit, thanks to its properties of absorbance. The amount of chlorophyll accurately indicates fruit ripeness. The DA-meter® enables the producers to know the fruit ripeness independently from the weather trend that can adversely affect other kinds of indexes, like the sugar index.
The DA-index, measured by the DA-meter®, is useful in the various steps of the fruit production/consumption stage.
It can be used by: Farmers to optimize tree
pruning, in order to get a homogeneous
product and to consequently reduce the
number of collections; Farmers during the harvest to understand the best moment for harvest and to select samples for the laborers who are collecting the fruit; Storekeepers to know the ripeness of the fruit placed in the storehouse and to know, at any moment, how long the fruit can be kept in the storehouse; Retailers who request fruit at a specific ripeness; Retailers to select the most mature fruit for sale.
The DA-meter® is also used in the scientific field, in research related to the activation of genes that initiate fruit ripeness.
Il DA-Meter® for KIWI
The DA-Meter® for i KIWI uses a working principle similar to that of the traditional DA-Meter® by checking the ripeness of yellow and/or green fruit belonging to the kiwifruit species. The detected substances, anthocyanins, are responsible for fruit coloring and have different wavelengths for each fruit species that are chosen by the instrument menu. The use of DA-Meter® for kiwi is indispensable for deciding the right moment for harvest, and is especially true for the kiwi fruit, because the external appearance isn’t affected by ripeness. Moreover, for the yellow species, the instrument is a great substitute for the color meter, which uses destructive techniques to identify the moment the color changes.
The instrument is portable and powered by alkaline batteries. Its use is simple and intuitive. The instrument allows the user to know the DA value, manage the log file (saved on SD card), and interpret the statistics and graphics of the acquired data.
The DA-Meter® can be interfaced with a PC via USB, making it possible to manipulate the collected data. The instrument is sold complete with USB cable, driver and software for XP windows.