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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Vol. 19(3) 335–340 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13656) @2003
Authors:   M. A. Fennir, J. A. Landry, G. S. V. Raghavan
Keywords:   Gas analysis, Respiration rate, Measurement methods, Sampling

This article reports the development and testing of an automated infrared gas analysis system (IRGA) for postharvest respiration studies. The system consists of 24 storage containers, an automatic sampling sequence, a portable infrared gas analyzer, and an IBM compatible personal computer (PC). The containers were arranged inside a walkin cold room and connected to the sampling sequencer that was located outside the room using a 1/4in. OD rigged tubing network. The sequencer automatically sampled from the containers and samples were analyzed for CO2 and O2 percentages with the data logged to a PC. Performance of the IRGA system was tested against an existing gas chromatography system (GC) that has been commonly used as a standard method for respiration studies. Both systems were compared by measuring the respiration rate of potatoes at 10.C over a period of 10 days. No significant difference between CO2 and O2 percentages determined by the two systems were recorded. But the IRGA system was much faster and more convenient than the GC system. In addition virtually no sample preparation time was required; the analysis time needed by the IRGA system to analyze a container was 1 min, while that for the GC system exceeded 18 min. The IRGA system can be used with confidence for a multicontainer system in longterm respiration studies.

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