Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

Utopia: Universal Three-dimensiOnal Passport for process Individualization in Agriculture

Agricultural foods naturally vary in their detailed internal structure. To facilitate early detection of health hazards due to contamination or disease, predict maturity and minimize wastage, it is critical to take into account the internal characteristics of each individual product, as these enable assessment of product quality, individualized processing of the product and detection of harmful specimens.

2020 - 2025
Joost Batenburg

Wageningen UR, University of  Utrecht, Greefa, Meyn Food Precessing.

3D scanning

The UTOPIA project will develop a powerful approach for in-line 3D X-ray scanning of agricultural products, which will allow the creation of an individual digital passport of each product with characteristics related to safety, quality and morphology derived from the 3D internal representation of the product. Our approach is based on advancing and combining two key technologies: (i) high throughput, simultaneous 3D imaging of groups of products using multispectral X-ray tomography, and (ii) data-driven feature detection using deep learning techniques. By creating automated tools that link morphological information to functional features, decisions can be made in real time.

Individualized quality assurance

Our approach will pave the way for fully individualized quality assurance and processing of agricultural products, raising the bar for food safety and waste reduction through early detection of disorders and diseases, and increasing value through individualized processing.

The UTOPIA project team combines CWI's expertise in 3D image reconstruction and machine learning with deep knowledge of agricultural products from Wageningen University and Utrecht University and extensive experience in high-volume production systems for fruit (GREEFA) and poultry (Meyn) processing. We will jointly develop concrete demonstrators to bring these smart technologies into the real high-volume environment.

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