Don’t poke that avocado

Published May 12, 2020

Here’s something that just sounds … well, dopey. Testing avocados for ripeness involves physically pressing them, which destroys up to 30 percent of the crop.

Enter engineers at Cranfield University, who — like all good engineers — know that lasers make everything better. So they developed a way of using lasers to test avocados for ripeness without damaging them. (Then, just to sound extra-science-y, they “test the individual fruits’ resonant frequency” and called the process “laser Doppler vibrometry”.)

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