Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324751

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF SENSING AND INSTRUMENTATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR FOOD SAFETY AND SANITATION INSPECTION IN FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PROCESSING

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Hyperspectral fluorescence imaging of animal feces and soil: potential use of fluorescence imaging for assessment of soil fecal contamination and compost maturity

Author
item Cho, Hyunjeon - Rural Development Administration - Korea
item Lee, Hoonsoo - Chungnam National University
item Kim, Sungyoun - Rural Development Administration - Korea
item Kim, Dongho - Rural Development Administration - Korea
item Park, Hyungdal - Rural Development Administration - Korea
item Lefcourt, Alan
item Chan, Diane
item Kim, Moon

Submitted to: Applied Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2016
Publication Date: 9/27/2016
Citation: Cho, H., Lee, H., Kim, S., Kim, D., Park, H., Lefcourt, A.M., Chan, D.E., Kim, M.S. 2016. Hyperspectral fluorescence imaging of animal feces and soil: potential use of fluorescence imaging for assessment of soil fecal contamination and compost maturity. Applied Sciences. 6:246.

Interpretive Summary: Pathogenic microbial contamination of agricultural products can occur through a variety of pathways, such as immature compost used as an amendment for soil quality or contamination by feces from active wildlife or proximity to livestock. We investigated hyperspectral fluorescence imaging techniques to characterize feces samples from bovine, swine, poultry, and sheep species, and to determine feasibilities for detecting and identifying the presence of animal feces and animal origin, respectively, on or in soil-feces mixtures. In addition, the imaging technique was evaluated for potential determination of manure compost maturity. The animal feces under investigation exhibited dynamic and unique fluorescence emission features where detection of the feces and identification of animal origin of feces in soil-feces mixture were feasible. Simple fluorescence imaging at the emission maximum band for animal feces can be used to potentially assess maturity of manure composts. This paper provides insightful information, and the technology presented in this paper is benefitial to government and industry food safety inspection programs.

Technical Abstract: Contamination by pathogenic microorganisms can lead to serious illnesses, particularly if thermal mishandling of contaminated agricultural produce occurs and promotes the incubation of potential pathogens. Pathogenic microbial contamination of agricultural products can occur through a variety of pathways, such as immature compost used as an amendment for soil quality or contamination by feces from active wildlife or proximity to livestock. We investigated hyperspectral fluorescence imaging techniques to characterize feces samples from bovine, swine, poultry, and sheep species, and to determine feasibilities for detecting and identifying the presence of animal feces and animal origin, respectively, on or in soil-feces mixtures. In addition, the imaging technique was evaluated for potential determination of manure compost maturity. The animal feces under investigation exhibited dynamic and unique fluorescence emission features where detection of the feces and identification of animal origin of feces in soil-feces mixture were feasible. Simple fluorescence imaging at the emission maximum band for animal feces can be used to potentially assess maturity of manure composts. The aim of this investigation was to develop field-portable imaging devices for in situ screening of soil and compost samples for animal fecal matter. Ultimately, such devices will greatly enhance the efficacies and economics of the current sampling regimes for microbial testing.