Human perception is unrivaled in comparing both intensity and quality of fruit color. Nonsubjective methods are sought to document fruit color for quality standards and research purposes. The simplest method is the use of color comparison chips, which for many years provided a consistency in color description. Extraction and spectro-photometric quantification is accurate and reproducible but useful only in a research setting. A spectrophotometer measures absorption at selected parts of the electromagnetic spectrum in a chemical solution, which is a specific characteristic of the chemical. The method has the disadvantage of being destructive and therefore not applicable to all experimental designs. Spectroreflectometers (which measure the spectral energy reflecting from an object) can be employed and are not destructive but are generally immobile. Portable battery-powered color meters that rapidly and reproducibly generate color parameters for surfaces are useful in the field and are nondestructive. They have enabled many new research approaches in fruit color formation. The same technology expedited the development of rapid machine sorting by color.
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