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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Research Project #436951

Research Project: Development of Nondestructive Sensing Technologies for In-Field Biological and Chemical Contaminant Screening of Agricultural Products

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-42000-021-008-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 14, 2019
End Date: Aug 13, 2024

The overall objective of this agreement is to utilize the resources and expertise of ARS and ERI to develop spectral imaging detection methods to screen agricultural products for food safety hazards, in particular for automated or rapid screening for the presence of biological or chemical contaminants such as fungi or their toxins in agricultural products. Cooperative research will include evaluation of the use of portable optical sensing devices for potential regulatory sampling and screening of various agricultural products in food processing environments for the biological and chemical contaminants for further food safety assessment.

Research will be conducted to evaluate spectroscopic and imaging methods, including ARS hyperspectral and portable imaging techniques, for the development of rapid screening technologies for chemical and biological contaminants on food products. Spectral imaging methods under consideration include hyperspectral fluorescence; visible/near-infrared, near-infrared, and short-wave infrared reflectance spanning the spectral range from 380 nm to 2500 nm; and rapid line-scan-based Raman hyperspectral chemical imaging suitable for macro-scale sample surface screening. Development of rapid screening methods will include instrumentation such as portable handheld imaging devices, and the research will include both development of methods and instrumentation/devices, and determination of their efficacies for food safety assessment for potential regulatory purposes.