To develop a process to objectively measure bunch rot and matter other than grapes (MOG) at the weigh bridge.
Currently, subjective (visual) methods are used to quantify grape condition at the weighbridge. Defects may reduce the price paid to the grower or result in rejection of the fruit. Conversely, if a defect such as bunch rot is present in the load but not observed, the resultant wine may have a lower value.
This project will build on past work relating to objective measures of grape quality, in particular the degree of fungal rot infection through the use of spectral methods and chemometrics.
Commercially available spectroradiometer probes will be used at the weighbridge to provide objective data on the degree of infection by fungal rots and subsequent deterioration of fruit quality. In addition to spectral methods the project will also evaluate a novel application of Vis-NIR hyperspectral imaging for the assessment of both fungal rot and MOG.
Using wavelength information from calibrations prepared with the probes, the ability of Vis-NIR hyperspectral imaging will be investigated to identify and quantify bunch rot affected grapes in whole bunches, whole berries and partially crushed berries to simulate mechanical harvesting.
The new assessment method will provide viticulturists and winemakers with tools to help optimise grape production towards desired quality targets, preferred wine styles and premium price.
This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme.