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41. Rotation and detection of foreign bodies/ physical contaminants in frozen vegetables


At the Tech Transfer Agrifood Fund we are looking for innovation in the identification and/or elimination of foreign bodies within the processing/packaging line of frozen vegetables. The objective is to identify and develop alternative vision techniques that enable foreign bodies to be detected, and to geolocate/track the availability of the foods.

1- Automatic detection and elimination of vegetable material belonging to the plant in the processing of frozen vegetables. 

In many cases, current detection systems that segregate by colour or by cloud (laser) are not able to remove vegetable material if the colour or vegetable structure is very similar to the fruit.

With this application, we are looking for technologies that help to distinguish the vegetable matter of the fruit (for example, remains of pepper hearts in peppers)

2 – Detection of toxic seeds/fruits/herbs in the processing of frozen vegetables. This technology or others for the detection of foreign vegetable matter that contains toxic substances (for example, alkaloid substances).

3 – Detection of stones measuring <1mm in ALREADY frozen vegetables

4 – We require a system of rotation and alignment of the product prior to inspection/cutting. Solutions will be valued that include the automatic or semi-automatic aligning and positioning of broccoli heads for their subsequent cutting. The solution should be capable of being scaled to the speed of the cutting conveyor belt.

Possible approaches

Solutions will be valued with:

  • Easy adaptation (speed) to the processing and cutting line.
  • Hyperspectral infrared imaging, thermographic imaging or similar techniques to X rays of greater sensitivity in detecting small particles.
  • Positioning robot prior to cutting/slicing

Alternatively, the following will be valued:

  • Inspection of products at low heights; products packaged in different formats: boxes, trays, bags.
  • Inspection of the number of pieces, detection of the shape of the packaging, estimation of the weight, special analysis by areas.
  • Inspection of foreign bodies.
  • External inspection of the product and also internal inspection

Solutions not of interest

Artificial vision and laser solutions, if they do not have a significant added value to present solutions on the market.

Solutions that are not compatible with the current legislation (BRC, IFS, etc.)