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Measurement of the optical properties of fruits and vegetables using spatially resolved hyperspectral diffuse reflectance imaging technique

Qin, Jianwei, Lu, Renfu
Postharvest biology and technology 2008 v.49 no.3 pp. 355
measurement, optical properties, fruits (food), vegetables, food analysis, food composition, fruit composition, hyperspectral imagery, reflectance, ripening, chlorophyll, anthocyanins, carotenoids, water content, absorbance, firmness, light scattering, raw fruit, raw vegetables
This paper reports on the measurement of the optical properties of fresh fruits and vegetables over the visible and short-wave near-infrared region (500-1000nm) using a spatially resolved steady-state diffuse reflectance technique. A hyperspectral imaging system in line scan mode was used to acquire spatially resolved diffuse reflectance images from the samples of apple (three varieties), peach, pear, kiwifruit, plum, cucumber, zucchini squash, and tomato (at three ripeness stages) over the spectral range of 500-1000nm. The absorption and reduced scattering coefficients of the samples were determined from the spatially resolved scattering profiles using inverse algorithms for a diffusion theory model. Spectra of the absorption coefficient were featured by major pigments (chlorophyll, anthocyanin, and carotenoid) and water in the samples, whereas spectra of the reduced scattering coefficient generally decreased with the increase of wavelength. Values of the absorption and reduced scattering coefficients varied greatly among the test samples. Large differences in the absorption spectra were observed for the tomatoes of three ripeness stages (green, pink, and red), and their ripeness was correctly classified using the ratio of the absorption coefficient at 675nm (for chlorophyll) to that at 535nm (for anthocyanin). Values of the reduced scattering coefficient positively correlated with the firmness of tomatoes at individual wavelengths of 500-1000nm, with the maximum correlation of 0.66 being obtained at 790nm. Light penetration depths, defined as the depths at which the incident light was reduced by 99%, were estimated to be between 0.97 and 6.52cm for the fruit and vegetable samples over the wavelength range of 500-1000nm; they were influenced by major pigments in the plant tissue. The spatially resolved steady-state diffuse reflectance technique provides a convenient and efficient means for measuring the optical properties of turbid food and agricultural products.