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Completed project

A revolutionary new sensor for in-field measurements of food safety in leafy vegetables (VG13073)

Key research provider: The University of Sydney
Publication date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What was it all about?

This project aimed to construct a working prototype of a new-generation Raman sensor to detect dangerous microorganisms in leafy vegetables. It was successful in producing a compact Raman sensor and fitting it to a robot to show the potential of real-time testing for dangerous microorganisms on vegetables. Although the Raman technology failed to successfully detect bacteria, the methodology was sound. The sequence of development and testing made significant progress to achieving the successful outcome, however the undertaking was ambitious and the necessary development proved to be beyond the scope of the project.

While no tests were undertaken in the packaging chain, improvements in this technology could offer great potential. Being a real time sensor, there would be no reason for any produce to be delivered to the customer without testing. In fact, it would be technically feasible that the Raman sensor could operate across clear plastic wrapping and sealed bags could be tested, providing ultimate last point of use assurance that the product is safe.

Related levy funds

978 0 7341 4450 8

Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the vegetable research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower‐owned, not‐for‐profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.