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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385769

Research Project: Sensing Technologies for the Detection and Characterization of Microbial, Chemical, and Biological Contaminants in Foods

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Non-destructive identification of fake eggs using fluorescence spectral analysis and hyperspectral imaging

item KIM, GEONWOO - Gyeongsang National University
item JOSHI, RITU - Chungnam National University
item JOSHI, RAHUL - Chungnam National University
item Kim, Moon
item BAEK, INSUCK - Orise Fellow
item KIM, JUNTAE - Chungnam National University
item PARK, EUN-SUNG - Chungnam National University
item LEE, HOONSOO - Chungbuk National University
item MO, CHANGYEUN - Kangwon National University
item CHO, BYOUNG-KWAN - Chungnam National University

Submitted to: Korean Journal of Agricultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2022
Publication Date: 9/1/2022
Citation: Joshi, R., Joshi, R., Kim, G., Kim, M.S., Baek, I., Lee, H., Mo, C., Cho, B., Kim, G., Park, E. 2022. Non-destructive identification of fake eggs using fluorescence spectral analysis and hyperspectral imaging. Korean Journal of Agricultural Science. 49:495-510.

Interpretive Summary: Fabricated yet extremely realistic fake eggs have become a problem that can cause both food safety and health risks and economic fraud issues. In this study, researchers investigated fluorescence imaging as a means for rapid and nondestructive detection of fake eggs. A laboratory fluorescence imaging system was used to acquire fluorescence images of intact real eggs and intact fabricated fake eggs. The images were analyzed to identify useful single or paired wavebands of light that could be implemented in a simple portable imaging device for rapidly screening eggs to detect fakes. Results showed that fluorescence imaging at a single fluorscence waveband could be implemented in a handheld imaging system to detect fake eggs with high accuracy, due to the fluorescence properties of protoporphyrin IX, a natural pigment present in real eggshells. These results show that fluorescence imaging could easily provide a means for screening fresh eggs for the presence of fakes among them, to help egg distributors and retail markets ensure safe supplies of real eggs for consumers and avoid economic loss due to fraud.

Technical Abstract: The consumption of fake eggs is directly linked to human health, as it has negative effects on the human body. The need to develop in-situ detection methods for preventing the issue has recently drawn substantial attention. For this purpose, fluorescence-based handheld imager was used, as it shows potential applicability for the detection of fake food and agriculture products. Our method combines the merits of both fluorescence emission and spectral imaging, which is useful for extracting meaningful information from multiple samples rapidly. Therefore, the objective of this study was to perform discrimination analysis between real and fake eggs using fluorescence spectral imaging technique. The optimal combination of fluorescence excitation and emission wavebands was investigated for the analysis of the fluorescence image to distinguish fake eggs from real eggs. To verify the fluorescence spectral imaging for in-situ inspection, real-time scanning for the discrimination between real and fake eggs was performed using a portable mono-spectral imager based on the fluorescence spectral analysis. The results demonstrated high detection performance for fake eggs.