ABSTRACTThe near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) jointly with chemometrics can be employed among other techniques to improve the processes of sorting, classification of acai and juçara fruits and, consequently, the quality of the end produce (pulp and/or beverage) of the industries which exploit these fruits. Among the various advantages of the NIRS technique stands out its rapidity, the non-destructive nature of analysis, low cost, absence of sample preparation and automation possibility of quality control processes in packing houses and food plants. The NIRS has being used in Brazil for a multitude of processes, mainly for chemical composition determination in food industry, pharmacy, oil companies, and so forth. However, in Brazil this technique has not being used to determine quality attributes in fresh produces. Despite the apparent simplicity of NIRS utilization and possible application as a non-destructive technique for sorting and classification of whole fruit, this technique can just be adequately implemented using mathematical models obtained from broad databases coming from industries and/or experimentation. In this way, chemometric analytical tools, both qualitative as quantitative, are necessary for the success of NIRS technique mainly due to the broad quantity of physical and/or chemical information contained in NIRS spectra. In this regard, this project aims to complement the Yong Research Project (FAPESP proc. 2008/51408-1) and the recently submited FAPESP-DCSR (proc. 2011/51624-9) in the development of a methodology using the NIRS for sorting and classification of whole açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) and juçara (Euterpe edulis Mart.) fruit according to total anthocyanin content establishing mathematical models that can be used in the future to the industries which exploit these fruits.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: