Food Safety Research Information Office
Title:Development of Sensing and Instrumentation Technologies for Food Safety and Sanitation Inspection in Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Processing
Objective:

The first objective is to develop and validate multitask in-line real-time inspection technologies for small to large processors that simultaneously detect contaminants and defects of fruits and vegetables. 1a) Evaluate visible/near-infrared reflectance and fluorescence imaging techniques for whole-surface detection of fecal material, damage, defects, and spoilage artifacts on fruits and vegetables. 1b) Identify multispectral wavebands and develop detection algorithms and image segmentation procedures for whole-surface inspection of produce that can be utilized for multitask screening for safety and quality concerns. Integrate and test methods for use in in-line multitask inspection systems. 1c) Develop and evaluate methods to facilitate whole-surface line-scan imaging of fruits and vegetables for in-line inspection. 1d) Develop and evaluate two prototype multitask inspection systems, one for fruits such as apples and tomatoes and a second for leafy green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce.

The second objective is to develop and validate portable optical sensing technologies for detecting the presence of chemical and biological contaminants on food products and processing surfaces. 2a) Evaluate fluorescence, reflectance, and Raman spectral and imaging technologies for use in rapid sample analysis to detect fecal contamination, organic residues, bacterial biofilms, and food adulterants. 2b) Develop and validate a portable Raman-based hyperspectral imaging platform that can be used for macro-scale imaging of food samples as large as intact fruits and vegetables. 2c) Develop and validate handheld imaging devices for contamination and sanitation inspection in processing environments. 2d) Develop and validate imaging platform for in-field detection of fecal contamination.

More Info:
Approach:

The previous project included four patents (pending/issued) for methods and technologies developed: multitask line-scan imaging inspection, macro-scale laser-induced fluorescence imaging, Raman spectral detection of melamine adulteration, and image-based portable handheld sanitation inspection devices. This new project will build upon these previous accomplishments to develop prototype devices for commercialization. Rapid line-scan imaging technologies developed during the previous project cycle will be used to construct prototype whole-surface in-line inspection systems for simultaneously detecting surface contamination and defects using a single camera.

This research focuses primarily on fresh fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, apples, and tomatoes, and on the detection of defects and of fecal contamination (a recognized source of human pathogens associated with fresh fruits and vegetables). Two prototype whole-surface in-line inspection systems will be developed, one for flat leafy produce such as Romaine lettuce and baby spinach, and a second for round-shaped produce such as apples and tomatoes. These systems will incorporate multitasking capabilities that allow users to select desired inspection criteria, and to optimize wavelengths and thresholds to address changes in produce characteristics on-the-fly. To detect chemical and biological substances of food safety interest, and to address the needs of the fruit and vegetable industries for evaluation or inspection tools for rapid on-site or in situ assessment of food safety risks, portable NIR (1000 to 2200 nm) hyperspectral imaging and Raman hyperspectral macro-scale imaging systems will be developed and validated . These enhanced capabilities will improve the existing toolbox of available imaging technologies for addressing unforeseen biological/chemical contamination problems in a timely manner.

To enhance existing survey methods in produce processing plants, a previously developed handheld imaging device for inspecting poultry processing areas will serve as the basis for the development of a similar system for inspecting produce processing surfaces. The handheld inspection devices are intended as assistive tools for human inspectors to use during off-line inspection of processing equipment surfaces. To address the industry-identified need to survey produce fields for fecal contamination, technology to detect feces in produce fields will be developed based on a previously patented laser-induced fluorescence imaging technique.

The proposed field imaging platform will assist industry in addressing in-field in situ detection of fecal contamination. As an applied engineering research project, the effective outcome of this work should be commercialization of the technologies developed. Critical to this end is collaboration with industry partners. Thus, this project will continue strategic partnerships with four companies with whom Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) have been established.

Funding Source:United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Type:Appropriated
Start Date:2011
End Date:2016
Project Number:1245-42000-018-00
Accession Number:421312
Institutions:USDA/ARS - Beltsville Area Research Center
Investigators:Chao, Kuanglin
Kim, Moon
Lefcourt, Alan
Schmidt, Walter
Project Reports:2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
Published Journal
Articles USDA
ARS (NP 108):
Hyperspectral and multispectral imaging for evaluating food safety and quality
Qin J, Chao K, Kim MS, Lu R, Burks TF.
J Food Engineering. 2013 Sep;118(2):157-71.
Use of a portable hyperspectral imaging system for monitoring the efficacy of sanitation procedures in produce processing plants
Wiederoder MS, Liu NT, Lefcourt AM, Kim MS, Lo YM.
J Food Engineering. 2013 Jul;117(2):217-26.
Development of a portable hyperspectral imaging system for monitoring the efficacy of sanitation procedures in food processing facilities
Lefcourt AM, Wiederoder MS, Liu NT, Kim MS, Lo YM.
J Food Engineering. 2013 Jul;117(1):59-66.
Simultaneous detection of multiple adulterants in dry milk using macro-scale Raman chemical imaging
Qin J, Chao K, Kim MS.
Food Chem. 2013 Jun 1;138(2):998-1007.
Detection of cuticle defects on cherry tomatoes using hyperspectral fluorescence imagery
Cho BK, Kim MS, Baek IS, Kim DY, Lee WH, Kim J, Bae H, Kim YS.
Postharvest Biol Technol. 2013 Feb;76:40-9.
A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signalling throughout evolution
Crawford MA, Broadhurst CL, Guest M, Nagar A, Wang Y, Ghebremeskel K, Schmidt WF.
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Jan;88(1):5-13.
Detection of fresh-cut produce processing residues on food contact surface materials using hyperspectral imaging
Wiederoder MS, Lefcourt AM, Kim MS, Lo YM.
J Food Meas and Char. 2012 Dec;6(1):48-55.
Nondestructive evaluation of internal maturity of tomatoes using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy
Qin J, Chao K, Kim MS.
Postharvest Biol Technol. 2012 Sep;71:21-31.
Non-journal publications:
Development of a Raman chemical image detection algorithm for authenticating dry milk - (Proceedings)
Accepted Publication (29-Apr-13)
Raman spectroscopy and imaging to detect contaminants for food safety applications - (Proceedings)
Accepted Publication (29-Apr-13)
Development and application of multispectral algorithms for defect apple inspection - (Proceedings)
Yang, C., Kim, M.S., Chao, K. 2012. Development and application of multispectral algorithms for defect apple inspection. ASABE Annual International Meeting. Paper #12133701.
Inspection of fecal contamination on strawberries using line-Scan LED-induced fluorescence imaging techniques - (Proceedings)
Chuang, Y., Yang, C., Kim, M.S., Delwiche, S.R., Chen, S., Chan, D.E. 2012. Inspection of fecal contamination on strawberries using line-Scan LED-induced fluorescence imaging techniques. ASABE Annual International Meeting. Paper No. 21337179.
Quantitative detection of pesticide concentration by Raman chemical method - (Abstract Only)
Chao, K., Qin, J., Kim, M.S., Chan, D.E., Fu, X. 2012. Quantitative detection of pesticide concentration by Raman chemical method. [abstract].
Evaluating internal maturity of tomatoes using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy - (Proceedings)
Qin, J., Chao, K., Kim, M.S. 2012. Evaluating internal maturity of tomatoes using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). Paper NO. 12-1337431.
The development of line-scan image recognition algorithms for the detection of frass on mature tomatoes - (Proceedings)
Yang, C., Kim, M.S., Millner, P.D., Chao, K., Chan, D.E. 2012. The development of line-scan image recognition algorithms for the detection of frass on mature tomatoes. Proceedings of SPIE. 8369(08):1-7.
An investigation of FT-Raman spectroscopy for quantification of additives to milk - (Abstract Only)
Cheng, Y., Qin, J., Lim, J., Chan, D.E., Kim, M.S., Chao, K. 2012. An investigation of FT-Raman spectroscopy for quantification of additives to milk. Proceedings of SPIE. 8369:83690W.
Classification of Korla fragrant pears using NIR hyperspectral imaging analysis - (Abstract Only)
Rao, X., Yang, C., Ying, Y., Chao, K., Kim, M.S. 2012. Classification of Korla fragrant pears using NIR hyperspectral imaging analysis. Proceedings of SPIE. 8369:83690Y.
Detecting multiple adulterants in dry milk using Raman chemical imaging - (Proceedings)
Qin, J., Chao, K., Kim, M.S. 2012. Detecting multiple adulterants in dry milk using Raman chemical imaging. Proceedings of SPIE. 8369:83690H.
Raman chemical imaging technology for food safety and quality evaluation - (Abstract Only)
Qin, J., Chao, K., Kim, M.S. 2012. Raman chemical imaging technology for food safety and quality evaluation. BARC Poster Day.
Nondestructive imaging technologies for agro-food safety inspection - (Abstract Only)
Kim, M.S., Chao, K., Lefcourt, A.M., Yang, C., Chan, D.E. 2012. Nondestructive imaging technologies for agro-food safety inspection. [abstract].
Monitoring of biofilm formation on different material surfaces of medical devices using hyperspectral imaging method - (Proceedings)
Kim, D., Kim, M.S., Hwang, J. 2012. Monitoring of biofilm formation on different material surfaces of medical devices using hyperspectral imaging method. Proceedings of SPIE. 8215(07):1-7.
Lipid immiscibility and biophysical properties: Molecular order within and among unit cell volumes - (Proceedings)
Schmidt, W.F., Mookherji, S., Mitchell, A.D., Crawford, M. 2011. Lipid immiscibility and biophysical properties: Molecular order within and among unit cell volumes. Meeting Proceedings.
Computer vision in the poultry industry - (Book / Chapter)
Chao, K., Park, B., Kim, M.S. 2012. Computer vision in the poultry industry. Book Chapter. p. 330-351.
The application of hyperspectral imaging analysis to fresh food safety inspection - (Abstract Only)
Yang, C., Kim, M.S., Chao, K. 2011. The application of hyperspectral imaging analysis to fresh food safety inspection. ASABE Annual International Meeting.
Infra-red imaging technology for detection of bruise damages of Shingo pear - (Proceedings)
Cho, B., Kim, M.S., Lee, H., Delwiche, S.R. 2011. Infra-red imaging technology for detection of bruise damages of Shingo pear.. Proceedings of SPIE. 8027: 1-7.
Hyperspectral near-infrared reflectance imaging for detection of defect tomatoes - (Proceedings)
Lee, H., Kim, M.S., Jeong, D., Chao, K., Cho, B., Delwiche, S.R. 2011. Hyperspectral near-infrared reflectance imaging for detection of defect tomatoes. Proceedings of SPIE. 8027:1-9.
Food Safety Categories:Food and Feed Handling and Processing
On-Farm Food Safety
Sanitation and Pathogen Control
Methodology
Farm-to-Table categories:On-farm food production
Food processing
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