Food Sorting and Inspection

Food Product Sorting and Inspection Using SWIR Cameras

Fresh foods contain lots of moisture and monitoring the amount of moisture can be used to sort the food into high-quality and low-quality bins. By selecting the appropriate wavelength in the SWIR, where water has a high absorption, the water content can be accurately monitored and the items sorted accordingly.
In addition, bruising on some fruits can be monitored in the SWIR region to see defects that may not appear very clearly in the visible color images used to inspect the fruit.

Color image of Mango for reference; no bruising seen on the surface.
Bruising under the skin of a mango as seen using SWIR imaging.

Finally, scanning for foreign solid objects within food samples can be accentuated with the SWIR since these items will often have different absorption properties compared with the food item that is being monitored.
For high speed inspection applications, a Linear SWIR camera may be preferred, since the line rates for these cameras can be exceedingly high (up to 260kHz). The approach requires the objects to all be separated and transported along a moving belt in some manner and relies on a high level of illumination to get good images at those high speeds.

Food Inspection SWIR
The SWIR Image (left) shows weak absorbance by the food products on top while contaminants stand out. Compare with the Color Image (right) for reference.

The Manx SQ and R Series have the following features:

Manx SQ Series
Manx SQ
Manx SQ Series
Manx R
Lynx SQ Series
Lynx SQ

The Lynx SQ Series has the following features

For moderate speed applications, an imaging approach can be taken. In this case, a minimum of VGA resolution (680×512 format) is desired to get a decent field of view on the targets. It is also useful to have a relatively compact camera so it can be placed in the machinery at access points that may have limited space.

The Wildcat Family has the following features:

Wildcat 640 Series
Wildcat 640