Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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Internal characterisation of fresh agricultural products using traditional and ultrafast electron beam X-ray computed tomography imaging

Donis Gonzalez, I. R.; Guyer, D. E.; Pease, A.; Barthel, F.


Currently, destructive techniques can be employed to evaluate the internal attributes of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. However, clearly not all produce can be evaluated. Thus, there is a need to develop an in vivo non-destructive technique able to assess fresh agricultural commodity internal components, especially disorders. In this study, medical grade computed tomography (CT) was used to obtain transversal two-dimensional (2D) Images from several fresh agricultural product phenomena. CT scanning was performed by placing and securing numbered samples onto a whole polyethylene sheet, placed on the CT scanner table. Phenomena included the internal decay of chestnuts (Castanea spp.), internal defects in pickling cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), translucency disorder in pineapples (Ananas comosus), pit presence in tart cherries (Prunus cerasus var. Montmorency) and plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar ) infestation of tart cherries.
In addition, an ultrafast X-ray CT scanner was also used to visualise internal characteristics of fresh chestnuts. Chestnuts were labelled and packed in a thin plastic hose, which was pulled through the scanning plane. The 2D CT X-ray images and post-processing three-dimensional CT image recon-struction indicate that CT can be used as an accurate in vivo insight of fresh intact agri-cultural products. Results suggest that there is a potential for non-destructive inline sorting of the internal quality of several agricultural products.
The long-term objective is that the fresh and processing product industries will then be able to detect internal quality attributes of fresh agricultural commodities, at a relatively early stage, after validation under commercial conditions.