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Upon closer inspection

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MICHAEL D. WHEELER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, [email protected]

MICHAEL D. WHEELER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEFIn May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a public health alert for Great Value Black Forest Ham. Random sampling found that the product wasn’t fully cooked. The discovery occurred after the ham had been shipped to Walmart stores throughout the upper Midwest. As is often the case, by the time spoilage or contamination is discovered, food products are already in the hands of consumers. Some may fall ill. And for companies responsible for producing the tainted food, the consequences can be severe: lost revenue, the erosion of customer trust, and possible fines and litigation.

Fortunately, increasingly sophisticated vision systems are giving food producers the upper hand in ensuring high levels of safety and consistency among their products.

In the first of two feature-length articles on food inspection in this issue, Teledyne DALSA’s Mike Grodzki traces how far things have evolved in the last century from the first automated optical sorters used in bean sorting. Newer techniques, such as hyperspectral imaging, can identify the unique spectral signatures of chemicals and objects, allowing food producers to see whether a food may be spoiled or contaminated and even whether a piece of fruit will be sweet or not. “Food Inspection Techniques: From the Visible to 3D Imaging” begins here.

And in the second feature article on food inspection, Hamamatsu’s Albert Tu surveys a number of techniques, including two rarely covered in these pages: the use of x-ray imaging for subsurface inspection and spectroscopy for assessing food composites. The latter holds the key to unlocking information about nutrients and freshness. Tu’s article “Assessing Food Inspection Techniques” begins here.

We round out the summer edition with “Navigating the Options for 3D Imaging” by David L. Dechow of Landing AI on page 34 and Scott Tate’s “Image Sensor Sockets: A Key Factor in Camera Design” here.

And last but not least, we encourage you to attend the upcoming Vision Spectra Conference July 19-21. You’ll hear from industry luminaries on the latest in vision-guided robotics, warehousing, logistics, and advancements in sensors and cameras. Check out the highlights and full program here.


Editor-in-Chief

Vision Spectra
Summer 2022
Editorial

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