Type. Empa internal

Funding. Empa internal

Duration. 2021-2022

Collaborations. Coolcrop Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (India)

Contact. Thijs Defraeye (principal investigator).

Staff. Seraina Schudel, Lingxing You

Related project. Biomimetic artificial fruit (Type. KTI project)

Project background:

We recently developed a biophysical fruit simulator that mimics the thermal response of fresh fruit or vegetables in its environment (/web/s604/fruit-sensor). By built-in sensors, parameters such as temperature or humidity are monitored, which can later be translated into process optimizations to improve the fruit quality. Therefore, it can be used to enhance monitoring quality, optimize refrigerated transport and storage, and reduce food loss. This simulator provides much more comprehensive data than currently available from air temperature sensors. In particular, it enables non-destructive monitoring of fruit core temperature and "hard-to-reach" locations within the cargo.  In this project, we optimize the existing biophysical apple and design, manufacture, and validate new prototypes for additional commodities. Furthermore, we investigate to which extent biophysical and digital twins augment our insight into cooling processes.


You, L., Schudel, S., Defraeye, T. (2022). Developing of biophysical food for monitoring postharvest supply chains for avocado and potato and deploying of biophysical apple. Preprint. DOI


Funding agency:




Scientific collaborator

Seraina Schudel

Master student

Lingxin You