Question: Quantifying Phytonutrients using a Spectrometer, Possible?

zayas is asking a question about spectrometry
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by zayas | December 26, 2017 15:38 | #15433

As of 2017 there are several consumer hand held Refractometers/Spectrometers/(Lasers) available working in conjunction with SmartPhones providing basic Brix Data that elude to taste/quality of fruit or vegetables....utilizing similar technology, would it be possible to extrapolate the approximate value of Phytonutrients in Fruit/Vegetables as well?

What reference data would be required to accurately acquire such data from said subject?

Would the initial reference data need to be acquired using standard lab techniques?


Maybe. It depends on the chromophores present, the assay method used, and a bunch of other factors. And that's before you talk about the instrument.

Refractometers are usually used to measure sugar ( often present in the % range). If you nutrients fall in this range, a refractometer is an option.

It's not well known, but blood analyzers were basically single beam spectrometers, but with lots of bells and whistles added. Heck, maybe some still are.

Here is a device ( )we have considered using as it offers a self contained hand held unit suitable for consumers and businesses alike. Acquistion of the necessary Phytonutrient data points is the initial issue to properly calibrate the unit in question as well as its support IOS interface.

The device referenced has very mixed reviews on the internet. And it does seem pricey. As a suggestion, borrow or rent one first. Try it and see how it works for your application. Let everyone know what you find out.

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Here is an article from Ohio State University Extension on using Brix to measure vegetable quality Artice link

Thank you for the article! As mentioned in my posting, BRIX has been a standard tool used in the field ( current Consumer/Business product in the market ) to determine the quality of produce grown through sugar content (generally associated more with taste), although what I seek is more specific and more relevant to the nutritional value and health benefits of the produce...acquisition of the actual Phytonutrient Values of said produce would be much more advantageous to both the farmer and consumer.

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Im thinking that this could be possible using good reference data and good samples along with machine learning. I could be delusional but it's worth some thought.

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Well, exactly what approach are you thinking of? Let's see if the already tried can be eliminated and maybe make it easier to make progress.

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