Student-developed device predicts avocado ripeness

Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 01:20 in Mathematics & Economics

Each year, about 40 percent of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten. That means Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food that could been used to make more than 58 billion meals, according to the National Resource Defense Council. A team of Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences students tackled this complex problem as their project in “Engineering Problem Solving and Design Project” (ES 96), and this time came up with an answer to the always head-scratching supermarket and kitchen question: How do you know when an avocado is ripe? The course routinely challenges students to use engineering design skills to create a solution for a real-world client. They partnered with Savormetrics, a predictive food safety startup, to develop a product that could help reduce food waste. The juniors in the course, who represent all five engineering concentrations, collaborated to design and drive the project. After studying...

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