Development of a method fon non-destructive testing of fruits using scanning laser vibrometry (SLV)
Santulli, C. and Jeronimidis, G. (2006) Development of a method fon non-destructive testing of fruits using scanning laser vibrometry (SLV). NDT.net - The e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing, 11 (10). ISSN 1435-4934
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Official URL: http://www.ndt.net/article/v11n10/santulli.pdf
Quality control on fruits requires reliable methods, able to assess with reasonable accuracy and possibly in a non-destructive way their physical and chemical characteristics. More specifically, a decreased firmness indicates the presence of damage or defects in the fruit or else that the fruit has exceeded its “best before date”, becoming unsuitable for consumption. In high-value exotic fruits, such as mangoes, where firmness cannot be easily measured from a simple observation of texture, colour changes and unevenness of fruits surface, the use of non-destructive techniques is highly recommendable. In particular, the application of Laser vibrometry, based on the Doppler effect, a non-contact technique sensitive to differences in displacements inferior to the nanometre, appears ideal for a possible on-line control on food. Previous results indicated that a phase shift can be in a repeatable way associated with the presence of damage on the fruit, whilst a decreased firmness results in significant differences in the displacement of the fruits under the same excitation signal. In this work, frequency ranges for quality control via the application of a sound chirp are suggested, based on the measurement of the signal coherence. The variations of the average vibration spectrum of a grid of points, or of point-by-point signal velocity allows the go-no go recognition of “firm” and “over-ripe” fruits, with notable success in the particular case of mangoes. The future exploitation of this work will include the application of this method to allow on-line control during conveyor belt distribution of fruits.