Apple fruits were used, and NIR spectra in the range from 12000 to 4000 cm-1 were acquired on both bruised and healthy tissues, with different degrees of mechanical damage. GAs were used in combination with partial least squares regression methods to develop bruise severity prediction models, and compared to PLS models developed using the full NIR spectrum.
A classification model was developed, which clearly separated bruised from unbruised apple tissue. GAs helped improve prediction models by over 10%, in comparison with full spectrum-based models, as evaluated in terms of error of prediction (Root Mean Square Error of Cross-validation). PLS models to predict internal quality, such as sugar content and acidity were developed and compared to the versions optimized by genetic algorithm. Overall, the results highlighted the potential use of GA method to improve speed and accuracy of fruit quality prediction.