Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute
have developed a small device that can be used to check the freshness of fruit
, telling the interested parties whether it's ripe or not. Based on previous technologies which measure -- for example -- car emissions, the device measures the volatile gases emitted by the fruit and analyzes its makeup to determine the state of freshness. The team already has a working prototype, and sees the device, which would cost somewhere in the thousands of dollars range, as having widespread application for businesses that supply food to grocery stores. So far the device has only successfully been used to test the freshness of fruit, but researchers see possible future applications in testing meat as well.