Integrating Image Analysis and Machine Learning for Moisture Prediction and Appearance Quality Evaluation: A Case Study of Kiwifruit Drying Pretreatment

Wilson, David
Yu, Shuai
Haoran, Zheng
Wei, Yu
Young, Brent
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Journal Article
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The appearance of dried fruit clearly influences the consumer’s perception of the quality of the product but is a subtle and nuanced characteristic that is difficult to quantitatively measure, especially online. This paper describes a method that combines several simple strategies to assess a suitable surrogate for the elusive quality using imaging, combined with multivariate statistics and machine learning. With such a convenient tool, this study also shows how one can vary the pretreatments and drying conditions to optimize the resultant product quality. Specifically, an image batch processing method was developed to extract color (hue, saturation, and value) and morphological (area, perimeter, and compactness) features. The accuracy of this method was verified using data from a case study experiment on the pretreatment of hot-air-dried kiwifruit slices. Based on the extracted image features, partial least squares and random forest models were developed to satisfactorily predict the moisture ratio (MR) during drying process. The MR of kiwifruit slices during drying could be accurately predicted from changes in appearance without using any weighing device. This study also explored determining the optimal drying strategy based on appearance quality using principal component analysis. Optimal drying was achieved at 60 °C with 4 mm thick slices under ultrasonic pretreatment. For the 70 °C, 6 mm sample groups, citric acid showed decent performance.

0908 Food Sciences , 3006 Food sciences , 3106 Industrial biotechnology
Foods, ISSN: 2304-8158 (Print); 2304-8158 (Online), MDPI AG, 13(12). doi: 10.3390/foods13121789
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