Using Light to Determine the Ripeness of Grapes

The micro-optician Hans Zappe wants to make life easier for winegrowers (Video)



Photo: Natascha Thoma-Widmann

When is it time for the grape harvest? Thanks to a new type of sensor, the grapes in the vineyard themselves will soon be able to let the winegrower know when they’re ready to be picked. The measurements can be performed without any chemical analyses and require nothing but light. Prof. Dr. Hans Zappe, holder of the Gisela and Erwin Sick Chair of Micro-Optics at the University of Freiburg’s Department of Microsystems Engineering, plans to test his system in a vineyard in 2020. If all goes off as expected, it will soon be possible to produce even high-quality wines with much less effort than before.

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