Navigation Links
High-tech approach uses lights, action and camera to scrutinize fresh produce
Date:5/10/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

High-tech tactics to carefully examine apples and other fresh produce items as they travel along packinghouse conveyor belts will help ensure the quality and safety of these good-for-you foods.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Beltsville, Md., have developed and patented an experimental, cutting-edge optical scanning system that would use two different kinds of lighting, a sophisticated camera and other pieces of equipment to scrutinize produce-section favorites while they are still at the packinghouse.

The system would provide, in a single image, evidence of certain kinds of defects or contaminants, according to biophysicist Moon S. Kim with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Defects could include cuts and bruises. Contaminants might include specks of fertilizer from orchard or field soil.

Kim, ARS agricultural engineers Yud-Ren Chen (now retired) and Kuanglin (Kevin) Chao, and ARS biomedical engineer Alan M. Lefcourt received a patent in 2010 for their automated approach to detecting defects and contaminants on the exterior of fresh produce or other items. The scientists work in the ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Research Laboratory at Beltsville.

The team's system harnesses the capabilities of a type of camera known as a high-speed multispectral/hyperspectral line-scanner. Positioned above a conveyor belt, the scanner captures images of each fast-moving item, such as an apple. Each apple is exposed simultaneously to ultra-violet light from a UV fluorescent lamp and near infra-red light from a halogen lamp. The near infra-red light that bounces off the apple can be captured by an instrument known as a spectrograph and analyzed for tell-tale patterns of defects, while the UV light beamed on the apple can disclose the whereabouts of contaminants.

The system combines information from both forms of illumination into a single image with contaminant and defect results. When linked to a sorting machine, the system can signal the sorter to separate the problem apples from others.

At present, the system offers, at the rate of about 3 to 4 apples per second, a 180-degree view of each apple's exterior, Kim reports. The scientists are working to improve the process so it will provide a 360-degree whole-surface view for thorough inspection.

Preliminary findings from this work appeared in a 2008 issue of the journal Sensing and Instrumentation for Food Quality and Safety.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marcia Wood
marcia.wood@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1662
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The ultimate camo: Team to mimic camouflage skill of marine animals in high-tech materials
2. USDA and Russian scientists develop high-tech crop map
3. High-tech software, umanned planes allow scientists to keep tabs on Arctic seals
4. Fish gelatin: Ultra-high-tech biomedical uses ahead?
5. Behind the secrets of silk lie high-tech opportunities
6. Business, science, education and government leaders to strategize on high-tech materials
7. Researchers envision high-tech applications for multiferroic crystals
8. High-tech vehicle design boosts emergency rescue capacity
9. Stroke patients soon may have fun, high-tech tool
10. Project aims to fuse top-down, bottom-up approaches in systems biology
11. Tuberculosis strain spread by the fur trade reveals stealthy approach of epidemics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/16/2016)... Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ., ... security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran , ... retail industry, today announced a global partnership that ... to authenticate users of mobile banking and mobile ... software which requires no specialized biometric scanners, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. The ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ... years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil ... investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after exhaustive ... the final acceptance by all three (3) Department ... (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts for ... October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless device ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... magnet Voice Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures high alignment accuracy ... cost-effective pricing and is ideally suited where extreme precision is required, such as ...
(Date:11/30/2016)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science has ... available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged human ... structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the Coriell ... a crucial first step toward visualizing the dynamic ... human cells healthy and what goes wrong in ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... GREENWICH, Connecticut , November 30, 2016 ...   ... Aptuit, LLC today announced ... screening library. An additional 150,000 novel compounds have increased the ... selected to broaden the hit discovery capabilities of the company. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... Chemistry (IUPAC) approved the names and symbols for four elements: nihonium (Nh), moscovium ... , Following a 5-month period of public review, the names earlier proposed by the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: