Question: Quantifying Phytonutrients using a Spectrometer, Possible?

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zayas asked on December 26, 2017 15:38
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As of 2017 there are several consumer hand held Refractometers/Spectrometers/(Lasers) available working in conjunction with SmartPhones providing basic Brix Data that elude to taste/quality of fruit or vegetables....utilizing similar technology, would it be possible to extrapolate the approximate value of Phytonutrients in Fruit/Vegetables as well?

What reference data would be required to accurately acquire such data from said subject?

Would the initial reference data need to be acquired using standard lab techniques?

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Im thinking that this could be possible using good reference data and good samples along with machine learning. I could be delusional but it's worth some thought.

Well, exactly what approach are you thinking of? Let's see if the already tried can be eliminated and maybe make it easier to make progress.

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2 Answers

Maybe. It depends on the chromophores present, the assay method used, and a bunch of other factors. And that's before you talk about the instrument.

Refractometers are usually used to measure sugar ( often present in the % range). If you nutrients fall in this range, a refractometer is an option.

It's not well known, but blood analyzers were basically single beam spectrometers, but with lots of bells and whistles added. Heck, maybe some still are.

Here is an article from Ohio State University Extension on using Brix to measure vegetable quality Artice link

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