The squared segments indicate that the GTRI computer vision system’s software has detected a foreign object (in this case, plastic glove pieces) in the sample product. Photo Courtesy GTRI
Although metal detectors help commercial food processors keep metal fragments from ending up in finished products, these detectors can’t identify plastic and other foreign objects.
And as plastic becomes more widespread, used in everything from conveyor belts to latex gloves, plastic contamination is a growing concern for many food processing operations.
For the past year, John Stewart, a research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, has been leading a development team in building a computer-vision system that identifies plastic and other unwanted elements in finished food products. The project is funded by Georgia’s Traditional Industries Program for Food Processing with additional support from industrial partners.
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