Novel sensor systems and application development

Sensor prototypes for measuring for instance chemical complexity in food samples will be build and tested. Photo/cc: Sintef

We will design, build and test in-line high-resolution spectroscopy, exploit imaging sensors, develop and test robust, low-powered spectral sensors and evaluate the feasibility of applications.

The research area is led by Marion O’Farrell at SINTEF Digital and divided into four work packages. Key partners in this Pillar include Lerøy Aurora, Nortura, Norilia, Biomega, TINE, MarqMetrix, Nanoplus, Prediktor, Nofima,

Work package 1: In-line high-resolution spectroscopy

In this work package, we will build and test sensor prototypes for inline measurement of complex chemical components in food samples. Components we will investigate include fatty acid composition, pH in muscle, protein composition in dairy and bioprocesses.

We will explore the following:

  • Raman measurements for selected applications in realistic environments
  • MIR-based systems for in-line measurements of liquids
  • Combining ICL and QCL technology with waveguide technology for analyzing chemical composition and contamination in complex food matrices.

Work package 2: Imaging Sensors

In this work package we will investigate advanced imaging systems for measuring the following:

  • defect detection
  • detection of how texture, color and chemical composition is distributed in the products
  • detection of how the spatial distribution of factors such as heat and water develop in a product during heating and drying processes.

We will potentially test and analyze the following technologies:

  • High-end and lower specification hyperspectral imaging (HSI) for applications that require both spectral information for chemical composition and spatial information for context
  • Novel up and coming technology, for example highly penetrative Terahertz imaging or new IR laser diodes combined with highspeed line cameras.

Work package 3: Robust, low-powered spectral sensors

We will develop and test miniature, battery-operated sensor solutions that are suitable for robust handheld use, field use and as part of Internet of Things-network.

We will evaluate the potential of enabling technologies such as new mini- and micro-NIR-spectrometers and LEDs, develop methodologies for understanding the quality and robustness of the data generated, and build handheld prototypes that are suitable for testing and understanding sensor performance in realistic environments.

Work package 4: Feasibility of applications

The aim of this work package is to develop and evaluate new sensing applications for measuring food quality, based on needs at farms or in food industry. We want industry to have the possibility to bring new ideas and needs for rapid in-line quality measurements into the research centre, or to modify our initial ideas based on what we learn along the way. We want the possibility to investigate novel applications based on present and future ideas and needs. New technology is being constantly developed in universities and research institutes, or is being made commercially available on the market, or it is reaching a more reasonable price range. It is important for the partners in Digifoods to have an overview of these opportunities, so they can pivot and adapt accordingly, seizing new opportunities as they arise

We will:

  • Establish suitable measurement methods for new applications in proof of concept studies, including understanding which reference measurement is most suitable
  • Conduct workshops on novel enabling technology or new ideas for sensor development.