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PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer
for measuring firmness in fruit and to test the grade of maturity /
with measuring range up to 20 kg, RS-232 port and optional software

The PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer is very useful for testing the maturity of fruits. This digital penetrometer offers higher accuracy and resolution than any other analogue device. With the PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer you will obtain information not only about the optimum time for picking fruit, but about the progress of the fruit from the moment it was picked until it is consumed, including when it is being stored and shipped.
The PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer, controlled by a microprocessor, is easy to read and can be fixed to an optional test position. It is powered by batteries or by a mains adaptor (300 mA power source available seperately). The display of the penetrometer can be turned at 180° to allow better visibility while taking measurements.
To transfer data from the penetrometer to a computer, you will need the optional software pack with data cable. Data is transferred to a computer, using the software, at a rate of one reading every 2 seconds. The test position is ideal for measuring in quality control and laboratory experiments. If there are any questions about this penetrometer PCE-PTR 200, please have a look at the technical specification below or call: UK customers +44(0) 23 809 870 30 / US customers +1-410-387-7703.. Our engineers and technicians will gladly advise you regarding the penetrometers or any other products in terms of regulation and control, or scales and balances of PCE Instruments.

  Information for the PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer  User manual for the PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer  EC certificate for the PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer  Video for the PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer  PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer: Further Images  Technical specifications for the PCE-PTR 200 Penetrometer

 - Maximum value of traction and compression
 - Zero reset by keypad, if required
- Peak Hold function
- Auto shut-off
- Mounting holes on the back of the device when
  it needs to be adapted to a test stand
- Battery level indicator
- Overload protection = 150%   

PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer

The importance of measuring the firmness of fruit for testing maturity.

While talking about the maturity of fruit, it is important to distinguish between physical maturity and commercial maturity. Physiological maturity can only transpire while the fruit is still on the tree and it corresponds to the earliest harvest time for the sale of this type of fruit. Commercial maturity occurs later, and indicates the best time to consume the fruit, when its colour, flavour and texture are ideal for the consumer. In the case of the climatic fruit, the commercial maturity of the fruit can occur some time after it has been picked.
While fruit is maturing, important changes occur inside, such as changes in colour, form and texture. It is necessary to obtain objective information with which you can follow the development of ripening and make decisions about when the fruit should be picked and processed (to determine the quality of fruit from the moment it becomes a product to its final consumption). The firmness of the fruit, measured by the penetrometer, one of the most objective parameters in relation to the fruitsmaturity and as such is one of the most common techniques used in testing. There are also other methods that are used for example by the refractometer (this technique is proportional to measuring total sugar and thus the sweetness of the fruit). If you are looking for refractometers to measure the sugar content of fruit, you can find them at this link.
Generally, the firmness or hardness of fruit measured by a penetrometer decreases as the maturity process occurs. Of course, you have to take into account that the firmness of the same fruit can vary. it depends on fruit variety, the region where it is cultivated, its size or the temperature of the fruit when it is being measured by the penetrometer (the higher the temperature, the less firm the fruit is).

Important information you should know about the PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer

The PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer provides the force exerted upon the fruit in grams (1 g = 0.001 kg), with which the pressure exerted in kg/cm² can be obtained, taking into account the size of sensor being used. For example, for the same value obtained by a penetrometer of 4320 g, for each sensor used, the real exterted pressure will be the value in kg divided by the diameter of the sensor that took the measurement:

nominal diameter
 of sensor (mm)

Effective area of
the sensor (cm²)

Exerted pressure

6 0.28 15.43
8 0.5 8.64
11.3 1 4.32

Here are link to provide access to function tables for recommended ranges for different types of fruit:

* Range of 0 - 1 kg. (Appropriate for fruits such as grapes or cherries), with the 6 mm diameter sensor
  (Range 0 - 1 kg. 6 mm).
* Range of 0 - 5 kg. (Appropriate for plums, lemons and other medium hard fruits) using the 6 mm
  diameter sensor (Range 0 - 5 kg. 6 mm) or the 8mm diameter sensor. (Range 0 - 5 kg. 8 mm).
* Range of 0 - 13 kg. (Appropriate for fruits such as apples, pears, peaches or kiwis) using the 8 mm
  diameter sensor (Range 0 - 13 kg. 8 mm) or the 11.3mm diameter sensor. (Range 0 - 13 kg.11.3        mm).
* Range of 0 - 20 kg. (Appropriate for very hard fruits) using the 11.3 mm diameter sensor
  (Range 0 - 20 kg. 11.3 mm).

This link has more detailed information about the tables and graphs showing the equivalence between the force measured by the penetrometer and the pressure applied to the sensor (in ranges according to DIN).
This digital penetrometer offers the best accuracy and resolution compared to analogue penetrometers. Aside from having three different penetrating sensors, it eliminates the need to purchase multiple analogue devices required to perform the same functions as this PCE-PTR 200 digital penetrometer.

PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer

Technical specifications



Maximum measurement load

20 kg/196 N


10 g/0.05 N


±0.5%, +2 digit

Units of measurement


Maximum overload

30 kg



Software and cable


Data transmission

Data is transferred to a computer, using the software, at a rate of one reading every 2 seconds.
The penetrometer can transfer data at a quicker rate when transferring from memory to a computer, one reading every 0.25 seconds using Windows hyper terminal.


5 digit LCD; 10 mm high

Measurement functions

 measures firmness of fruit with Peak Hold function


6 AA batteries or mains adaptor


227 x 83 x 39 mm


550 g

Examples of use for the PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer

The PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer measuring the firmness of a plum in the fields

How to measure the firmness of a piece of fruit using the PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: 

  1. Choose to most appropriate sensor for the type of fruit that is going to be measured.

  2. Remove the skin of the fruit.

  3. Position the sensor perpendicular.

  4. Press the sensor until it penetrates up to the indicating mark on the sensor.

  5. View the value shown on the display of the penetrometer.

PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: measuring the firmness of an apple
  Penetrometer measuring the firmness of an apple with 11 mm sensor

PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: measuring the firmness of a potato
Penetrometer measuring the firmness of potato with 8 mm sensor


Readings can be transferred to a computer by means of the RS-232 connection and software. The following link has information pertaining to the software pack.



          PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: software for the PCE-PTR 200.
Software indicates the time interval in which the device shows and adjusts measurement values. It can be indicated digitally and with graphic curves.

        PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: analogue representation
Software with the value curves for the penetrometer: Can choose between analogue or digital representation.

         PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: digital representation
Image of software with digital representation which provides a higher accuracy of data reading.

Delivery content:
 - PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer

 - User manual

 - Sensor with 6 mm diameter

 - Sensor with 8 mm diameter

 - Sensor with 11 mm diameter

 - Two spacing washers

 - Carrying case

PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer in its carrying case
PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer with its sensor

Optional accessories

 - Software and cable to transfer data to computer
 - Mains adaptor (230 V/50 Hz)
 - Calibration certificate

 PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: calibration certificate

Test Position
The force meter can be combined with any of the three test positions. Two test positions are equipped with a crank and one has a motor. The effective use of the test position is in daily testing of materials in a laboratory and you would like to maintain the same conditions, eliminating the possibility of human error.

The technical specifications for the different positions are available at this link: Test Positions.

Descriptions of test positions can be found within the corresponding on-line category: penetrometers.

PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer: test position

If you wish to take a perfect measurement of firmness, the penetrometer should be mounted to a fixed position to guarantee that pressure is applied slowly and evenly at a constant angle in respect to the fruit. The manual test position for the PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer is operated by a lever and offers the ideal solution. This also guarantees accuracy between the model and the device. It has screws for fine adjustements which ensures the best accuracy. There are hidden holes in the back of the penetrometer allowing the test position to be attached to the device.

  Technical data for the test position:

  - Maximum length of 345 mm
  - Total length of 530 mm (without manual wheel)
  - Manual wheel diameter of 120 mm
  - Diameter of the adjusting bolt: 15 mm
  - Length of the base of 250 mm
  - Width of the base of 230 mm
  - Base plate upon the foot (145 x 100 mm)
  - Approximate weight of 7 kg

technical specifications for the PCE-PTR 200 penetrometer. return to homepage
Here you will find all the measuring instruments available at PCE Instruments.

PCE Instruments UK Limited
Units 12/13 Southpoint Business Park
Ensign Way, Southampton
United Kingdom, SO31 4RF
Phone: +44(0) 23 809 870 30
Fax: +44(0) 23 809 870 39

PCE Americas Inc.
711 Commerce Way suite 8
Jupiter 33458 FL
Phone: +1-410-387-7703
Fax: +1-410-387-7714

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