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The ins and outs of food, health evaluation

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In an increasingly health-conscious world, we’re paying close attention to the food we’re consuming and its short- and long-term effects on our overall health. Wearables, smartphones, and other mobile devices will soon help us check the freshness of supermarket food and evaluate the quality of restaurant meals. We can already monitor our own vital signs, and will soon even be able to verify the exact substances in a medication to ensure its validity.

Near-IR spectroscopy, which uses characteristic light absorption behavior of certain molecular compounds, is at the heart of such systems. In this issue’s cover story — “Growing Developments with NIR Spectroscopy,” — OSRAM Opto Semiconductors’ Carola Diez examines how, for example, when a defined spectrum is directed at a food or crop sample, it is possible to determine the presence and quality of specific ingredients from the wavelength distribution of reflected light.

This Spring issue also delves into the world of sensors. With a focus on advancing optics and optical components, Contributing Editor Hank Hogan takes a look at how larger sensors are capturing more wavelengths, which is, in turn, improving defense and security systems. Such advancements are ultimately helping enhance identification of safety threats, and at greater distances. Learn more in “Optics Improvements Prompt Enhanced Component Parameters,”.

In this issue’s EPIC Insights column, EPIC’s Jose Pozo and Ana Belén González Guerrero examine the growing role of lasers in the medical field. Lasers’ strength in modulating wavelength, power, density, and energy covers a wide range of applications — ophthalmology, lithotripsy, and oncology, as well as dermatologic and cosmetic procedures related to diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, the effect a laser has on a particular tissue type is as dependent on the properties of the laser as on the properties of the tissue.

Eric Fox, director of CMOS Image Sensor R&D at Teledyne DALSA, takes a look at CMOS imaging and its journey from industry to the consumer market. The use of imaging sensors is increasing, as the global market in the consumer sector is expected to grow significantly to $25.6 billion in 2024 (from $14.1 billion in 2017). Advancements in CMOS image sensor technology, including new silicon manufacturing processes (such as deep submicron fabrication, smaller pixels, lower noise circuits, and backside illuminated photodiodes), are saturating the market; this includes 3D image sensors, thanks to new applications in machine vision and other sectors. See the full article — “CMOS Imaging: From Industry to Consumer and Back Again”.

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Enjoy the issue!

Spring 2019

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