Food safety and quality are becoming progressively important, and a failure to implement monitoring processes and identify anomalies in composition, production, and distribution can lead to severe financial and customer health damages. If consumers were uncertain about food safety and quality, the impact could be profound; hence, we need better ways of minimizing such risks. On the data management side, the rise of artificial intelligence, data analytics, the Internet of Things, and blockchain all provide enormous opportunities for supply chain management and liability management, but the impact of any approach starts with the quality of the relevant data. Here, we present state-of-the-art spectroscopic technologies including hyperspectral reflectance, fluorescence imaging as well as Raman spectroscopy, and speckle imaging that are all validated for food safety and quality applications. We believe a multimode approach comprising of a number of these synergetic optical detection modes is needed for the highest performance. We present a plan where our implementations reflect this concept through a multimode tabletop system in the sense that a large, real-time production-level device would be based on more modes than this mid-level one, while a handheld, portable unit may only address fewer challenges, but with a lower cost and size.
Part of the book: Hyperspectral Imaging in Agriculture, Food and Environment
Food waste is a global problem caused in large part by premature food spoilage. Seafood is especially prone to food waste because it spoils easily. Of the annual 4.7 billion pounds of seafood destined for U.S. markets between 2009 and 2013, 40 to 47 percent ended up as waste. This problem is due in large part to a lack of available technologies to enable rapid, accurate, and reliable valorization of food products from boat or farm to table. Fortunately, recent advancements in spectral sensing technologies and spectroscopic analyses show promise for addressing this problem. Not only could these advancements help to solve hunger issues in impoverished regions of the globe, but they could also benefit the average consumer by enabling intelligent pricing of food products based on projected shelf life. Additional technologies that enforce trust and compliance (e.g., blockchain) could further serve to prevent food fraud by maintaining records of spoilage conditions and other quality validation at all points along the food supply chain and provide improved transparency as regards contract performance and attribution of liability. In this chapter we discuss technologies that have enabled the development of hand-held spectroscopic devices for detecting food spoilage. We also discuss some of the analytical methods used to classify and quantify spoilage based on spectral measurements.