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Quality control of agro-industrial processes using fluorescence based spectroscopy and video image analysis

Appropriate hardware and software is being developed for fast, sensitive and reliable quality control of agro-industrial processes using fluorescence based spectroscopy and video image analysis. It links experts in various areas of processing with instrument companies. The project considers both food and non-food applications. Suitable equipment has been obtained, set up and calibrated in order to initiate spectroscopy and image-analysis calibration, together with experimental and operational protocols.

The work focuses on systems using fluorescence to detect signals which are associated with specific chemical compounds. These can then be used to characterize materials using spectrofluorimetry and/or video image analysis combing specific chemical information with structural and physical properties. Fluorescence can be up to 1000 times more sensitive than other spectroscopic methods. Applications in this area depend on the combination of appropriate hardware with computer software to solve aspects of the fluorescence phenomenon including characterisation of spectra, image recording, calibration and evaluation. This approach is applied to the development of hardware and software for non destructive fluorescence testing using advanced computer techniques for both reflectance and transmission spectroscopy together with innovative video imaging with the aim to establish on-line industrial quality control methods for both food and non-food applications. The latter includes looking at plant fibres (eg pulping) and cereals (eg. oilseeds and wheat) lignin composition (fibre), tissue composition (cereals) and contamination and damage (seeds). In cooperation with the instrument industry, spectrofluorimetric and video sensors are being designed on the basis of the research and their markets investigated.


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