Food safety is vital to the well-being of society; therefore, it is important to inspect food products to ensure minimal health risks are present. A crucial phase of food inspection is the identification of foreign particles found in the sample, such as insect body parts. The presence of certain species of insects, especially storage beetles, is a reliable indicator of possible contamination during storage and food processing. However, the current approach to identifying species is visual examination by human analysts; this method is rather subjective and time-consuming. Furthermore, confident identification requires extensive experience and training. To aid this inspection process, we have developed in collaboration with FDA analysts some image analysis-based machine intelligence to achieve species identification with up to 90% accuracy. The current project is a continuation of this development effort. Here we present an image analysis environment that allows practical deployment of the machine intelligence on computers with limited processing power and memory. Using this environment, users can prepare input sets by selecting images for analysis, and inspect these images through the integrated pan, zoom, and color analysis capabilities. After species analysis, the results panel allows the user to compare the analyzed images with referenced images of the proposed species. Further additions to this environment should include a log of previously analyzed images, and eventually extend to interaction with a central cloud repository of images through a web-based interface. Additional issues to address include standardization of image layout, extension of the feature-extraction algorithm, and utilizing image classification to build a central search engine for widespread usage.
- An Image Analysis Environment for Species Identification of Food Contaminating Beetles
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