A professor at the University of Arizona has come up with a new invention that could bring great benefit to the consumer - a sticker.

What’s so new about a sticker , you say? Well, when the sticker can give you information that you can’t get right now - but it is information that you need to save your money and make your life better - it’s this new sticker.

This particular new invention sticker is to be stuck on fresh fruit and vegetables in the field or the store so you - the consumer - can tell if the fruit/vegetable is ripe or not. Right now - picking something that is ripe - but not too ripe is an art form rather than a science. Thousands of bushels of produce are thrown out each year because the produce has ripened before it reaches the marketplace.

There is no simple way to tell if a fruit that looks good on the outside will taste good on the inside. If you are like me, many times I have purchased a fruit or vegetable that looked great only to have it be under-ripe or over- ripe when I cut it open. Don’t you hate to waste money like that?

This new invention - yes, the sticker - holds a marker that detects the chemical - ethylene gas - which is emitted by fruits and vegetables as they ripen. When that happens now the “RediRipe” (that’s what it’s called) sticker turns from white to blue. the darker the blue of the marker, the more ethylene gas is being emitted.

Things with this new invention are not perfect ... yet. It takes from 24 -48 hours for the color shift to begin after the sticker is applied to the fruit or vegetable. And ... the stickers do not change to reflect over-ripe or rotten fruit. And ... some fruit does not emit enough ethylene gas to be detected by the RediRipe sticker. More research is needed - but the process is in patent pending status.

The patent will be held by the University of Arizona and licensed out through a company that sponsored the research.

Research on ethylene gas is not new. Research began in the 1940’s - and ethylene gas is used right now to “ripen” fruits and vegetables in storage. The old “pick ‘em green - gas them to keep ‘em green - then gas them again to make ‘em ripe.” Lovely what we do to our food chain in the interests of commerce.

This new invention may bring us fresher products right from the field. Small tests have been made - like an apple orchard - and a larger field test is coming this Fall. The sticker will not add to the cost of production that much. Each sticker should cost about a penny.

Nice - so nice - to bite into a beautiful apple that is actually ripe too. It will be possible with this new invention - the RediRipe sticker.

If you have a new invention idea and are sitting on it - maybe you should take a look at this page to see what happens when you do - sit on it, that is; NEW INVENTION? GET GOING