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Development of a sensor system for the early detection of soft rot in stored potato tubers

Ewen, R. J.; De Lacy Costello, B. P.J.; Gunson, H. E.; Ratcliffe, N. M.; Spencer-Phillips, P. T.N.; de Lacy Costello, Ben; Ewen, R.J; Gunson, H.E; Ratcliffe, Norman M.; Spencer-Phillips, Peter T.N.


R. J. Ewen

B. P.J. De Lacy Costello

H. E. Gunson

N. M. Ratcliffe

P. T.N. Spencer-Phillips

R.J Ewen

H.E Gunson


A number of sensor types were fabricated and tested for their electrical resistance changes to compounds known to be evolved by potato tubers with soft rot caused by the bacterium Erwinia carotovora. On the basis of these tests, three sensors were selected for incorporation into a prototype device. The device was portable and could be used without computer control after threshold values and sensor settling criteria had been downloaded. The prototype was assessed for its discriminating power under simulated storage conditions. The device was capable of detecting one tuber with soft rot in 100 kg of sound tubers in a simulated storage crate. The device was also able to detect a tuber inoculated with E. carotovora, but without visible signs of soft rot, within 10 kg of sound tubers. The same system was able to follow the progression of the disease in a tuber stored amongst 10 kg of sound tubers when operated at 4 °C and 85% relative humidity (conditions typical of a refrigerated storage facility).

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2000
Journal Measurement Science and Technology
Print ISSN 0957-0233
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 12
Pages 1685-1691
APA6 Citation Spencer-Phillips, P. T., Ratcliffe, N. M., Gunson, H. E., Ewen, R. J., De Lacy Costello, B. P., de Lacy Costello, B., …Spencer-Phillips, P. T. (2000). Development of a sensor system for the early detection of soft rot in stored potato tubers. Measurement Science and Technology, 11(12), 1685-1691.
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