Recent research has shown the potential of portable and handheld NIR instruments to monitor and measure the composition of fruits and vegetables. Current research has also shown the possibility of using portable instruments as tools to monitor composition along the entire food value chain. The objective of this study was to evaluate two sample presentation methods (dry powder and fruit puree) to measure total soluble solids (TSS) and moisture (M) in wild harvested Kakadu plum (KP) (Terminalia ferdinandiana, Combretaceae). Kakadu plum is an endemic plant of Australia that contains high concentrations of vitamin C, ellagic acid as well as other bioactive compounds. These properties make this plant of high economic and social importance for the Aboriginal communities of Australia. Fruit samples were wild harvested in January 2020 from locations in the Kimberley region (Western Australia, Australia) and analysed using both reference and NIR spectroscopic methods. The SECV and RPD values in cross validation were 0.65% (RPD: 2.2) and 0.22% (RPD: 4.2) to predict M and TSS in the KP dry powder samples. The SECV and RPD values obtained in cross validation for the KP fruit puree samples were 0.56% (RPD: 2.8) and 0.24% (RPD: 3.8) for M and TSS, respectively. The results of this study demonstrated the ability of NIR spectroscopy to measure M and TSS in wild harvest fruit. These findings can be also utilised by the Aboriginal communities to develop a grading/sorting system to rapidly screen and evaluate relevant chemical parameters associated with fruit quality and safety.
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