TeraHertz Imaging for Food Inspection

April 30, 2018
category: General
TeraHertz Imaging for Food Inspection

Terahertz (THz) imaging scanners by Terasense offer imaging sensors for the non-destructive analysis of the internal structure of objects making them ideal for applications in food inspection, agricultural inspection and detecting the contents of packages. THz imaging is far superior to infrared, visual, and X-ray inspection methods.

Food manufacturers can use a terahertz food scanner to check if a pick-and-place robotic arm has put all candy bars into a cardboard carton. Seeing through cardboard or PE packaging poses no problem to THz imagers as individual chocolate bars can be wrapped in any material, even metal-containing foil, which is impervious to THz rays.

Another good application is checking noodle packs to see if they contain a sachet with seasoning. A sachet must be placed inside every noodle pack. The THz food scanner can gently and quickly prompt the conveyor-line operator and indicate if a sachet is missing. Noodle containers are usually made of plastic or synthetic foam (polyfoam) which is transparent to THz waves.

Reports of insects and other foreign objects found in food are a serious cause of concern for consumers, food manufacturers, and retailers alike. THz imaging systems can easily detect a common housefly through several polyethylene bags, even if total thickness of such PET coating exceeds 20 mm.

Detecting metal or plastic debris inside food packaging can also be performed with THz imaging scanners

Terasense imaging systems reveal carcinogenic Mycotoxin fungus that contaminates peanuts, corn, hazelnuts, and other grain crops and oil plants. For instance, with the aid of THz imagers, industrial customers can detect any sign of infections such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which exude the extremely dangerous carcinogen Aflatoxins B1.

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