The invention is related to a method and an apparatus for sorting seeds for the assessment of the maturity and quality of seeds by measuring the amount of chlorophyll fluorescence. The method is based on measuring the amount of chlorophyll fluorescence of the seed envelope and of tissue containing chlorophyll becoming visible when cracks in the seed envelope are present. The invention consists of inducing fluorescence of the chlorophyll molecule by irradiating the seeds with electromagnetic radiation with a suitable wavelength and measuring the chlorophyll fluorescence. Properties of the method are the very high sensitivity, being fully non-destructive and the very high speed. These characteristics of the invention make it possible to construct a sorting device by which seeds can be selected on basis of the amount of chlorophyll. Because the intensity of chlorophyll fluorescence is directly related to the maturity and the presence of cracks in the seed envelope, and therefore the quality of the seed, it is now possible to sort seeds on their quality. Experiments are being described of seeds from white cabbage, sugarbeet, carrot, pepper and tomato
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