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Application of Spectroscopy as a Sustainable Tool for Agri-Food Product Inspection and Characterization

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Optics and Lasers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2021) | Viewed by 6933

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: biosystems engineering; optical analyses; agro-food sector; chemometrics; pre-postharvest
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Interests: optical analyses; agro-food sector; chemometrics; pre-postharvest
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The spectroscopic analysis in the region of visible near-infrared (vis/NIR) and near-infrared (NIR) represents a powerful analytical tool. NIRs have become very useful for evaluating the quality of fruit and vegetables and, in general, for the characterization of agri-food products. Coupled with suitable statistical analysis (chemometrics), NIRs are excellent tools for rapid quantitative analysis and, in most case studies, require no sample preparation, resulting in sustainable and low-impact analytical technologies. NIR devices have been recently developed with attention to their simplification, by integrating user-friendly software for statistical processing and partial automation of analysis, for less skilled users.

However, the adoption of NIR technologies by the agri-food sector can be noticed and can be attributed to the costs and technical limitations. Therefore, research is moving towards simplified, easy-to-use, low-cost systems for real-time in-situ measurements.

Besides, automation has a crucial role in completely inter-connected industry, which is defined as Industry 4.0. The development of optical instrumentation with very inexpensive sensors that can be placed directly in contact with the sample for continuous monitoring without an operator (thanks to cloud data storage) could be an interesting opportunity.

Therefore, this Special Issue will collect studies focused on agri-food new application, with particular attention to automation and integration in field and/or real scale plant. The submitted papers can cover different topics: product inspection and characterization, on-line applications, field applications, new prototypes, automation and networking of devices, and proximal sensing.

Dr. Roberto Beghi
Dr. Valentina Giovenzana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Vis/NIR spectroscopy
  • NIR spectroscopy
  • agri-food
  • simplified device
  • wavelengths
  • prototypes
  • characterization
  • control
  • field
  • automation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 1938 KiB  
Article
Application of a Cost-Effective Visible/Near Infrared Optical Prototype for the Measurement of Qualitative Parameters of Chardonnay Grapes
by Alessia Pampuri, Alessio Tugnolo, Valentina Giovenzana, Andrea Casson, Carola Pozzoli, Lucio Brancadoro, Riccardo Guidetti and Roberto Beghi
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 4853; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12104853 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
In this paper, a cost-effective visible/near infrared optical prototype was tested for grape maturity monitoring. The device was used to quantify the qualitative parameters of Chardonnay grapes, based on the combination of spectroscopic data and the creation of predictive models. The optical acquisitions [...] Read more.
In this paper, a cost-effective visible/near infrared optical prototype was tested for grape maturity monitoring. The device was used to quantify the qualitative parameters of Chardonnay grapes, based on the combination of spectroscopic data and the creation of predictive models. The optical acquisitions were performed directly in the field through the use of 12 wavelengths in the vis/NIR range, i.e., 450, 500, 550, 570, 600, 610, 650, 680, 730, 760, 810 and 860 nanometers. The prediction of the qualitative parameters was carried out through a multivariate model, partial least square (PLS) regression technique and built knowing the real values of the parameters, i.e., total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA) and pH measured through the reference laboratory analyses. Sampling included two harvest years. The most efficient model was the one for TSS evaluation that gave a R2 = 0.87 (independent test set validation). The results demonstrated that the optical device is able to provide useful information about the ripening parameters of Chardonnay grapes directly in the field in order to predict its correct maturation stage and, therefore, support operators in rapid and objective decision making. Overall, the use of the prototype promotes a sustainable approach and viticulture 4.0. Full article
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14 pages, 2064 KiB  
Article
Optimal Design Approach Applied to Headspace GC for the Monitoring of Diacetyl Concentration, Spectrophotometric Assessment of Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Potential in Different Fermentation Processes of Barley
by Fouad El Mansouri, Hammadi El Farissi, Francesco Cacciola, Badr Bouhcain, Joaquim C. G. Esteves da Silva, Miguel Palma Lovillo and Jamal Brigui
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12010037 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2807
Abstract
The present study aimed to validate a control method on the gas chromatography system (GC) based on the experimental design strategy, to examine the changes and correlation between the fermentation process and the quality of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer product, especially the formation [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to validate a control method on the gas chromatography system (GC) based on the experimental design strategy, to examine the changes and correlation between the fermentation process and the quality of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer product, especially the formation of diacetyl. On the other hand, spectrophotometric methods were applied to the determination of polyphenols content and the potential antioxidant activity of beer during different fermentation processes. with this aim, three modes of barley fermentation were used, specifically classical fermentation, stopped fermentation and thermal process. The results showed that the different fermentation modes had a major impact on diacetyl production. The highest concentration was obtained using stopped fermentation 0.36 mg/L, the lowest concentration value 0.07 mg/L was detected using the thermal process. Monitoring the increase of oxygen concentration between fermentation, filtration, and filling of the final product (32, 107, 130 ppm, respectively) has a significant impact on the concentration of diacetyl. The obtained results of spectrophotometric analysis showed that the total antioxidant activity changed during beer fermentation process and demonstrate that the extend of the antioxidant activity was very much dependent on the total polyphenolic content with a higher value in Hopped wort (13.41%, 65 mg GAE 100 mL−1, 28 mg CE 100 mL−1) for antioxidant potential, total phenolic content, and total flavonoids content, respectively, whereas the lowest values was detected in Non-alcoholic beer using thermal process (7.24%, 35 mg GAE 100 mL−1, 10 mg CE 100 mL−1) for antioxidant potential, total phenolic contents, and total flavonoids contents, respectively. Based on the results achieved, we reveal the impact of the fermentation process on the nutritional value of the final product. Full article
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15 pages, 2312 KiB  
Article
Real-Time Quantification of Crude Protein and Neutral Detergent Fibre in Pastures under Montado Ecosystem Using the Portable NIR Spectrometer
by Emanuel Carreira, João Serrano, Shakib Shahidian, Julio Nogales-Bueno and Ana Elisa Rato
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(22), 10638; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112210638 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
The Montado is a Mediterranean agro–forestry–pastoral ecosystem. Knowledge of pastures’ nutritional value is critical for farm managers’ decision-making. Laboratory determinations are very expensive, destructive and costly, in terms of time and labour. The objective of this experimental work was to calibrate and validate [...] Read more.
The Montado is a Mediterranean agro–forestry–pastoral ecosystem. Knowledge of pastures’ nutritional value is critical for farm managers’ decision-making. Laboratory determinations are very expensive, destructive and costly, in terms of time and labour. The objective of this experimental work was to calibrate and validate a portable near-infrared spectrometer (micro-NIR) to predict the nutritive value (neutral detergent fibre, NDF and crude protein, CP) of pastures in the peak of spring 2021. Thus, a total of 87 pasture samples were collected at eight experimental fields located in the Alentejo, Southern region of Portugal. The results show good correlations between in-situ micro-NIR measurements and pasture NDF reference values (R2 of 0.73 and 0.69 for calibration and validation models, respectively), and a moderate correlation between micro-NIR measurements and pasture CP reference values (R2 of 0.51 and 0.36 for calibration and validation models, respectively). These results show the potential of this tool for the quick evaluation of pasture quality and constitute a starting point for future work, which should include the monitoring of temporal variability (throughout the entire vegetative cycle of the pasture) and spatial (with geo-referenced information) diversity of pastures characteristic of the Montado ecosystem in the Mediterranean region. Full article
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