Living blackberry smart phone

Published on May 15th, 2012 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Avoiding Food Waste with Your Smart Phone

blackberry smart phone

Ever bitten into a piece of fruit or a vegetable and found that it wasn’t nearly as fresh and tasty as it looked? Sure, we’ve all had that happen… and, as we’ve discussed before, this is a major source of resource waste in our food supply. There’s really not a whole lot you can do about it right now other than check your produce as closely as possible when you buy it… and, even then, you’re bound to face some disappointment.

Scientist at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute are working on technology that can eliminate even more of that food waste by making every consumer a quality tester. They’re developing a miniature spectrometer which could attach to your smart phone and tell you at the point of sale how ripe that fruit or vegetable is (or, for that matter, how good a piece meat is). No more tapping an apple or tomato: just scan it with your phone to “assess starch, protein, water, and fat content…”

It’s not out yet (that’s still a few years off), but such technology could help reduce “disappointment shrink” significantly I would think (though things will still go bad if you don’t eat them fast enough).  And I’m sure this would have ramifications up the supply chain – grocers would have to be more careful about what they put out in their produce bins.

Got thoughts about what this would mean for the fruit and vegetable supply? Tell us…

via @adamwerbach

Image credit: Roozbeh Rokni via photo pin cc



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



3 Responses to Avoiding Food Waste with Your Smart Phone

  1. I can see a number of ways that this can affect the quality of retailers. Start up a leaderboard where the app results are uploaded. The leaderboard will rank the retailers which consistently offer the cleanest and freshest produce. That’ll definitely make them think about how they source their items.

    I’d love to have that spectrometer right now, saves me the disappointment whenever I get apples that aren’t up to par.

    Juan Miguel Ruiz
    GreenJoyment.com

  2. Pingback: Daily Green Wrap-Up 15.May, 2012 | GreenJoyment

  3. Pingback: Food Waste App | Eat Drink Better

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