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Smartphone camera estimates vegetable taste



October 19, 2017

Makuta Amenity smartphone application

A smartphone app that can estimate the taste of vegies and fruit by taking a photo of them? Where else but Japan!

Makuta Amenity Co has developed a smartphone application that enables the estimation of taste and nutrients of vegetables and fruits by taking their pictures with a smartphone camera.

Based in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, Makuta Amenity deals with agricultural products, targeting the application at a wide variety of users such as farmers, distributors and general consumers. They plant to commercialise it in April 2018 or later.

The application analyses the images of the external appearance of vegetables and fruits, then creating histograms of the three primary colours of visible light. From this it estimates the taste based on the correlation between the histograms and taste data that has been quantified by using a taste sensor in advance. As a taste sensor, Makuta Amenity used a system developed by Intelligent Sensor Technology Inc, a venture firm that develops taste sensors.

In the same way, the application also estimates the amounts of nutrients in the product. To increase estimation accuracy, it uses only taste and nutrient elements with which an 80% or higher correlation has been confirmed. The correlation between tastes (or nutrients) and image data is stored in a database developed by Makuta Amenity. And the application accesses the database via a network.

With the smartphone application, farmers can ship their products while showing quantitative data for proving that they taste good. It can also enhance the “brand” of their products, for example, separating tomatoes suited for salads from tomatoes suited for soups in the aim of satisfying consumers more. For the home vegie gardener, and consumers, the future possibilities of such an application are widening.

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