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Monitoring strategies for quality control of agricultural products using visible and near-infrared spectroscopy: A review

Cortés, V., Blasco, J., Aleixos, N., Cubero, S., Talens, P.
Trends in food science & technology 2019 v.85 pp. 138-148
agricultural products, chemometrics, equipment, food quality, fruits, monitoring, near-infrared spectroscopy, prediction, prices, quality control
The increasing demand for quality assurance in agro-food production requires sophisticated analytical methods for in-line quality control. One of these techniques is visible and near-infrared (VIS-NIR) spectroscopy, which has low running costs, does not need sample preparation, and is non-destructive, environmentally friendly, and fast. Despite these advantages, only a limited amount of research has been conducted on VIS-NIR in-line applications to measure, control, and predict quality in fruits and vegetables.The applicability of VIS-NIR spectroscopy for the off-line and in-line monitoring of quality in postharvest products has been addressed in this review. The document focuses on the comparison between the two processes for the same agro-food product, highlighting the main advantages and disadvantages, problems, solutions, and differences.VIS-NIR techniques, combined with chemometric methods, have shown great potential due to their fast detection speed, and the possibility of simultaneously predicting multiple quality parameters or distinguishing between products according to the objectives. Being able to automate processes is a great advantage compared to routine off-line analyses, mainly due to the savings achieved in time, material, and personnel. However, in numerous cases, in-line implementation has not been accomplished in the corresponding studies, hence the scarcity of real in-line applications. Recent demands, together with the advances being made in the technology and a reduction in the price of equipment, makes VIS-NIR technology an analytical alternative for continuous real-time food quality controls, which will become predominant in the next few years.