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Integrated sensing and imaging devices for designing, monitoring and controlling microstructure of foods

Final Report Summary - INSIDEFOOD (Integrated sensing and imaging devices for designing, monitoring and controlling microstructure of foods)

Executive Summary:


The main objective of the INSIDEFOOD project was to provide technological solutions for sensing the microstructure of foods. The project combined advanced mechanical, spectroscopic, microscopic and tomographic techniques. Its aims were to bring on-line sensors for food microstructure analysis closer to the market and to provide tools for process design and optimization.


Various 3D imaging methods (X-ray computed micro- and nanotomography, X-ray radiography, optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) were optimised to visualize the microstructure of foods at a resolution of around one micrometer. Almost all investigated methods operated in a contactless mode, which is a prerequisite for future at-line or in-line measurements. Special emphasis was paid to optimise acquisition speed, sample size, field of view, penetration depth, contrast and sensitivity to microstructural differences. Spectroscopic techniques (NMR relaxometry and Slow Magic Angle Spinning (MAS)) were successfully optimised to extract information about the water and solute status of microstructured foods. Other notable successes have been the acquisition of the first on-line NMR relaxation spectra of apples and, the discovery of useful correlations between the MAS spectra and the effects of storage. In addition, quantitative data were collected on texture properties of the food products using force-deformation measurements in parallel to acoustic measurements. The obtained results were applied to monitor and control the texture of food products in industrial conditions. Optical systems based on time- and space-resolved reflectance spectroscopy were successfully optimised and made operational in the lab. These optical techniques can be reasonably well applied on microstructured food to assess internal properties.


Mathematical models have been delivered to describe water transport and light propagation in microstructured fruits. For the first time, water transport in fruits was quantified at the micro scale level explaining the relative importance of the different microstructural features for water transport. An innovative Monte-Carlo based modelling technique was developed to describe light propagation in complex geometries like foods. The new approach was successfully validated and applied to the micro-CT data of different foods measured. Non-contact sensor technologies have been optimized for real life dynamic on-line and at-line measurement situations


The prime target sector for the INSIDEFOOD project is the entire food industry. The outcomes of the INSIDEFOOD project were successfully disseminated to the various target groups through the project website (see online) Technology Innovation Newsletters, scientific INSIDEFOOD Symposia, Technology Trade Fairs and Stakeholders Meetings. The technologies developed by INSIDEFOOD will contribute to increase productivity by improved process design and control. New technologies, products and processes made possible by the sensors developed of INSIDEFOOD will contribute to increasing innovation performance of food companies. Better quality and new products will be made possible by the technologies developed in INSIDEFOOD, contributing to an increased global competitiveness of European food companies through increased quality and developing potential for new products.

Project Context and Objectives:

Project context

Food microstructure is defined as the organisation of food constituents at the microscale and their interaction. Most solid foods, including bakery products, fruit, vegetables and meat, are microstructured. Many properties of foods that are relevant to process engineering or quality are related to their microstructure. Examples include sponginess of bread, crispness or crunchiness of crackers, gas and water transport properties of fruit, colour as related to light scattering properties just beneath the surface of the food. Food processing operations affect food microstructure: existing structures are destroyed and new ones are created. Insight in food microstructure and how it changes during processing operations is essential to produce high quality food. In particular, consumer demands for enhanced nutritional quality (composition), sensory quality (texture, internal defects) and safety (absence of foreign materials) are driving manufacturers to optimize products and processes with respect to microstructure.

Until recently, the measurement of food microstructure was essentially based on light or electron microscopy. Because of the often considerable sample preparation time, cost and complexity of the equipment, such techniques were mainly used for academic purposes but seldom in a food industrial environment. However, recently advanced tomographic and spectroscopic techniques have emerged that allow food scientists and engineers to inspect the food microstructure nondestructively. These techniques offer a vast potential for use as innovative sensors for both off-line and on-line measurement of food microstructure and thus the associated quality attributes in industrial conditions with unprecedented spatial resolution.

Several problems remain to be solved, though:
-The huge amount of data inherent to tomography (of the order of magnitude of 10 Gb per image) requires advanced visualisation and image processing techniques
-The relationship between microstructure and food properties and quality attributes is not known quantitatively; this is in most cases a requirement for online applications
-Some techniques (e.g. optical coherence tomography, OCT) have, to our knowledge, not been applied to food yet
-Few on-line implementations of these techniques have been described in the literature yet because of technical issues to be solved. For example, conventional transport systems such as conveyor belts or fruit grading lines cannot be used as such in combination with certain tomographic techniques because of material incompatibility reasons (e.g. steel and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI)

This project, with the acronym INSIDEFOOD ('Integrated sensing and imaging devices for designing, monitoring and controlling microstructure of foods') aims at
-Developing novel instruments and software for inspecting food microstructure
-Use them to improve our understanding of process-structure-property relationships through advanced mathematical models
-Implement them in food processing plants.


The main Science and Technology (S&T) objective of INSIDEFOOD is to provide technological solutions for the topic KBBE-2008-2-3-01 'Exploring the microstructure of foods' in the call FP7-KBBE-2008-2B by the development, combination and application of the techniques of X-ray-CT, OCT, MRI, NMR, TRS and SRS aimed at on-line sensing food microstructure, water status, texture and optical properties.

The following sub-objectives are targeted:
1.Foods and food model systems and their quality (WP2)
a.Foams and gels are used as model systems. They can be reproducibly manufactured and allow all relevant formulation aspects to be studied by the different methods in a standardised way;
b.Crispy bread, with different formulation and processing conditions;
c.Extruded breakfast cereals with different composition, an different processing and drying;
d.Fresh fruit, grown and stored in different levels of disorder-inducing conditions;
e.Osmo-dehydrated fruits of different processing conditions
2.Methods to visualize and quantify the microstructure and -composition of the foods. Key parameters to be determined are achievable speed, sample size, field of view, penetration depth, contrast and sensitivity to differences and spatial distribution of concentrations and properties. The following technologies are considered:
a.Microstructure imaging methods in 1-,2- and 3-D at and below a resolution of 1 micrometer (WP3);
b.NMR methods to quantify microscopic water status in foods based on multidimensional NMR relaxometry and diffusometry (WP4);
c.Acoustic emission signal descriptors to determine product texture characterization (WP5);
d.Optical microstructure sensors based on diffuse spectroscopy in the visible and near infrared spectral region by innovative nondestructive optical methods (time-resolved and space-resolved reflectance spectroscopy) for cheap, on-line, non-invasive, non-destructive applications and relating absorption coefficient and reduced scattering coefficient to food microstructure (e.g. equivalent size and density of scatterers) and food composition (e.g. water content) (WP6)
3.Data analysis software to integrate the knowledge of the different measurement methods (WP7). Perform data processing and correlation analysis to interpret and correlate the results of methods, by:
a.Tools for image analysis of the 1-D, 2-D and 3-D microstructure and -composition data. To quantify the phase fractions and size distributions, connectivity and tortuosity of phases, concentrations and functional state of components in different phases;
b.Multivariate statistical analysis of the different data sets with respect to quality attributes and physical properties of foods;
c.Models that predict the physical properties of foods from the microstructure and -composition.
4.The role and changes of microstructure and composition on physical properties and quality of foods during processing and preservation, with the aim of understanding the following problems (WP7 and WP8):
a.Susceptibility of apple fruit for senescent breakdown, bitter pit, core browning, and watercore;
b.Wax development and skin quality of apple;
c.Evolution of microstructure and texture and functional quality during processing of osmo-air-dried fruit and vegetables;
d.Effect of formulation and processing on microstructure and texture quality of crispy bread and breakfast cereals;
5.Sensor technologies for optimization of food processing with economic potential (WP8)
a.The design of a new food product by beneficiary bakery company Chaber. The cheap and fast acoustic method to detect differences in texture on-line meets expectations of industry. Chaber aims to produce a crisp bread based on a new main ingredient -triticale flour, and extruded crackers. The aim is to control stable conditions of acoustic measurement by on-line sensors, choice of sensor location and frequency of texture measurement, necessity of special training and routine maintenance by staff. The trial extrusion will be performed to design required crispness and crunchiness, the on-line fast and simple control of texture quality will shorten process of design that leads to reduce costs of introduction products into the market.
b.Optimization and process control of the extrusion process and downstream processing of breakfast cereals.
c.In-line non-destructive assessment of internal quality of apple fruit on a sorting line by means of on-line OCT, 1-D NMR/MRI and SRS in order to detect susceptibility for the development of storage disorders. The Flanders Centre of Postharvest Technology (beneficiary VCBT) will provide access to industrial facilities at auctions for trials.
d.Optimization and process control of osmo-air dehydration of fruit
e.Detection of foreign materials in foods.
6.Dissemination of the results through the INSIDEFOOD website, publications, seminars and workshops; and active exploitation in- and outside of INSIDEFOOD (WP9).

Project Results:

The INSIDEFOOD project worked on four different model systems being
(1) foams and gels
(2) Crispy bread
(3) Extruded breakfast cereals and
(4) Fresh fruit.

The image anysis software was for instance used to process the X-ray micro-CT data characterising 'Braeburn' browning disorder. 'Braeburn' apples are particularly sensitive to controlled atmosphere (CA) induced disorders, identified as 'Braeburn' browning disorder (BBD). BBD is characterised by patches of brown, soggy flesh, possibly with cavities, that develop in the internal apple tissue. Off-flavours and/or odours can be associated with the disorder, and in severe cases, brown patches and pits are visible in the peel. These symptoms are likely to reflect massive changes in the microstructure of the fruit tissue. In this study, individual cells, the internal air network and the 3-D distribution of pores inside 'Braeburn' apple tissue were examined using high resolution X-ray micro computed tomography. Different stages of BBD could be clearly resolved on the virtual cross-sections, granting a unique 3-D insight in tissue flooding and formation of cavities in 'Braeburn' tissue during the development of the disorder. Image analysis methods were applied to extract morphometric parameters such as porosity, anisotropy and connectivity to characterise microstructure via multivariate PLS models. The discriminative power of these descriptors was proven by their ability to classify fruit tissue as healthy and disordered with a success rate of 97%. The observed distinct radial patterns of porosity, anisotropy and connectivity may help in explaining why 'Braeburn' is susceptible to BBD.

In addition to the Avizo software dedicated motion correction software was developed. Though being developed for MRI image analyses, concepts used can be transferred to other areas of online image analysis systems. (D7.2). Multivariate statistics (PLS) was successfully applied to correlate features derived during image analyses to either continuous (e.g. firmness) or binary (e.g. presence of internal disorder) quality attributes of the studied (model) food products (D7.3) resulting in various quantitative relationships between microstructure and food quality. The suitability of multivariate statistics was shown to be generic and not limited to any particular (model) food or measuring technique as highlighted by the various applications (D7.6).

PLS-models were furthermore used to develop microstructure–texture relationships in the case of Spatially resolved diffuse reflectance (VIS-NIR) for non-destructive quality assessment of Braeburn apples. A setup for spatially resolved diffuse reflectance measurements in the 500-1000 nm range based on a fiber-optics probe was elaborated for the measurement of optical properties (absorption coefficient µa and reduced scattering coefficient µs’) of fruit samples. After calibration and validation of the setup on a set of liquid optical phantoms covering the relevant range of optical properties, thirty Braeburn apples cultivated in sub-fertilization condition were measured before and after shelf-life storage (2 weeks at 18 °C in normal atmosphere) by the setup and were analysed for the main quality attributes (firmness and soluble solids content (SSC)). The estimated µa spectra of the apples indicated chlorophyll degradation during shelf-life storage. The µa spectra also showed to be better than μs' spectra for predicting SSC and firmness by means of PLS models (R2-SSC = 0.81; RMSEP (SSC) = 0.69 %; and R2-firmness = 0.71; RMSEP (firmness) = 9.68 N). The combined μa and μs’ spectra did not improve the prediction accuracies as compared to the μa spectra alone. The diffuse reflectance spectra of the detection fibers did not provide a significantly better prediction performance for SSC, but gave slightly better firmness prediction accuracies (R2-firmness = 0.73 - 0.83; RMSEP (firmness) = 8.91 - 13.70 N) than the μa spectra. Chlorophyll degradation was observed to be correlated both to SSC and firmness, which can respectively be related to the chemical composition and the microstructure of the apple flesh.

The foamed sugar gels where used as a case study to benchmark several of the developed techniques and to develop microstructure–texture relationships revealing the importance of the novel measurement techniques for analysis and control. Food aeration is one of the fastest growing unit operations in the food industry. Proper design and control of the texture properties of aerated foods demand accurate measurement tools of microstructural features. Aerated sugar gels with identical composition but different microstructures were produced by applying different mixing times of 2, 4 and 8 min. Compression test and acoustic emission measurements were carried out to characterize the mechanical properties of these foams. Significant differences in deformation properties and number of acoustic events were found depending on the foaming time, indicating differences in texture. Microstructural attributes such as bubble size and bubble number distributions of the different foams were measured based on micro- and nano-CT and were found to differ between the foams. A voxel resolution smaller than 1µm was achieved to measure and quantify micrometer-diameter bubbles in foams with nano-CT, but this required relatively small samples. Micro-CT with a resolution of a few micrometers–and consequent larger sample sizes–allowed measuring the larger bubbles in the matrix. The volumetric bubble size distribution was demonstrated to be dependent on mixing time at short mixing times, while the number distribution of the bubbles may progressively change at longer mixing time. The latter observation explained significant changes in the acoustic texture properties of foams with increasing mixing time. Additionally, time and spatially resolved diffuse spectroscopy were used to evaluate their optical properties. While, as expected for foams with the same chemical composition, the absorption properties were not significantly different, a relationship between scattering and microstructural properties was found. The novel optical methods of TRS and SRS both showed differences in the scattering parameters that reflected the observed changes in the microstructure of sugar foams from different mixing times in relation to the texture properties. These non-destructive methods, therefore, hold a large promise for application as process analysis and control tools of aerated sugar gels, and most probably aerated foods in general. The results have shown show that microstructural properties affect the texture of aerated foams. Moreover, the latter can be measured nondestructively using time and spatially resolved diffuse spectroscopy.

A Meshed Monte Carlo methodology with free phase function choice (MMC-fpf) was developed simulate the light propagation through 3D tissue microstructures based on the optical properties of the main materials forming the microstructure. This modeling concept has been applied to the 3D tissue microstructures of a sugar foam and Braeburn apple flesh tissue as acquired with micro-CT (D7.5). The model has been complemented with a microscale light propagation tool which allows to predict the bulk scattering properties of a polydisperse suspension based on the particle size distribution and the optical properties of the particles and medium.

To support the interpretation of water transport data at the microscale level of fruit tissue, taking into account the microstructural architecture of the tissues a water transport model was developed (D7.4). For the first time, water transport in fruits was quantified at the micro scale level with different water transport properties of the microstructural components obtained experimentally or from literature. The apparent water conductivity of cortex tissue was calculated based on the microscale simulations. The values corresponded very well with measured values of tissue conductivity as well as the tissue desorption isotherm. The model explained the relative importance of the different microstructural features (intercellular space, cell wall, membrane and cytoplasm) for water transport. The principles used during modeling of water transport through fruit microstructure can be applied to other food systems as well. Using the innovative measurement techniques experimental data can be collected to validate such models.
The final objective of INSIDEFOOD was to have the various measuring techniques tested for their suitability for the on-line assessment of internal fruit quality (D8.3-D8.6). Various online methods were to be compared. Based on the outcome of the first two years of the project a selection of candidate techniques compatible to measuring internal fruit quality was made. Therefore this task was focussed to the application of both MRI, OCT, SRS (including contactless hyperspectral spectroscopy) and NMR.

MRI was shown to be able to successfully detect disorders like watercore and internal breakdown such that at current stage on-line MRI is under evaluation by several SMEs for becoming a commercial opportunity. OCT turned out to be a powerful tool for the evaluation and the study of surface and subsurface structures in fresh fruit showing its potential for future use for the analysis of fruit samples. Contact SRS was found to be promising for the nondestructive evaluation of apple quality attributes showing clear potential for implementing on-line. A non-contact and non-destructive SRS based hyperspectral scatter imaging prototype has been elaborated at KU Leuven showing good stability and repeatability allowing for the implementation as an on-line technique as well. With regard to the low-field 1D On-line NMR a prototype was designed and built showing promising results, but this techniques is still requiring a large and dedicated input to turn it into a commercial system.

INSIDEFOOD also addressed several sensor technologies for the optimization of food processing focusing towards
(i) production of new bakery products (D8.1)
(ii) the process control of downstream processing of breakfast cereals (D8.3) and
(iii) the optimization and process control of osmo-air dehydration of fruit (D8.7). All three developments were successfully pursued.

The trial results using the acoustic prototype detector at the bakery production line showed that the water content affected significantly the acoustic feature of texture and that the acoustic emission technique is a promising tool in inspection of texture quality of crisp bakery products. OCT showed to be a very good tool to image the (sub)surface structures of extruded breakfast cereals at a resolution of only a few microns in real time and it proved to be an appropriate tool for in-line or on-line measurements differentiating between coated and uncoated cereals. Concerning the osmo-air dehydration of fruit it was clearly shown that the changes caused by air-drying were influenced by storage atmosphere and fruit maturity. With TRS being able to classify fruit according maturity classes this opens the door to further optimising the process.
In the framework of improving the overall safety of food processes additional efforts went to the on-line detection of microscopic foreign material (D8.8). Using X-ray CT all types of foreign material can be detected in the projection images where objects appear as dark elements in the cereal kernel with larger impurities being easier to detect than the smaller ones.

Potential Impact:


INSIDEFOOD aimed to innovate the European industry, with important impacts for both the involved beneficiaries and the markets represented and served by them:
-Increased quality and new products will increase the market value of cereal products. With 65 billion EUROS in 2001, the "various foods" category is the largest contributor to the EU-25 value added. The manufacturing of bread, fresh pastry goods and cakes was the largest activity in this category . A 1% increase in added value on a EU scale will lead to approximately 500 million EUR of added value.
-Over the entire EU production of apple (9,828,000 tons in 2006 in EU-27) and pear (2,660,000 tons in 2006 in EU-27), a reduction of the occurrence of internal disorders in fruit from, on average, 5% currently to 2% will increase the amount first class fruit by 400,000 tons of fruit per year representing a market value of 100 to 200 million EUR based on production figures presented at the yearly conference Prognosfruit , and using the average auction price in 2007 of 0.363 EUR/kg and 0.591 EUR/kg for apple and pear, respectively.

At the start of the project, to reach these goals specific innovation aims (DoW section B.3.1) were set. Here we review the achievements with respect to these aims, respectively for scientific, technological and socio-economic impact.



Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) 3D images of fruit microstructures (D3.11);
(2) Microscale model of water transport in fruit (D7.4);
(3) Monte Carlo model of light propagation in fruit (D7.5);
(4) Multivariate statistical model for sensor integration (D7.3);
(5) 5 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) All deliverables D3.11 D7.4 D7.5 and D7.3 have been successfully accomplished;
(2) K.U.Leuven was involved in 15 Top-20 ISI journal publications so far, of which 14 as first author.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) Correlations between the microscopic water distri¬bution with food micro¬structure and quality (D7.6);
(2) Novel NMR protocols for probing heterogeneous food structures (D4.6 4.8 4.10);
(3) 3 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) Deliverables D7.6 D4.6 D4.8 and D4.10 have been successfully accomplished;
(2) IFR published 1 Top-20 ISI journal publication as first author.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) New application area for OCT (D3.12);
(2) New OCT developments tailored for imaging of food microstructure (D3.8);
(3) 3D image data of food microstructure (D3.12);
(4) 3 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) Deliverables D3.8 and D3.12 have been successfully accomplished;
(2) RECENDT was co-author of 2 Top-20 ISI journal publications, of which 1 as first author.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) Advanced physical model for light propagation in foods based on diffusion theory (D6.2 7.5);
(2) Assessment of optical proper¬ties of food and effects of food microstructure on optical properties (D6.6 D7.6);
(3) 3 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) Deliverables D6.2 D6.6 D7.5 and D7.6 have been successfully accomplished;
(2) PoliMi was involved in 2 Top-20 ISI journal publications, of which 1 in preparation.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) No scientific innovations.
Achievements at the end of the project: (1) Skyscan is co-author of 4 ISI journal publications.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) Structure assessment of extruded cereals (D3.10);
(2) Texture properties versus structure at different length scales (D2.4);
(3) 3 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) Deliverables D2.4 and D3.10 have been successfully accomplished;
(2) Nestle has submitted 1 Top 20 ISI journal publication as first author.


Scientific innovations from DoW: (1) No scientific innovations.
Achievements at the end of the project: (1) VSG is co-author of 4 ISI journal publications.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) Texture evaluation of different microstructured food products by acoustic emission (D5.8);
(2) 3 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) Deliverabe 5.8 was successfully achieved;
(2) SGGW was involved in 2 Top 20 ISI Journal publications, of which 1 as first author. 2 additional publications will be submitted.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) Internal quality evaluation of apple as a function of production and storage conditions (D2.8 D2.9)
Achievements at the end of the project: (1) Deliverables D2.8 and D2.9 have been successfully accomplished.


Scientific innovations from DoW: (1) Correlations between the microscopic solute distribution with food microstructure and quality (D4.12)
Achievements at the end of the project: (1) Deliverable 4.12 was successfully accomplished.


Scientific innovations from DoW: (1) No scientific innovations.
Achievements at the end of the project: (1) Chaber is co-author f 1 ISI journal publication.


Scientific innovations from DoW:
(1) Ultra-fast MRI sequencing, highly motion insensitive (D3.9);
(2) 3 Top-20 ISI journal publications.

Achievements at the end of the project:
(1) Deliverable D3.9 was successfully accomplished;
(2) UPM was involved in 1 Top 20 ISI journal publication as first author. 1 publication is submitted.



Technological innovations from DoW:
(1) SRS sensor (D8.6);
(2) Modelling soft¬ware (D7.3-7.5).

Achievements at the end of the project: All deliverables D7.3 D7.4 D7.5 and D8.6 were successfully accomplished. Software is ready for use in different application areas. Further technology development is required for commercial application of the sensor.


Technological innovations from DoW:
(1) Halbach Field-cycling sensor (D4.10);
(2) Low-cost On-line MRI sensor (D8.5).

Achievements at the end of the project: All deliverables D4.10 and D8.5 were accomplished. Further technology development is required for commercial application of the sensor.


Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Fast and compact OCT sensor for contactless fruit quality assessment (D8.3).

Achievements at the end of the project: D8.3 was reformulated during the project because online fruit quality measurement was not feasible with OCT. However, successful tests were conducted with OCT for cereals. The deliverable was reformulated accordingly.


Technological innovations from DoW:
(1) TRS system for off-line measurements (D8.7);
(2) Modelling software (D7.5).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverables D7.5 and D8.7 were successfully achieved.


Technological innovations from DoW:
(1) High resolution micro-CT (D3.7);
(2) Cooling stage (D3.7);
(3) Nano-CT (D3.7).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverable 3.7 was successfully achieved. Commercial systems are available.


Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Improved process and composition of extruded cereal products (D8.2).

Achievements at the end of the project: The workplan was reformulated because none of the technologies could contribute to improving processing and composition of cereals. The deliverable was not achieved.

Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Software integration of advanced quantitative image processing and analysis (D7.2).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverable D7.2 was successfully achieved. Commercial software is available.


Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Acoustic emission sensor (D8.1).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverable D8.1 was successfully achieved. Further technology development is required for commercial application of the sensor.


Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Implementation of on-line sensors on fruit sorting lines (D8.3-8.6).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverables D8.3 to D8.6 were successfully achieved. Different sensor types were evaluated for inline assessment of fruit quality. X-ray, NMR, MRI and optical sensors have potential for fruit sorting. Further technology development is required for commercial application of the sensors.


Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Novel techno¬logical applications of Bruker's HR-MAS and microMRI spectrometers (D4.7).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverable D4.7 was successfully achieved. Commercial systems are available.


Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Implementation of acoustic emission to on-line texture control (D8.1).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverable D8.1 was successfully achieved. Further technology development is required for commercial application of the sensor.

Technological innovations from DoW: (1) Conveyor system compatible with on-line MRI (D8.4).

Achievements at the end of the project: Deliverable D8.4 was successfully achieved. Further technology development is required for commercial application of the sensor.



Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Reduced fruit losses due to storage disorders
-Marketing opportunities for SRS sensor and software.

Achievements at the end of the project:
-The knowledge gained in the project on the microstructure development of storage disorders as a function of storage conditions has improved understanding of the important product and process parameters involved. This knowledge are a basis for improved storage guidelines and will be disseminated to the industrial sector of fruit growers and cooperatives. This is achieved in close collaboration with partner VCBT through consultancy, trade press articles, newsletters and practical seminars.
-A non-contact and non-destructive SRS based hyperspectral scatter imaging prototype has been elaborated at KU Leuven, the system was tested for performing non-contact spatially resolved spectroscopy measurements using a hyperspectral camera, a point illumination and conveyor belt. Selected food samples such as crispy bread and Braeburn apple were scanned on this setup to test the system for it is applicability for on-line
-measurements at industrial speed. The results of stability and repeatability showed that the HSI prototype has potential for use in on-line measurements of food products
-Sensors of the project have considerable potential for quality control in sorting lines (D8.6). Both for SRS and X-ray CT, K.U.Leuven is continuing Research and Development (R&D) projects with industrial partners to achieve practical and commercial systems (see public deliverable D9.19: economic potential of the technologies).


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Marketing opportunities for new NMR sensor technology.

Achievements at the end of the project:
-The TD-NMR relaxometry techniques are of particular relevance to food science as a powerful probe of the intricacies of material structure and dynamics. this limited amount of information is not always sufficient to characterise differences in food microstructure and composition for grading food samples on-line/in-line so more complex multi-dimensional relaxometry and diffusometry sequences can be used off-line/at-line to probe such characteristics, but at the cost of increased acquisition time. Because of the inherently complex structural and dynamical heterogeneity of food 2D-relaxometry and diffusometry techniques developed and implemented at IFR can be readily used. High-resolution NMR spectroscopy is complimentary and offers complex molecular chemical profiling and dynamical behavior of biopolymer structures in the liquid-state and may further help interpret food functionality in the soft-solid state as observed using TD-(low-resolution) NMR techniques.
-Time-domain 1D NMR spectrometers are already on the market and used in the food industry. However, commercial exploitation of multi-dimensional NMR is currently restricted due to US Patent (US Patent 6,462,542 B1, October 8, 2002) that controls the commercial exploitation of the very fast computer algorithm for performing the two-dimensional inverse Laplace transformation.
-INSIDEFOOD successfully (D8.5) demonstrated the potential of 1-dimensional low-field on-line NMR sensor for quality grading food samples with specific application to watercore activity in apples and additionally, fusarium rot in Allium bulbs. Further development is required to improve signal-to-noise in the form of a new on-line Halbach magnet design (proposed in Deliverable, D8.5 'Prototype of low-field NMR/MRI for on-line assessment of fruit quality') as well as evaluation of the technology in a real world food processing factory environment.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Better classification of food quality, reduced waste (processed foods) and loss (fruits), decreased product development times (processed foods).

Achievements at the end of the project:
-OCT has helped in understanding surface quality of food products (e.g. apple peel and cereal coatings). This knowledge can be used to improve processes to achieve better food quality (D8.2 and D8.3).
-Until now RECENDT finds its main partners in industry dedicated to inorganic materials. However, as a consequence of the Inside Food project business activities have expanded to organic materials which are not only a matter of investigation in food industry but in various other fields of industrial and scientific research. This has led to a fruitful cooperation with pharma industry where organic tablet coatings have been studied. In the field of food industry contacts and awareness have to be established which is an ongoing process and great importance is attached to it.
-As a direct follow up of Inside Food in food industry we name a cooperation that has been started recently on quality control of kiwi fruit (Investigating kiwifruit skin properties, Dr Andrew East, Massey University, New Zealand, Supported by Zespri International).
-Roadmaps for commercialization are given in public deliverable D9.19.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Optimization of healthy, nutritional minimally processed fruits and vegetables
Achievements at the end of the project:
-It was shown that TRS based classification of apple maturity could be a basis for selecting products more optimally for processing leading to improved and more uniform quality (D8.7).


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Knowledge of specific applications opens new market opportunities

Achievements at the end of the project:
-The food sector is a new target for micro-CT companies. The EU food industry counts 274,000 companies of which 99% are small and medium-sized entreprises (SME).. The top segment of 3000 large companies will be a main target for purchasing micro-CT equipment for research and product development, while the small and medium-sized entreprises (SME) are targeted for micro-CT services, as purchase price of micro-CT equipment could not be justified for small companies.
-Skyscan (Bruker microCT) is leader in the food sector with18 systems sold. As this number is currently low with respect to the market size, a large potential is there to increase the number of systems and enforce the Bruker microCT position and realize the growth goals.
-In March 2013, the new SkyScan 1272 was announced, an innovative high-resolution X-ray micro-CT (computed tomography) system, which can non-destructively visualize up to 200 Megapixel (14,450x14,450 pixels) virtual slices through objects. More than 2,600 slices can be reconstructed after a single CT data acquisition scan, using new 16 Megapixel or 11 Megapixel X-ray detectors, in up to three offset positions. Using advanced phase-contrast enhancement technology, object details as small as 0.35µm can be detected.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Better quality cereal products for consumers including better nutritional properties
-Better mastering the process
-Ensure innovation rate

Achievements at the end of the project:
-Extruded cereals enriched in fibers were produced with two types of base recipes: (i) one recipe mainly composed of wheat flour and (ii) one recipe mainly composed of corn and soya flours. The addition of fibers was performed through the use of oat bran concentrate or wheat bran, up to 32% of the recipe. The structure of the extrudates assessed by X-ray tomography pointed out the decrease of porosity and of mean cells size with the increase of the total dietary fibers content of the recipe. The hardness of the products, i.e. the maximum stress determined by a compression test, was linked to their porosity. The project thus showed the impact of the structure of the extrudates on their mechanical properties. This knowledge is a basis for further product development to achieve the outlined goals.
-Within the INSIDEFOOD project, structure has been studied by 2D NMR relaxometry for highly hydrated food products such as gels. The application of this method to extruded cereals in an hydrated manner would be of interest for the food industry, since microscopy methods such as confocal scanning light microscopy are time-consuming and most of the time, the images are difficult to quantify. While the tools to quantify the structure at the solid foam level have strongly evolved with the X-ray tomography development and the use of algorithms for 3D image analysis, a spectroscopic method would definitely give a quicker and interesting insight at the level of walls morphology.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Added value to existing software opens new market opportunities
-Ensure innovation rate
-New expertise in 3D algorithm optimization
-Industry-standard technologies

Achievements at the end of the project:
-Visualization Sciences Group (VSG) is the leading provider of high-performance 3D visualization software, delivering 3D applications and graphics toolkits for engineers, scientists‚ and developers, across many industries: materials research, non-destructive testing, biomedical/life sciences, natural resources and more. The Avizo software is continuously updated using also expertise gained from INSIDEFOOD. A dedicated food application webpage has been launched as to promote applications in this industry sector.
-In 2012, VSG announced the release of version 7 of Avizo Fire, the 3D visualization and analysis software for materials science. This major release brought new tools and enhanced capabilities for exploring, analyzing and understanding complex materials and object structures.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Quantitative texture measurement enables to control and keep high quality standards of foods

Achievements at the end of the project:
-The prototype acoustic emission detector has been successfully trialled on a production line of extruded crisp bread (Chaber). The possibility of automatic and instrumental (in-line) measurement of crisp bread texture enables one to increase the frequency of testing samples from a batch.
-Particular product categories with large potential for acoustic emission are:
(1) Fruit and vegetables: to monitor texture changes (e.g. firmness) during storage, to evaluate and control ripeness of plant materials, to increase amounts of high quality products; to reduce waste;
(2) Cereals and bakery products: to inspect texture changes occurring during storage and caused by modification of recipes or processing parameters, to increase shelf life of bakery products; to develop new products; to control the production process;
(3) Dairy products: to follow changes in texture of foamed products caused by different process conditions or recipes; to improve stability of foamed products; to improve texture and homogeneity.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Better quality assessment of fruit
-Faster introduction of new cultivars
-Strengthened market position of European fruit
-Improved operating and management procedures of storage facilities

Achievements at the end of the project:
-VCBT uses an accredited quality control system according to ISO 17025. The accredited scope covers the measurements of quality attributes of fruits and vegetables, such as colour, firmness, weight, diameter, soluble solids content, acidity, starch, and puncture injury. While considerable progress has been made in INSIDEFOOD for the development of different technologies for successfully measuring fruit structure properties, the methods are not yet avaibale to be introduced in the quality control system. VCBT, however, will continue to support development as the potential is high and could lead to improved procedures that include assessment of more internal properties of fruit and vegetables.
-The introduction of new cultivars is a tedious process that involves determining optimal picking dates and storage conditions over different seasons on large quantities of fruit. This is largely achieved by empirical means based on long-term storage experiments and quality assessment. The development of sensor technology, image processing software and modelling in INSIDEFOOD now offers opportunities to include in the process a structure-property-quality analysis that was until today not feasible. This may eventually lead to a faster process in cultivar evaluation and a better understanding of the storability and quality of fruit and vegetables.
-The export value of high quality fresh fruit and vegetables in Europe is 3000 MEUR/year. A typical EU fruit cooperative or export company yearly markets 175 MEUR value of fruit (based on the Flemish situation reviewed by partner VCBT). Today, there is an estimated loss of 5% of the whole EU fruit production due to inadequate quality assurance systems. (personal communication with fruit cooperative representatives, Among others, internal defects can only be detected by destructive sampling of batches, which in most cases contain both healthy and disordered fruit. Today, no technique exists to properly nondestructively detect inline the disordered fruit and more than 20% of healthy fruit thrown away in the quality assurance process. The INSIDEFOOD technologies will allow to sort these fruit, increasing high quality fruit value by 1750 kEUR per gross fruit seller. The systems are aimed to sell in the price range of 50 kEUR to 400 kEUR (depending on the functionality of the sensors included). Additional investments are also required to adapt sorting lines, which is estimated to amount to another 100 kEUR. Yearly operational and maintenance costs on the INSIDEFOOD systems will be up to 20% of the investment cost, thus max. 80 kEUR. Total costs for the first year are thus 580 kEUR, while 3 times higher increase in revenues is expected. The payback time for one system is thus less than 1 year, even for the most expensive system (One system may be sufficient as only 5% of the fruit volume needs to be checked with the advanced technology).


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Increased market for Bruker’s HR-MAS spectrometers.
-(With beneficiary IFR) Commercialisation of NMR off-line and on-line NMR sensors.
-Ensure innovation rate
-New measurement protocols

Achievements at the end of the project:
-Bruker BioSpin remains the global market and technology leader in analytical magnetic resonance instruments including NMR, preclinical MRI and EPR and with increased revenues every year. The company delivers the world's most comprehensive range of magnetic resonance research tools enabling life science, materials science, analytical chemistry, process control and clinical research. Bruker BioSpin is also the leading manufacturer of superconducting high and ultra high field magnets for NMR and MRI.
-The market for HR-MAS based NMR systems is small compared to the overall high resolution market and is mainly driven by clinical tissue analysis. The number of systems sold with HR-MAS is in the order of 50 units. The information obtained from INSIDEFOOD on HR-MAS of apples was presented and distributed to several customers in the field. 2 Systems have been sold in the area of food research, which benefited substantially from having the data to show. The Development of offline and online sensors for HR-MAS applications is not really an issue currently. However the system has been equipped with modern and new sample changing technology, that would allow higher throughput (about 250 samples per day at maximum). Since the sample preparation is a bottleneck not overcome so far, sales possibilities are limited
-The market for MRI micro-imaging systems is a small niche compared to the high resolution or solid state NMR market. Nevertheless it is very important for Bruker to be present in this field and to increase the number of sold systems. Due to the comparable small number of systems sold (approximately 20 per year) and the big variability of the sales numbers per year and the long term influence of the new information on the funding and sales the direct increase of the market is hard to measure. What we achieved so far is an increase of requests for information and demonstration of new applications in food research, triggered on what was published during the Inside Food project. This will definitely have strong impact on future sales.
-Although potential to market for a low-field On-line NMR sensor was successfully demonstrated there is no spin-out initiatives planned resulting from INSIDEFOOD. An improved magnet design was investigated to resolve poor signal-to-noise problems and led to positive initial discussions with industrial collaborators to further develop and build the sensor into a commercial prototype. The development of on-line sensors for NMR micro-imaging applications was from the beginning on a critical issue, because the time for data collection per sample at a significant image quality is too long for routine practical usage. The evaluations during the project confirmed this consideration.
-Bruker has achieved very interesting insight and results about drying of fruit, which can be transferred also to other materials, such as drying and wetting of pre-cooked food, water uptake and drying of non-food materials, e.g. newspaper pulp, fungus infection of wood and more. The new applications and investigation methods are published and help to market the NMR micro-imaging systems.
-The Bruker technology includes targeted multi-marker analysis incorporating absolute quantification of compounds in samples, but also procedures for classification and verification. INSIDEFOOD analyses helped improving these in)-house developed applications. New measurement protocols were also developed for the observation of wetting and drying processes. In addition methods and protocols for the characterization of soft gel materials and for the detection of short T2 components in materials were optimized. The new methods and protocols are integrated in the Bruker imaging methods library and are distributed to the users.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Fast crispness control of bread on-line
-Tools applied to design new products

Achievements at the end of the project:
-The research performed on the production line of crisp bread at Chaber's facility as well as on the grading line (UPM's pilot plant) shows that background sounds play a crucial role in the efficiency of acoustic emission systems. The vibrations generated by technological equipment during food processing may significantly interfere with the acoustic signal emitted by tested samples. To overcome this limitation, the isolated platform for the AE detector (with no contact with the frame of the technology line) will help to eliminate background vibrations.
-The acoustic emission method is destructive; thus the acoustic emission tests cannot be performed on the processing line. Thus, the application of an additional conveyor belt supplying samples to the acoustic detector is indispensable.
-Measurement of acoustic emission of different crispy products in an industrial -environment requires recording of the background sounds each time. The acoustic emission of the background depends on the type of production and applied equipment.
-The combination of mechanical, structural and acoustic analysis has allowed Chaber to compare different formulations of crisp bread that have increased knowledge about the effects of composition and production parameters on final product quality that are now used to improve products.


Socio-economic impact from DoW:
-Opportunities of on-line technology transfer to food chain applications

Achievements at the end of the project:
-Inline MRI was evaluated for apples with internal disorders. Identification of severely affected fruits is feasible under on-line conditions that meet industrial requirements while image segmentation algorithms are still being developed for less severe breakdown.
-Several small and medium-sized entreprises (SME) have already expressed their interest in further developing MRI technology, which has been materialized in a joint EU proposal (MARYLIN) in the 7th Research Framework within the KBBE framework. Further steps will consider focusing the work towards horticultural breeding programs due to the interest gathered during the INSIDEFOOD Symposium.

The following dissemination activities were organised by INSIDEFOOD, according to the dissemination plan outlined at the start of the project:
-Two INSIDEFOOD Symposia (the INSIDEFOOD workshop in Athens in 2011, the INSIDEFOOD symposium in Leuven in 2013) where beneficiaries presented their results to a broad audience. The symposium was an open call international forum where invited speakers and selected contributions from speakers outside the consortium exchanged ideas and progress in the scientific fields and applications. The symposium had a low entry level concept allowing industrials and researchers to meet. Stakeholders were invited to the Symposium.
-Other relevant EU projects were updated of progress by means of the Technology Innovation Newsletter, were invited to the Symposium as well as to the Stakeholder Group. In particular, the INSIDEFOOD symposium was co-organised with the COST Action FA1001 ‘The application of innovative fundamental food-structure-property relationships to the design of foods for health, wellness and pleasure’.
-The Exploitation Manager has set-up possibilities for exchanges on a one-to-one basis between the scientists and representatives of different European companies in the format of Technology Trade Fairs that were organised on bi-annual basis in conjunction with the symposium. These exchanges led to specific research contracts and opened opportunities for economic dissemination/valorisation of the developed technologies; In addition, INSIDEFOOD was present at several industry events in Europe and abroad.
-A Technology Innovation Newsletter was compiled yearly as a pdf document and distributed Europe- and world-wide. They are also available at the website
-Helpdesk functioning by expert postdocs/technicians with respect to in house technologies among researchers but also toward participating and future collaborating companies. This was particularly the case for the participating technology companies VSG, Skyscan and Bruker, who provided extensive consultancy towards the other partners and potential clients.
-18 publications have been achieved of research results and technological advances in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the top 20 of their ISI category. A list is available on
-12 publications in Sector Trade Journals, including national journals. A list is available on
-More than 80 participations in workshops, conferences and national and international scientific meetings, and industry events. A list is available on
-Movies, media coverage and press releases. A list is available on
-The public website to describe the follow-up of the project and to make available information such as published papers and technology updates
-Between the different research groups, an active exchange was established of scientific personnel. The work plan ensured that PhD students and postdocs traveled with their deliverables from one lab to the other and from lab to industrial beneficiary during the development process.


The following valorisation plan was set out for exploitation of the results at the start of the project and was largely achieved at the end of the project, as justified below:
-Access to background was agreed between beneficiaries and could be used during the project to generate new knowledge and develop the technologies.
-IPR arising from this project remained the property of the involved beneficiaries. No patents were filed during the course of the project, and all technology remained private knowledge of the relevant partners. Access to foreground remained within the consortium.
-6-monthly updates of patent literature were presented by the Exploitation Manager
-The small and medium-sized entreprises (SME) beneficiaries VSG and SkyScan, as well as Bruker performed the following tasks for exploitation:
a)Test protocols and software on existing database of microstructures in many material categories to explore feasibility
b)Evaluate the economical viability of commercialising the new technologies and tools estimation of the work, through market study
c)Enquiries of needs of existing and potential customers

This has resulted in new releases of software, new and updated equipment and consolidated or increased market shares and innovation rates.

-End-users Nestle, Chaber and VCBT performed the following tasks towards exploitation of new foods.
a)Follow-up consumer demands
b)Follow-up sector development and new trends
c)Follow-up European and global Food market evolution (prices, demands, imports, exports)
This resulted in new opportunities arising from INSIDEFOOD activcities towards new application areas.

-For further research required for development of new products (both sensors and foods), national and EU funding channels were explored for proto-type testing, demonstration and process development:
a)SGGW has cooperated with food companies, applying AE technique to monitor texture quality of a wide range of food products and also pet foods.
b)SGGW has started a programme of application of acoustic emission technique to monitor quality of different cereal grains
c)PoliMi has started collaborating with dr. Angelo Zanella (Stazione Sperimentale di Laimburg, Italy) on nondestructive texture assessment in apples by TRS in the framework of the Monalisa project funded by region South Tirol
d)In the strategic basic research project Chameleon: Domain-specific Hyperspectral Imaging Systems for Relevant Industrial Applications (2011-2014) funded by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology (IWT-Flanders) KU Leuven will further elaborate the concept of hyperspectral scatter imaging.
e)In the project entitled Monitoring key environmental parameters in the Alpine Environment involving science, technology and application (MONALISA) will further elaborate the hyperspectral scatter imaging setup for firmness measurement of apples as a subcontractor of the Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg.
f)KU Leuven also coordinated the research proposal VIRTuOSO: VersatIle optical sensoR Technologies for OptimiSing fOod processes in which spatially resolved spectroscopy would be implemented as a process analytical technology (PAT) for food extrusion processes.
g)KU Leuven is subcontractor in a project of the Landesbetrieb Hessisches Landeslabor and VDLUFA Qualitatssichering NIRS Gmbh funded by the German state of Hessen where they will investigate the potential of spatially resolved spectroscopy for monitoring biogas fermentation broths.
h)KU Leuven is WP leader for quality sensor technology in the EU FP7 project PicknPack, Flexible robotic systems for automated adaptive packaging of fresh and processed food products (FP7 311987, 1/11/2012-31/10/2016) that investigates the inline implementation of sensors in flexible packing lines.
i)Until now RECENDT finds its main partners in industry dedicated to inorganic materials. However, as a consequence of the Inside Food project business activities have expanded to organic materials which are not only a matter of investigation in food industry but in various other fields of industrial and scientific research. This has led to a fruitful cooperation with pharma industry where organic tablet coatings have been studied. In the field of food industry contacts and awareness have to be established which is an ongoing process and great importance is attached to it. As a direct follow up of Inside Food in food industry we name a cooperation that has been started recently on quality control of Kiwi fruits (Investigating kiwifruit skin properties, Dr Andrew East, Massey University, New Zealand, Supported by Zespri International).
j)KU Leuven coordinates a Flemish R&D initiative (IWT SBO TomFood, 2013-2016) dedicated to Novel techniques for inspection and engineering of food (micro)structure based on X-ray computed tomography. The consortium consists of food product specialists and X-ray CT experts including reconstruction and image analysis, and is supported by a wide range of food and technology companies.
k)KU Leuven has bilateral R&D contracts with food companies for X-ray CT of dedicated food products, using their X-ray CT facility.
-The Exploitation Manager has extensively consulted the Stakeholders at different scientific and industrial events throughout the project, including an INSIDEFOOD workshop and symposium.
-Industrial dissemination was a key task to assist valorisation and was conducted extensively.

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