• Dias Franco, M.K.K.; Yokaichiya, F.; Kardjilov, N.; Ferraz, A.C.: Microfocus X-ray imaging of Brazil nuts for quality control. Semina / Ciencias Agrarias 36 (2015), p. 2565-2576

Open Access Version

Non-destructive quality assessment of food prior to processing is desirable in commercial facilities due to its non-invasive nature, for economic reasons and for its safety appeals. Grading Brazil nuts in this way allows for the separation of undesirable nuts to avoid contamination during the automatic nut-shelling process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of X-ray phase contrast enhanced imaging in assessing nut quality. For this goal, details of the imaging technique are described and phase contrast X-ray and microtomography imaging of nut samples are investigated. Both high quality (i.e. “sound”) nuts as well as treated nuts were examined. It was concluded that both the X-ray imaging and tomography techniques have the potential to discriminate morphological features of the nut and to identify “sound” kernels from atypical ones. Larger nuts and nuts with a larger gap area between shell and kernel were concluded to have more atypical formations. Both techniques also seemed promising for use in automatic sorting lines. However, by using microtomography, the visualization of finer formations not noticeable in the X-ray images was possible. Further studies shall be carried out to investigate the nature of these formations, how they affect nut quality and their evolution with storage time.