Project Number: 8042-42000-018-23
Start Date: Jan 03, 2013
End Date: Jan 02, 2016
The goal of this project is to improve the safety and quality of produce consumed by the public. Hyperspectral imaging 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 address the industry-identified need to survey produce in-field for fecal contamination, technology to detect feces in produce fields will be developed based on a laser-induced fluorescence imaging technique. To address the potential to detect chemical and biological substances of food safety interest, a novel Raman macro-scale imaging system will be developed and validated. The scientific products will be sensing technologies, including databases of wavelengths and detection algorithms useful for inspecting produce and surfaces in produce production environments. The practical products will be imaging devices and systems that can be used to reduce the risk of foodborne illness associated with produce. More specifically, to allow comprehensive inspection of produce, two prototype systems for assessing multiple quality and agri-food safety issues using a single camera will be developed, one for "flat" produce such as lettuce and a second for "round" produce such as apples. These systems will incorporate multitasking capabilities that allow users to select desired inspection criteria for quality and safety issues, and to optimize wavelengths and thresholds to address changes in produce characteristics on-the-fly. A previously developed handheld sanitation inspection device for inspecting poultry processing areas will serve as the basis for the development of an enhanced device for inspection of produce processing surfaces, and to enhance the efficacy of existing ATP survey methods by identifying sites for testing. Technology for using laser-induced fluorescence to detect fecal material in produce fields will be developed, as will a novel Raman hyperspectral macro-scale imaging system that can image large objects, such as fruits or vegetables.