Machine vision’s use in food inspection can detect and process complexities on multiple fronts. Farmers rely on multispectral imaging and sensing to analyze plant health and food producers have adopted machine vision to address the law’s product tracking and tracing requirements, per the U.S. Food Modernization Act (2011).

Consumers also are influencing the business case for vision-enabled inspections that validate the food’s appearance, quality, and even taste. From the field to the grocery store, machine vision spots the flaws that keep unsafe, unappealing food off the supermarket shelves.

Pixelteq (Largo, Florida) recognized a desire from its customers to combine imaging and spectroscopy for food inspection and created snapshot camera that produces a 2D image of an object through multiple spectral bands.

Because food is a resource with many natural variations, multispectral imaging is ideal for detecting these disparities that RGB or monochrome cameras cannot.

Food producers are adopting multispectral imaging across the entire supply chain. Particularly as camera sizes continue to shrink, more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are equipped with multispectral imaging for precision agriculture to review crop stress or lack of water or nutrients.

Multispectral imaging also is enabling the food industry to grade the internal quality of fruits by measuring parameters such as acidity and starch levels.

Such high-quality sorting has moved from a nice-to-have option to a requirement given that need to meet strict governmental regulations on tracking and tracing, as well as increasing consumer expectations over how their food is sourced and inspected.

Meat cutting represents another food application where machine vision continues to thrive. Processing facilities are looking for high-speed CMOS imagers compatible with real-time operating systems (RTOS).

Pixelteq's PixelCam is shown with a backdrop of Bayer-patterned and stripe filters.

>>Read more by Winn Hardin, Vision Online, 10/11/16

Machine Vision Harvests Opportunities in Food Inspection