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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SORTING AGRICULTURAL MATERIALS FOR DEFECTS USING IMAGING AND PHYSICAL METHODS Project Number: 5325-44000-007-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 15, 2005
End Date: Apr 14, 2010

Objective:
Develop sorters and physical or chemical methods to detect and remove defective, contaminated or otherwise undesirable product from agricultural project streams: to improve the quality of fresh or packaged foods, to remove unwanted transmission of materials deleterious to agriculture or health and/or improve the competitive position of U.S. project in international trade. Such sorters will be in support of U.S. government action agencies and the U.S. food industry.

Approach:
1) Identify image or signal features that distinguish defects from undamaged product. 2) Develop an off line signal processing algorithm to recognize damaged from undamaged product. 3) Develop a prototype unit to test the algorithm in real time but without material handling equipment to do actual sorting. 4) Refine the prototype and incorporate material handling equipment into a demonstration unit for real time testing in an industrial environment. Even though the material handling equipment may be added late in the project, attention to product orientation and material handling is given full attention during the algorithm development. 5) Transfer of the technology to appropriate industries. This general approach will be used for detection of internal defects apples and pears with x-ray imaging, internal browning in almonds with NIR transmittance, surface defects on pistahio nuts with visible imaging, and detection of insect infested wheat kernels by x-ray imaging. Replaced 5325-44000-005-00D (3/05).

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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