Mark-10 is a USA manufacturer of force and torque measurement instruments established in 1979. In recent years, Mark-10 created a bespoke ripeness-testing solution for an agricultural testing laboratory. The measurement system was designed to improve the accuracy and reliability of testing/ quantifying the ripeness of fruit/ vegetables. The solution has been very effective, enabling the lab to investigate correlations between ripeness and environmental/ agricultural conditions.
An agricultural testing laboratory was assessing the ripeness of fruit and vegetables manually: staff twisted a rubber-tipped probe onto the skin of the fruit/ vegetable at a specified force until the skin broke. This method was very susceptible to human error, most notably, inconsistently applied force. The lab required a more accurate and reliable method of determining the ripeness of produce; one that also made use of their existing testing technique.
To meet the laboratory’s criteria, Mark-10 developed a bespoke torque tester consisting of a torque test stand, force gauge, torque sensor with indicator, and custom fixtures. As a force gauge was mounted to the linear positioning adapter, rather than a torque sensor, this allowed an axial force to be applied and maintained over the duration of the test. Additionally, a torque sensor was adapted to the test stand’s rotating base and fitted with custom-length rubberised posts to secure the fruit and vegetable samples. This design reduced the chance of human error as a specified force could be applied consistently to the sample while the test stand rotated steadily at a pre-determined speed.
The torque indicator captured the peak torque value at which the skin broke away from the fruit or vegetable, providing both an accurate and reliable quantification of the food’s ripeness: the lower the torque value the riper the sample. As a result, the agricultural testing laboratory could use the data to analyse correlations between ripeness and environmental or agricultural factors.
Please view a selection of Mark-10’s products here. Information about additional/ unlisted instruments is available on request.
The information for this blog was gathered using the following source:
- Mark-10, How Ripe is "Ripe"?, last accessed 08 June 2021.