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Hyperspectral sensors for the food industry

Headwall Photonics is collaborating with QualySense over a grain, seed and bean sorting system using Headwall’s Hyperspec Extended VNIR sensors, which operate in the spectral range of 550–1650 nm.

The QualySense QSorter systems will be able to classify and sort grains based on nutrients and contamination levels. Waste will be minimised because hyperspectral sensing has the ability to eliminate only those seeds and grains that specific algorithms deem to be of poor quality. Foods made from those commodities will be more effectively processed, utilised and priced based on quality parameters assessed during the high-throughput, hyperspectral inspection process.

David Bannon, Headwall CEO, noted how hyperspectral sensing is playing an innovative role in food quality and safety: “QualySense is a perfect example of how our technology can be used to deliver cost-effective innovation to processors of seeds and grains. With the QSorter instruments, quality can be determined more precisely than ever and in real time.”

Dr Francesco Dell’Endice, QualySense CEO, explained the key role that innovative technology can play. “Food producers need a highly resolved way of determining protein and oil content, colour, size and other meaningful characteristics while increasing product consistency. Hyperspectral sensing represents a tremendous technical leap forward because it gives our customers a new view on quality. Headwall’s Hyperspec sensor provides exceptional spectral and spatial imaging and does so with the processing power required for high-throughput food inspection.”

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