AgResearch scientist Aswathi Soni and colleagues Mahmoud Al-Sarayreh, Gale Brightwell, and Marlon M. Reis are developing technology that uses hyperspectral imaging to detect bacterial spores on farms, so they can be targeted and “cleaned” before spreading into the animal gut, water sources or farm equipment. Hyperspectral imaging is a method that collects and processes information from across a wide variety of bandwidths in the light spectrum.
“Bacterial spores are a constant challenge to the food industry because they are everywhere, especially in soil,” Dr Soni says.
“Once they enter the food, and this includes our dairy and meat, they are very hard to remove because they can survive adverse conditions such as wetness and dryness. A huge amount of money is lost due to the wastage costs because these spores can cause both food poisoning as well as spoilage.”