Lincoln scientists creating new food packaging faults detector

19 March 2013 (Last Updated March 19th, 2013 18:30)

A new flexible computer system is being created by scientists at the University of Lincoln in the UK, to detect flaws in food products and packaging on the production line quickly.

TSB project_Food packaging detection

A new flexible computer system is being created by scientists at the University of Lincoln in the UK, to detect flaws in food products and packaging on the production line quickly.

University of Lincoln School of Computer Science scientist Dr Tom Duckett will create new multipurpose imaging technology to carry out quality inspection tasks in the food industry.

Dr Duckett said the university is attempting to make an application that can detect various issues pertaining to food products and packaging.

"It's about ensuring that packaging is sealed correctly and about checking that the right amount of food is in the right place," Dr Duckett said.

The £823,277 project, named Trainable Vision-based Anomaly Detection and Diagnosis, is part-funded by the UK innovation agency Technology Strategy Board, and builds on two previous research projects carried out by the university.

UK-based lead partner Ishida Europe, which has been designing, manufacturing and delivering weighing and packing solutions to the European food industry, will work with the university to facilitate real-time testing of the software in its food processing and packaging systems.

Gary Tufnell from Ishida Europe said, "There will be increased assurance for customer health and safety through enhanced product quality and increased efficiencies in food production will lead to reduction in waste going to landfill."

The flexible imaging technology, is claimed to lead to less food waste as manufacturers can sense problems earlier in the production cycle, which will also lead to safer food.

Throughout the project, which is also supported by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and runs until October 2015, expertise from the University's National Centre for Food Manufacturing will be used.


Image: The new computer system being created can detect issues pertaining to food products and packaging; Photo: Courtesy of University of Lincoln.