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Detection of Foreign Bodies in Foods Using Continuous Wave Terahertz Imaging

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Foreign bodies (FBs) in food are health hazards and quality issues for many food manufacturers and enforcement authorities. In this study, continuous wave (CW) terahertz (THz) imaging at 0.2 THz with an output power of 10 mW was compared with X-ray imaging as techniques for inspection of food for FBs. High-density FBs, i.e., aluminum and granite pieces of various sizes, were embedded in a powdered instant noodle product and detected using THz and X-ray imaging. All aluminum and granite pieces (regular hexahedrons with an edge length of 1 to 5 mm) were visualized by both CW THz and X-ray imaging. THz imaging also detected maggots (length = 8 to 22 mm) and crickets (length = 35 and 50 mm), which were embedded in samples as low density FBs. However, not all sizes of maggot pieces embedded in powdered instant noodle were detected with X-ray imaging, although larger crickets (length = 50 mm and thickness = 10 mm) were detected. These results suggest that CW THz imaging has potential for detecting both high-density and low-density FBs embedded in food.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Food Safety Research Center, Korea Food Research Institute, Backhyun 516, Sungnam, Gyeonggi-do 463-746, Republic of Korea 2: Center for Pioneering Medical-Physics Research, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, Sa-dong 1271-19, Ansan, Gyeonggi-do 426-170, Republic of Korea 3: Nongshim Engineering Co., Ltd., Shindaebang 370, Seoul 156-010, Republic of Korea 4: Food Safety Research Center, Korea Food Research Institute, Backhyun 516, Sungnam, Gyeonggi-do 463-746, Republic of Korea.

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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