Squeezing fruit to check for ripeness? Supermarket gadget can tell if bananas and avocados are spoiled in under a second

  • Three UK retailers in talks to install new state-of-the-art scanners
  • Customers will be able to easily pick up an item and place it under the machine
  • It scans with an infra-red beam to estimate the number of days until it stops

Shoppers will no longer need to squeeze their fruit and veg in British supermarkets to estimate how ripe it is.

Three of the UK’s biggest retailers are in talks to install new state-of-the-art scanners that predict shelf life to within a day.

Customers will simply be able to pick up an object – such as an avocado or mango – and place it under a machine that scans it with an infra-red beam.

Within a second, a screen at the top will flash with a number out of 100, indicating how ripe it is and estimating the number of days until it goes off.

Three of the UK’s biggest retailers are in talks to install new state-of-the-art scanners that predict shelf life to within a day. pictures, what the product will look like in stores

The 'Maturity Checker' shall be used for soft, exotic and stone fruits and vegetables which are particularly prone to spoilage.

The ‘Maturity Checker’ shall be used for soft, exotic and stone fruits and vegetables which are particularly prone to spoilage.

Dutch company OneThird says their invention will prevent huge levels of food waste, which costs retailers and consumers billions of pounds every year globally.

The ‘Maturity Checker’ shall be used for soft, exotic and stone fruits and vegetables which are particularly prone to spoilage.

Using infra-red, the machine scans the product at a molecular level, for example its water, sugar and starch content.

The sophisticated AI then compares this to hundreds of thousands of other examples on its database and sees how similar items fared.

The accuracy of the machine – which is expected to be able to predict the shelf life of ten fruits and vegetables by the end of the year – depends on what is being tested.

For avocados, a score from zero to 100 will appear on the screen – for example those scoring over 70 are likely to be low in four to five days and those in the mid-range around two to three days.

For strawberries, however, the machine will be able to reduce its guess to one day.

Onethird founder Marco Snickers told the Daily Mail that they were in talks with three major British retailers to install the machines, although he would not say exactly which ones.

But he said all were already using the machines in their supply chains.

The firm is named after the amount of food that is wasted every year. Of this, about 40 percent is fresh produce – mainly due to perishables.

The device is ready to work with avocados, tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries. By the end of 2023, the company is expanding it to grapes, bananas, mangoes and raspberries.

Speaking at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mr Snickers said: ‘The astronomical amount of food that is wasted every year is heartbreaking, especially because so much is wasted in affluent countries.

The device is ready to work with avocados, tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries.  By the end of 2023, the company is expanding it to grapes, bananas, mangoes and raspberries.  Pictured, a handheld version of the scanner

The device is ready to work with avocados, tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries. By the end of 2023, the company is expanding it to grapes, bananas, mangoes and raspberries. Pictured, a handheld version of the scanner

‘We have worked hard to create technology that helps address this persistent, global challenge that directly affects food scarcity.’

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