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Yohei Kurata, Tomoe Tsuchida, and Satoru Tsuchikawa

We proposed a technique combining time-of-flight (TOF) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), termed TOF-NIRS, capable of measuring the time-resolved profiles of near-infrared (NIR) light with nanosecond resolution. Analysis of the variation in time-resolved profiles was used to estimate soluble solids concentration (SSC) and acidity in grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), and the prediction accuracy was compared with the conventional NIR measurement device. In data processing, the cross-correlation function, which evaluated the similarity between the reference and transmitted beams, was introduced as an explanatory variable for partial least squares regression. TOF-NIRS predicted both SSC and acidity in grapefruit with higher precision than the conventional NIR measurement with respective r values of 0.72 and 0.85. Specifically, the superiority of TOF-NIRS was attributed to measurement time and prediction accuracy in determining acidity.

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Satoru Tsuchikawa, Sanae Kumada, Kinuyo Inoue, and Rae-Kwang Cho

Time-of-flight near-infrared spectroscopy (TOF-NIRS) was used to investigate optical characteristics of water-cored tissue in `Fuji' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh. Mansf.)]. The combined effects on the time resolved profiles of water core, laser beam wavelength, and detection position of transmitted light were investigated in detail. Attenuance of peak maxima (At), time delay of peak maxima (Δt), and variation of full width at half maximum (Δw) decreased gradually as water core increased. Water-cored tissue transmitted much more energy because of the filling of intercellular spaces with liquid, so that the light path time through a sample decreased. These parameters were also strongly dependent on detection position and wavelength of the laser beam. The substantial optical path length calculated from Δt at λ = 800 nm was 10 to 17 times, while that for λ = 900 nm varied from six to 11 times the distance of the diameter of the fruit. Results indicated the optimum optical parameter for detection of water core was Δt.

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Satoru Tsuchikawa, Emiko Sakai, Kinuyo Inoue, and Kumi Miyamoto

Time-of-flight near infrared spectroscopy (TOF-NIRS) was applied to the detection of sugar and acid content in Satuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc). The combined effects on the time resolved profiles of soluble solids, free acids, laser beam wavelength, and detection position of transmitted light were investigated in detail. Attenuance of peak maxima (At) and time delay of peak maxima (Δt) increased as sugar content increased. However, these optical parameters decreased with increases in acid content. In the case of a model sample of a polyurethane block immersed in specified solutions, At and Δt decreased by adding sucrose or citric acid. These results suggested that time resolved profile was governed not only by the concentration of soluble solid or free acid but also by other inherent factors of a fruit; for example, an optical characteristic of tissue or difference in refractive index between the tissue substance and the liquid. Results indicated the optimum optical parameters for detection of sugar and acid content were At and Δt, respectively.