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2009 Hyperspectral imaging for food quality and safety inspection Midwest

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2009

Award Type:

Region: Midwest

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) - Midwest Area

Hyperspectral imaging is a new generation of in-spection technology that offers unique, superior capabilities over conventional imaging and spec-troscopy, two widely used technologies for food quality and safety inspection. The technology provides spatial and spectral information about a product item, thus enabling more effective as-certaining or detection of certain physical, chem-ical and/or biological properties or characteristics that are indicative of food quality and safety. A team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) re-searchers conducted pioneering research on the development of the technology for food and ag-ricultural product inspection. Their research re-solved several key technical issues in application of the technology for food inspection, which in-cluded system design and integration, algorithm development, and implementation for online, re-al-time inspection. The researchers have successfully demonstrat-ed that the technology can be used for the high-speed inspection of poultry carcasses and fresh produce for fecal and microbial contamination, and for automated sorting and grading of fruits and vegetables for internal quality.The researchers used multiple processes to trans-fer the technology, which has generated tangible benefits to the public and private sectors. The re-searchers established Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with three commercial companies to facilitate the transfer of the technology to the food and agricultural in-Hyperspectral Imaging for Food Quality and Safety InspectionDepartment of AgricultureAgricultural Research Service-Midwest AreaBeltsville Area, South Atlantic AreaDepartment of AgricultureAgricultural Research ServiceEastern Regional Research Center7Dr. Renfu Lu, Dr. Alan Lefcourt, Dr. Kuanglin Chao, Dr. Moon Kim, Dr. Bosoon Park, dustries. One patent was issued and four patent applications have been filed for the technology. The researchers held training workshops on the technology for 59 engineers and researchers. Currently, more than 20 research groups in the world are using the technology for food quality and safety inspection applications. Several commercial companies, with the help and support of the ARS technology and technical expertise, are now marketing hyperspectral im-aging systems to the food and agricultural indus-tries. A new market for the technology is emerg-ing, which will lead more and more food and agricultural product processing companies to adopt this technology to assure safer and higher quality food products for the U.S. consumer, thus reducing product liability and enhancing profit-ability