AU2001245710B2 - Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum - Google Patents

Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum Download PDF

Info

Publication number
AU2001245710B2
AU2001245710B2 AU2001245710A AU2001245710A AU2001245710B2 AU 2001245710 B2 AU2001245710 B2 AU 2001245710B2 AU 2001245710 A AU2001245710 A AU 2001245710A AU 2001245710 A AU2001245710 A AU 2001245710A AU 2001245710 B2 AU2001245710 B2 AU 2001245710B2
Authority
AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
sample
light
illumination
spectrum
detector
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Ceased
Application number
AU2001245710A
Other versions
AU2001245710A1 (en
Inventor
Richard M. Ozanich
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
FPS Food Processing Systems BV
Original Assignee
FPS Food Processing Systems BV
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US09/524,329 priority Critical patent/US6512577B1/en
Priority to PCT/US2001/008146 priority patent/WO2001069191A1/en
Priority to US09/804,613 priority patent/US6847447B2/en
Priority to US09/524,329 priority
Priority to US09/804,613 priority
Application filed by FPS Food Processing Systems BV filed Critical FPS Food Processing Systems BV
Publication of AU2001245710A1 publication Critical patent/AU2001245710A1/en
Assigned to AUTOLINE, INC. AND AWETA HOLDING, B.V. reassignment AUTOLINE, INC. AND AWETA HOLDING, B.V. Amend patent request/document other than specification (104) Assignors: RICHARD M. OZANICH
Assigned to FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS B.V. reassignment FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS B.V. Request for Assignment Assignors: AUTOLINE, INC., AWETA HOLDING, B.V.
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of AU2001245710B2 publication Critical patent/AU2001245710B2/en
Application status is Ceased legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/02Details
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/02Details
    • G01J3/0205Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. optical manifolds, diffusers, windows
    • G01J3/0218Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. optical manifolds, diffusers, windows using optical fibers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/02Details
    • G01J3/0205Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. optical manifolds, diffusers, windows
    • G01J3/0224Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. optical manifolds, diffusers, windows using polarising or depolarising elements
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/28Investigating the spectrum
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/28Investigating the spectrum
    • G01J3/30Measuring the intensity of spectral lines directly on the spectrum itself
    • G01J3/36Investigating two or more bands of a spectrum by separate detectors
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/28Investigating the spectrum
    • G01J3/42Absorption spectrometry; Double beam spectrometry; Flicker spectrometry; Reflection spectrometry
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/46Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters
    • G01J3/50Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using electric radiation detectors
    • G01J3/51Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using electric radiation detectors using colour filters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/46Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters
    • G01J3/52Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using colour charts
    • G01J3/524Calibration of colorimeters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N21/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of optical means, i.e. using infra-red, visible or ultra-violet light
    • G01N21/17Systems in which incident light is modified in accordance with the properties of the material investigated
    • G01N21/25Colour; Spectral properties, i.e. comparison of effect of material on the light at two or more different wavelengths or wavelength bands
    • G01N21/31Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry
    • G01N21/35Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry using infra-red light
    • G01N21/3563Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry using infra-red light for analysing solids; Preparation of samples therefor
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N33/00Investigating or analysing materials by specific methods not covered by groups G01N1/00 - G01N31/00
    • G01N33/02Food
    • G01N33/025Fruits or vegetables
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/46Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters
    • G01J3/50Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using electric radiation detectors
    • G01J3/501Colorimeters using spectrally-selective light sources, e.g. LEDs
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J3/00Spectrometry; Spectrophotometry; Monochromators; Measuring colours
    • G01J3/46Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters
    • G01J3/50Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using electric radiation detectors
    • G01J3/51Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using electric radiation detectors using colour filters
    • G01J3/513Measurement of colour; Colour measuring devices, e.g. colorimeters using electric radiation detectors using colour filters having fixed filter-detector pairs
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N21/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of optical means, i.e. using infra-red, visible or ultra-violet light
    • G01N21/17Systems in which incident light is modified in accordance with the properties of the material investigated
    • G01N21/25Colour; Spectral properties, i.e. comparison of effect of material on the light at two or more different wavelengths or wavelength bands
    • G01N21/31Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry
    • G01N21/314Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry with comparison of measurements at specific and non-specific wavelengths
    • G01N2021/3155Measuring in two spectral ranges, e.g. UV and visible
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N21/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of optical means, i.e. using infra-red, visible or ultra-violet light
    • G01N21/84Systems specially adapted for particular applications
    • G01N2021/8466Investigation of vegetal material, e.g. leaves, plants, fruits
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N21/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of optical means, i.e. using infra-red, visible or ultra-violet light
    • G01N21/17Systems in which incident light is modified in accordance with the properties of the material investigated
    • G01N21/25Colour; Spectral properties, i.e. comparison of effect of material on the light at two or more different wavelengths or wavelength bands
    • G01N21/31Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry
    • G01N21/35Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry using infra-red light
    • G01N21/359Investigating relative effect of material at wavelengths characteristic of specific elements or molecules, e.g. atomic absorption spectrometry using infra-red light using near infra-red light

Description

P-16 02 16:08 FROM:LTEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724PRE0 PcTU01 /081 4 6 -IPEWULS 16 MAR2002 2 Title 3 A n A ppar-atuIs and Metld And Techniques for Measuring and Correlating 4 Characteristics of T uit With Visible/Near Infra-Red Spectrum S FTield of the Invention i3 6 The present disclosure, 4relates generally to the use~ of the combined visible and 7 near in Fra red specLrUmi in an aipparatus and miethod for measuring physical 8 parameters, tirmness, density and internal and external disorders, and chemnical 9 parameTerS, m1olecules 68itaining N-H and C-H chem-ical bonds, In fruit and con-elatinig the resulting Me~asuremients with f."it quality an1d Mnatu.rity 11 characteristics, inicluding'Srix; acidity, density, pHT, firminess, color and internial and 12 external de~ects to forecast consumer preferences including taste preferences and 1 3 appearance, as well as hairiest, storage and shipping variables, With the present 14 apparatus and method, the interior of a sample, fruit including apples, is 1ilumi1nated and the spectritni of absorbed and scattered light from the sample Is 1 6 detected and m1easured. Predi Ction, calibration and classification algorithms are 1 7 deterinied For the category of' sanmplo perniitting correlation between the spectrumw Of 1 8 absorbed and scattered light god sample characteristics, fruit quality and 19 maturity characteristics, #1 ,Bikground oft the Inmen-tion 21 The embodimeants disclosed herein has a focus on combincd visible and near- 22 in-rared (NIR) spectroscopy and its modes of use, mnaj or issues in the application of 23 Nl.R to the measurement of 0-H, N-H and C-Fl containing molecules that are 24 Indicators ofsarnple quality including fruit quality and in particular tree fruit quality.

2 5 Near-Infrared Spectr~oscopy Baickgrou nd: Near-infrared spectroscopy has 26 been uscd since the 1970's for the compositional analysis of low nioistuire food 27 products. However, only in the last 10-15 years has NIR been SUCCessful ly applied to 28 the analysis oflhigh moisture products such as frUit. NIIR is a Form of vibrational 2 9 spectroscopy that is particularly sensitive to the presence of molecules containing C- ~-AMENDED StiFFr R-16 02 16:0E 3 4 6 7 9 12 13 14 16 17 I8 1 21.

22 23 24 27 28 29 3FROMl:LIEBLER IVJEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO: 7033057724 PRGE: 07 Paz/us1/ 08146 IPMA1S 16 MAR ZOQt Tj (carbon-hydrogen), 0-H (oxygen'.hydrogen), and N-H (nitrogen-hydrogen) groups.

There fbrC, Cons9titL1ents Such as sugars and starch moisture, alcohol.$ and acids and protein can'be quantified in liquids, solids and slurries. In addition, thle analysis of gases water vapor, ammonia) is possible. NIR is not atrace analysis tech-nique and it is generally used for measuring components that are present at Co ncen trahlons greater thai.1I%.

Short-Waveleragth N111 vs. Long-Wav'efength NIR: NIR has traditionally been carried out in the 1100-2500 nil jegion of tfie electrornignetic spectrum, However, the wavelength region 6f. -700-1 100 rim (short waveiength-NIR or S W- NIR) has been gaining increased attention. Th.e SW-N[R region offers numerous advantages for on-linie and in'sitzi bulk constituent analysis, This portion of the N.LR is accessible to low-cost, high,perforrance silicon, detectors and fiber optics. Ini addition, h-igh intensity la$er diode's and low-cost light emitting diodes are becoming increasingly available at a variety of NIR wavelength outputs.

TIhe reitatively low ext'iiction (light absorption) coefficients in the SW-,NIR regioti yields linear absorbance with anialyte conicentration and permits long, convenient pathlengths to be used, The depth of penetration of SW-NIR is also much greater than that of the Ion grIfwavel ength NIR, permitting a more adequate sampling of the "bulk" material, This is of particular imnportance when the sample to be analyzed is hcterogeneous such as fruit.

Diffuse Reflectance Sampling vs. T7ra ns mission Sampling: Traditional NI.R analysis has used diffuse"'eflectance sampling. This mode of samrpling Is convenienit for samples that mrehighly light scattering or samples for which there is no physical ability to employ transmission spectroscopy. Diffusely reflected light is light that has entered. a sample, undergone maultiple scattering events, and emerged from the sLurf4ce in random directions, A portion of light that enters the sample is also absorbed. The depth of 'Penctration of the light is highly dependenit on the sample characteristics and is often affectedby th~e size of particles in, the sample and the sample density, Furthermore, diffuse reflectance is biased to the surface of a !~AMENDED SHEET R~-16 02 16:09 FROM:LIEBLER IV~EY CONNOR' 50,37353585 TO:7033057724 PR(GE:0B POT/US 01 /0814 6 LPEA/L.f 1.6 MARZOOZ I sam~ple and may not provide representative data for large heterogeneous sarnples such 2 as apples. 3 While transmission sampling is typically used for the analysis of clear SOILutions, it also can be used fdritroaigsldsmls A transmission measurleffe'nt is usu51ally perfo'Aed with the detector directly opposite the light source 6 at 1 80 degi-ees) and withifhe sample in the center, Alternately the detector can 7 he placed closer to the light source (at angles less than 1 80 degrees), which is often 8 necessary to provide a more easily detected level. of~ light. 'Because of the long sample 1) pathlengths and highly light 9*atterilng nature of rnost tree fruit, transmission 1 0 measurements can on-ly be pcrformed in the SW-NTR wavelength region, unless 11 special procedures are emrployed to improve signal to noise, 12 NIR Calibration: NM analysis is largely an empirical method; the spectr-a) 13 lines are difficult to assign, and the spectroscopy is frequently carried out on highly 14 light scattering samples where adherence to Beer's Law is not expected.

Accordingly, statistical calibriti on techniques are often used to determine if there is a 16 relationship between analyte concentration (or sample property) and instrument 17 response. To uncover this relationship requires a representative set of "training" or IS8 calibration samples. Th~ese sam11ples must span the complete range of chemical and 19) physical properties of all future samples to be seen by the instrument.

Calibration begins by~acquiritig a, spectum~ of each of the samnples.

21I Constituenft values for all of the analytes of interest are thern obtained using the best 22 reference method available with regards to acc'uracy and precision. It is important to 23 note that aquantitative spectral method. developed using statistical correlation 24 techniques can performi no better than the reference method.

After the data. has been acquired, coniputer models emiploying statistical 26 calibration technl-iques arc develoaped that relae the NIR spectra to the measured 27 cnsttuet vlne orproperties. These calibration models can be expanded and must 28 be periodicallyl updated andi verified using conventional testing procedures.

29 Factors affecting calibration include fruit type and variety, seasonal and 303 AMENDED SHEET R-16 02 16:10 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:09 PazT/lJS/ 081 4 6 LPEU~ ~6MAIM2QZ I geographical. differences, and whether the fru-it is fresh or has been in cold or other 2 storage, Calibration variables include th1.e partiClar properties or analyteS to be 3 measured an~d the concentration or level of the properties, Intercorrelatiofls (co- 4 linearity) should be miniraiz A ina calibration samnples so as not to lead to false interpretation of a models pre Idictive ability. Co-linearity occurs when the 6 concentrations of two cwnpoiients are correlated, an inverse correlation exists 7 when one component is high,,ihe other is always low or vicc versa.

8 Application of NIR to Tree Fruit and Existing On-Line NIR 9 Instrumentaition: A growing body of research exists for NTR analysis of tree fruit.

N'iR has been used for the nieasurcrnent of friLtj uice. flesh, and whole fruit. LI juice, H1 the Individual suigars (sucrose, fructose, glucose) and total acidity can be quantified 12 with high correlation and acceptable error. Individual Sugars can not be 1 3 readily measured in whole frt. Brix is thie most successfully measured NI.R 14 parameter in whole fruit arid can generally be achieved with an error of +0.5-1.0 B~rix.

More tentative recent research results indicate firmness and acidity measurement in 1 6 whole frUit also mnay be possible.

17 Only in Japan has the'large-scale deployment of on-line NTR for fruit sorting 18~ occurred. These instrurrents~require manual placernent/orientatiofl of the fruit prior 19 to measurement and early version,, were limited to a measurement rate of three samples per second. The J p~e"e NIR instrnients are also limited to a single lane 21 Iof'fruiit and appear to be difficult to adapt to multi-lane sorting equipment used in the 22 'United States of Amrerica. M/~ile earlier Japanese .N'I instruments employed 23 reflectance sampling, miore recent inistruments use transmission sampling.

24 hi Koashi et aL., U.S. Pat., No, 4,883,953, there is described a method and apparaLuLs for- leasuLring suga~r.Oncentrations in liquids. MeasurementS are made at 26 two diflibrent depths using wdak and strong infrared radiation. The level of sugar at 27 depths between these two depths ozani thlen be measured. The method and apparatus 28 uitiliZes wavelength. bands of 950-1,150 nm, IJ 50-1,300 nni, and 1,300-1,,450 mun.

29 Pat. No. 5,089,761, to Dull et aL, uses near infrared (NIR) radiation in 4 AMENflwf qur4IIT P-16 02 16:11 2 3 4

S

6 7 9 101 11 12 13 14 16 17 19 21 22 23 276 27 28 29 FPOM:LIEBLER IV)EY CONNOR 5097353585 TD:7033057724 IPEWA-US 16 MAR 2002 the wavelength range of 800- 1 ,050 rill to demronstrate measurement of soluble solids in Honeydew ienlons. An eight-centimeter or greater distance between the light delivery locatioii to the fruitd the light collection location was founmd to be neicessary to accurately predict soluble solids because of the thick rind.

Iwamoto et U.S. Pit. No. 5,324,945, also use NIJR radiation to predict sugar conterit of niandemin or neS* NvaMOto Utilizes a t-ransiisOn measurement arrangemient whereby the light traverses through the entire sample of fruit arnd is detected at 1. S0 degrees ralative to the light in.put angle. Moderately thick-skinned fruit (mandarin oranges) wer( used to demonstrate the miethod., which relies on a fruit diameter correction by norma lizing (dividing) the spectr-a at 844 rm, where, according to the disclosed data, correlation with the sugar content is lowest. NIR wavelengths in the range of 91 4-919 rim were found to have the highest correlation with sugar content, Second, third and fourth wavelengths that were added to the multiple regression analysis 0quatio'n Used to correlate the NIR spectra with sugar content were 769-770 rnm, 74m anm d 785-786rnit' In 0,S. Pat. No. 5,708,271, Ito et al. demonstrates a sugar- content measuring apparatuIS that uItiIizes three different NTR wavelengths in the range fromn 860-960) nin.

The angle between light delivery and collection was varied between 0 and 180 degre~es and it was concluded that the low NW. radiation levels that must be detected when a photo-detector is placed at 1 80 degrees relative to thie radiation source are not desirable because of the more complicated procedures and equipment that are required. A corirelation of NTR absorbance withi sugar content of muskmnelons and watermelons was found when an interm..ediate angle, which gave greater NIR radiation intei-sity, was detected. No size correction was necessary with. this app roach.

U.S. Pat. No, 4,883,953 to Koashi et al. -uses comparatively iong wavelengths ofNIR radiation >950 urnm), while in U.S. Patt, Nos, 5,089,701 to Dull, and 5.708&271 to to. wavelengths of NIR radiationi used are greAter than 800 nrn and 860 imi, respectively, 'in Pat. No. 5,324,945 to Iwamoto, [lhe wave lengths of NIR AumPnfm qI4FF R- 16 02 16: 11 FROM: LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO: 7033057724 PRGE:11 POT/U 01/ 0U14 6 jp& 'V 16-MAIT'ZDO2 I radiation with the highest correlation to sugar contenit of mandrinms were 914 nmr or 2 919 nri. whlen the fit were mneasUred oni the equatorial or stem portion, respectively.

3 All of thes5e methods Use nea~infrared wavelengths of light: to correlate with sugar 4 content of whole ftit, N~o otheir quality para-meters are measured by these techniquLe.

6 The four disclosed patents are similar to the apparatus and. method described 7 here in that the present. disclosure also measucres suigar content. Two of the patents 8 (Par. No. 5,089,701 and 5,324,945) N]IR wavelengths less than 850 nnii) Pat. No.

9 5,0S9,701 discloses the oper~t~on of the invention within the range of "from about 9J00 nanometers to about 1050Qnanorneters." US, Pat, No. 5,324,945 lists 914 nrn or 1.1 919 nrn as the primary analytical wavelength correlated with whole fruit sugar 2 conItenlt, MLLtiple linear regrie-sion Was used to add suiccessive wavelengths to the 1 3 model as follows: 769-770 nrn' (2nd wavelength added), 745 nmi (3rd wavelength 14 added), and 785-786 nnm (4th wavelength added). Tn Pat. No. 5,089,701, addition of the f"OUrth wavelength to the Tiiodal only redUCed the standard error of prediction 6 (SEP) by 0. 1-0.2'Brix, which is approaching or less than the error limits of the 1 7 refractometer used. to determine the reference ("true") Brix values.

1I8 Other similarities botween the nmetbod arid apparatus described herein with the I 9four patents listed above iniclu de the use of multivariate statistical. analysis to establish conrelation of the near-infrared spectral data with su~gar content of whole 21I fruit. Most also Use data proc6e ssing techniques such as second derivative 22 trans forination and some type of spectral normalization. All of these methods for 23 relating NMR spectra to chemi 'cal or physical properlies are well known to those 24 practiced. in the art of NIR spectroscopy, The Foregoing patents and pinted publications are provided herewith in an Inforniatlon Disclosure Statem-ent in accordance with 37 CFR 1 .97.

277 Summiry of the Invention 28 Reeac groups around the world conitinue to explore the applicatioris onear 29 infrared spectroscopy to tree fruit. The apparatus and process disclosed herein is of 6 AMFP~nmfl~q*tM R-16 02 16:12 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:703057724 PRGE:12 PCTAJ 011/0814 6 IPEAIUV2 16 MAITZ2O01 I the nondestructive deternlinai'6 or prediction of 0-H4, N-H adChcn~nn 2 molecules t~hat are indicattors of sample qualities, including fruit such as apples.

3 chenies, oratnges, grapes, potatoeS, cereals, and other such samples, using near- 4 infrared spectroscopy. Prior athas utilized spctrUrr from 745rim and above. This disc losure is of 1) the tiilization of the spectrum from 250 r to 1150 rim for 6 measurement Or prediction of,onC Or MOrO Pararmeters, Brix, firmness, acidity, 7 density, pH, color and extcrnal and internal defects and disorders including, for 8 examiple, Surfae0e a-nd subsurface bruises, scarring, san scald, Punctures, watercore, 9 internal browning, in samiples including -fruit; 2) 'an apparatuIs and method of Illuniiinating the interior of a sarnple and detecting emitted tight fromn samples 11I exposed to the above spectrum~ in at least onle spectrumn range and, in the preferred 12 embodiment, in at least two spectru.m raziges of 250 to 499nrn and 5O0nin to 1I I 13 3) the use of the chlormphyl atisorptiorl band, peaking at 680rnm, in combination with 14 the spectrumn fromn 700nim and above to predict one or more of the above parameters; 1 5 4) the use of the visible pigmnent region, including xanthophyll, from approximately 1 6 250nin Lo 499nnm and anthocyanin from aipproximnately 500 to 550nin, in combination 1 7 with the chlorophyl band and.jthe spectrUm1 from 700nnm and above to predict the all 1 8 of the above parameters. 4& 19 Prior art has only examined SpeCtrUMr fromn fruit for the prediction of Brix.

This dis closure is of the exaniination of a greater spectrum uising the combined 21 visible and near infirared wavelength regions for the prediction of the above stated 22 characteristics. The apparatus and method disclosed eliminates the problem of 23 SatLiration of lighI spcctrurn. detectors within p~artiCiLlar1 spectrUM regions while 24 gaining data. within other regions in the examination, in particular, of fruit. That is, spectrometers with CCD (charge cotipled device) array or PDA (photodiode array) 26 detectors will1 detect light within the 250 to 1 ISrm region, but when detecting 27 spectrum-1 Out of fruit Will Saturate in regions, 700 to 925nm, or the signal to 28 noise r-atio will be unsatisfactory and riot useful for qUantitation In other 29 regions. 250 to 699nm and greater than 925nrni thus precluding the gaining of 7 "AhArwnrn cuccr -8o Additional information regarding the parameters above stated. Thus disclosed herein is an apparatus and method permitting 1) the automated measurement of multiple spectra with a single pass or single measurement activity by detecting more than one spectrum range during a single pass or single measurement activity, 2) combining the more o than one spectrum range detected, 3) comparing the combined spectrum with a stored calibration algorithm to I4) predicting the parameters above stated.

C( 10 According to one aspect of the invention there is o provided a method of simultaneously determining multiple 0g characteristics of produce samples comprising: A. building algorithms of the relationship between sample characteristics and absorbed and scattered light from a produce sample having an interior; B. illuminating the interior of the produce sample with a frequency spectrum; C. detecting a spectrum of absorbed and scattered light from the sample; and D. calculating the characteristics of the produce sample.

According to the preferred embodiment of the invention, in the method and apparatus disclosed there will be a dual or plural spectrum acquisition from a sample from different spectrum regions. This is accomplished by 1) serially acquiring data from different spectrum regions using different light source intensities or different detector/spectrometer exposure times using a single spectrometer, 2) acquiring data in parallel with multiple spectrometers using different light intensities, e.g. by varying the voltage input to a lamp, or different exposure times to the spectrometers; however, different exposure times leads to sampling errors particularly where a sample is moving, e.g. in a processing line, due to viewing different regions on a sample; and 3) with multiple spectrometers using the same exposure time, constant lamp intensity with dual or a plurality of light H:\SueB\Keep\gpeci\p47080.spec doc 4/02/05 8a o detectors including neutral density filtered light detectors (where filtered light detectors giving the same effect as using a shorter exposure time). This approach provides dual or plural spectra with good signal to noise ratio for all wavelengths intensities using single light source intensity and the same exposure time on all ospectrometer detectors. This approach uses at least one filtered light detector using filtered input 82 to the I spectrometer 170 rather than different exposure times. A C( 10 filter can be any material that absorbs light with equal ostrength over the range of wavelengths used by the C spectrometer including but not limited to neutral density filters, Spectralon, Teflon, opal coated glass, screen.

The dual intensity approach using two different lamp voltages proves problematic because the high and low intensity spectra are not easily combined together due to slope differences in the spectra. The dual exposure approach yields excellent combined spectra, which are necessary for firmness and other characteristics prediction and also improves Brix H:\Sue&\Keep\speciP47SOa.Spec .doc 3/02/05 -16 012 16:13 FROtI:LIEBLER T*)EY CONNO.R 5097353585 TO:703305 7724 AE1 Paz/So/ 08 14 6 IPENU 16MAR ZOO2 I prediction aCCLUrI~y.

2 ~Measurements are disclosed, withi tile apparatils andpocsoftsdilsue 3 which are made simiultanleouily in Multiple samlple types, where samples are 4 apples, measurement is independent of a particular apple cultivar, using a single calibration equation with erro''rs of 1-2 lb. and +I 0.5-1,013rix. TPhis disciosItre 6 pertains to laboratory, portable and on-line NIR analyzers for the simultanleous 7 measureinent of nih Itip Ic quality parameters oF saniples iniclutding fruit, Depeniding 8 an the application or particular characteristic sought to be predicted or measured, a 9 variety of calibration models mnay be used, from11 universal to highly specific. the calibration can be specific toijd vaiiety, different geographical location, stored v, fresh it fruit and other calibration$, 12 Disclosed here is the greater role NIR technology will play as a tool for 13 grading sample qualities inicluding fruit quality. TChe unliqUe ability of NIR statistical 14 calibration techniques to extract non-chemical "properties" provides a techniquie for 1 5 development of a general N~k"quality index" for tree fruit, This general "quality 16 index" combines alil of the infobrmation that could be extracted from the NIR spectra 17 and includes information about Brix, acidity, firminess, density, pH, color and 1$ external and internal disorders and defects.

19 The near-infrared wavelength region below 745 nnm has not been explored by prior investigations. Genjerally, the prior art design and or apparatus utilized was 21 such that longer wavelength regions provided adequate data. The pior art for 22~ mesrn sugar content in iquids and. whole fruits5 usingna-nfae petoc 23 utilizes longer wavelengths of radiation. No prior art exists for measuring other 24 important quality parameters; such as firmness, acidity, density and pH. No prior art 2 5 has correlated consumer taste preferences with the combied NrR determiination of 26 multiple quality parameters sucrh as sugar, acidity, pH, firmness, color, and internal 27 kind external defects and disorders.

28 It will. be shown in this patent that the wavelen-gth region from 250-1150 rim 29 can be Used !o nonidetruIctive ly mneasureinot only sugar content (Brix) in wtrious AMENDED SHEET -16~ 02 16:13 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR -5097353585 TO:7307 2 RE1 PCTUS1 0814 6 IPEA/" 6 A2 0 1 wihole fruit, b)ut firniness, dens -ity, acidity, pH, color and .iternal and external defects 2 as well. For exairtple, density of oranges is measured and is correlated to quality, 3 freeze damraged fruLit aridry fruit typically have lower density than good quality 4 fruit and lower wajter content greater dry mnatter content), NIR density m neaSUrment cani be used to r'emove poor quality fruit inl a sorcing/packing line 0i- at 6the Supermarket. Information about color pigments and chlorophyll, related to 7 maturity and quality, are obtained firom 250 to approximnately 699 nrn. From 8 approximnately 700-11.50 nim,.the short wavelength NIR region, C-H, 0-H 9 information is obtained. Combininig the visible and NIR region gives more analytical 1 0 power to predict chemic Wl, physical and consumer properties, particularly for fruit.

11 All of these parameters can be deterrmined simltlaneously rom a combined 12 visible/NIR spectrum. Mvultiple paramleter-s can be combined to arrive at a IQual Ity 13 Index" that is a better measure of maturity or quality than a single parameter.

1.4 Absorption of lighit bywhole fruit in the approximately 250-699 nm region is dominated by pigments, including chlorophyll (a green pigment) which absorbs in the 1 6 approximnately 600-699 nfl region, Chlorophyll. is composed of a number of 1 7 chlorophyll-protein complexes, Changes in the-se ch lorophyll]-protein complexes and Is8 changes Inl other pilzments, most notably anthocyanin (red pigment) and xanthophylls 19 (yellow pigments), are related to the maturation and ripenting process. Chlorophyll and pigments are iniportant for determining firmnlress.

21 While the NIR wavelengths of 700-925 nm. and longer have been readily 22 accessible to common near-infrared spectromneters, shorter wavelengths have not 2 3 typically been explared for the following reasons: 1) lead-salt and other detector 24 types, lnGaAs, were not sensitive to shorter wavelengths-, 2) light diffraction gratings were blazed at longer wavelengths yielding poor efficiency at short 26 wavelengths, light sources did not have enough energy output at shorter 27 wuvelengths t~o ovceonl the strong light absorplion and scattering of biological 28 (plant and anim-al) ma' terial in the visible region (250-699 nim).

29 AMENDED SHEET 11 o Disclosed herein is an apparatus and method for measurement, with the visible/near-infrared (VIS/NIR) 0 spectroscopic technique for sugar content (also known as Brix or soluble solids, which is inversely related to dry matter content), firmness, acidity, density, pH, colour and internal and external defects and disorders. The o apparatus and method is successful in measuring one or more such characteristic in apples, grapes, oranges, potatoes and cherries. Demonstrated in this disclosure is C( 10 the ability to combine chemical and physical property data o permitting the prediction of consumer properties, such as 0 taste, appearance and colour, harvest variables, such as time for harvest, and storage variables such as prediction of firmness retention and time until spoilage.

It should also be understood that the word simultaneously is to be interpreted broadly to cover actions taken generally at the same time, but not necessarily at the exact same time.

Brief Description of the Drawings The foregoing and other features and advantages of the present disclosure will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment and additional embodiments of the disclosure when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings: wherein Figure 1 is a top plan showing an embodiment of the disclosure illustrating a sample holder having a securing or spring biasing article urging a holding article in contact with a sample having a sample surface, a light detector having a light detector securing or spring biasing article and light sources proximal the sample surface with the light sources positioned in relation to the light sensor generally orthogonal to the sample surface. An optional filter may be positioned between the light source and the sample or between the sample and a spectrometer(s). The light sources may be H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p4700 .spec doc 2/02/05 lla (C controlled by the CPU. The output from the light sensor becomes the input to a light detector such as a CCD array Swithin a spectrometer.

Figure 1A is a side elevation section of Figure 1.

0 0t -16 o2 16:14 FROM:LTEBLER TYEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRr.E:17 M~TUS1/O08146 lB~1- isasdIlvto ihn apeadtoal PEA/U- 16 MAR'WOO2 1 Fig. 1 sasd lvto section of Fig lwtnosmeadioalyshow ing a 2 light source securing atce 3 4 fig. IC is a how dia-gram cleriistrating the method of this invention. The flow diagramn is schemlatically representative of all embodinients of this disclosure.

6 7 Fig. I'D is a flow diagram demonstratini~g the method and apparatus illustrating the 8 light source(s) which. illumina t am.ple, light collection channels 1 n (light 9 detector 1 n) of th~e spectra fromn a sample delivere~d as input to a spectra meas~tnlfg dcvice, shown here a.s spectronoter I n. Spectrometer channels output. 1-11r are I I conver-ted fior analog to digital 9and become, for each channel, input to a CPU. The 12 CPUJ is coniputer programl controlled. The CPU outpu~t -is also for each channel n, 13 14 Fig. I E is aflow diagram denionstratting thie method and apparatus illustrating the light source(s) 120 as a broadband source which illuminates a sample 30; at least one 16 discrete wavtelength filtered (bandpass) photodetectors 255 having filters 130 for light L7 collection channels I..n from. a sample 30. In this embodimient a light source 120 1 8 with larn'p 123 is controlled by a CPU 1 72. The spectrum. detected from the samnple 19 $surfa'ce 35 may be comnmurnecated by fiber optic libers as light dectors 80 to the photodetectors 255. 1 21 22 Fig. I F is a flow diagram deiionstrating the method and apparatus illustrating the 23 light SOLurce(S) provided by at-least one discrete wavelength light emitting diodes 257 24 to i ILuMi nate a samnple 30; at least one broadband photodetector 25 5 and at least one broadband pliotodetector 255,Iior each LED 257 -for light collection channels 26 (photodetector of the spectra flrm a sample.

27 28 Fig. 2 is a top plan depicting at least one lighL SOUrce, with a single light source 29 shown in thiS illuIstrationl, with optional filter and wvith at least one tight detector, with 12 A MENDEDI4Fwr -16 02 16:15 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585TO735 72 PRE1 detetorsIPEA(IS 1' MAR ZQnZ I a plur-ality oF light. eetr illustrated, proximnal to the sample surface, This 2 depiction demonstrates mn on'entatio-r of light detectors relative to the direction of 3 light cast on the sample surfac with one light detector oriented at approxim-atelY 4 degrees to the direction of the, lght cast by the light source and a second light detector ented at approxima tely 180 ere rmth ieto.o thle light cast by the light 6 Source.

7 9 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 201 21 22 23 24 26 27 278 29 'Fig. 2A -is a section elevation'-VieW of Fig 2 with the sample remroved.

Fig. 2B3 is a top plani depicti a single light source, with optional filter(s) arid with mlultiple light detectors proxi ,mal and directed to i liuinate the sample surfaice with both light detectors oriented at approximately 45 degrees to the direction of the light cast by the light source, Fig. 2C is an elevation view of ig 2B1.

Fig. 2D is a section from Figi,,2C depicting a shielding method or apparatus, in the fori of a bellows or other.shietding article shielding the fight detector f~rm am-bienr light and directing the light detector to detect light specinim output from the Sample.

Fig. 2E is a detail of a shieldinig device between the light detector of Fig. 2 and a sample. Shown- in this illustiation is a shield in the formn of a bellows. Other shielding apparatus and methods will provide [ike shielding structure.

Fig, 3 is a lop -plan depicting an alternative embodiment of a light source and light dctector configurationi where the light source is comrlunicated by fibcr optics.

13 AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:15 FROM:LTE8LER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO: 7033057724 PG:1 PAGE: 19 1 2 3 4 6 7 9 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 PCTMU 01 /08 IPEWUS'l- MAR ZUD2 Fig. 3A is a section fl-orn Fig.'3 The ligh.t source and light detector may be as described for Fig, Alternative light souCrce may be provided by a plurality of light Sources, Which. may be sequeiiially fired light emritting diodes emitting discrete wave lenigths; where LEDs are 'e'mployed, the light senisor or light detector may be a broadband photocliode detector central to concentrically positioned LEDs. Fig. 3 A illustrates light sources or lamps (arnd alternatively LEDs) concentrically positioned a-rouiid a broadband light detector (and alternatively a broadband photodiode detector 255, such light sourcesJ asWell as thle light Sour11Ces 120/LEDs 257, can be placed in other arrangemnents. These aid other con1figurations also apply in the use of filtered photodetectrs 255 and broadband lam-p 123 desigin, [Fig. 3B is a section frorn Eig;-3 showing an embodiment where light detectors or light detection Fbers SUrround a least one light Source or light souirce fibers. The light source and light detector maybe as described for Fig. 1. In this representation, the centrally positioned light source m~ay be a lanip or light transmitted from a spectromreter; the I Ight detection may be by fiber optics transmission with discrete bandwidth filters between th ibor optics fiber anid the sample limiting the tranismission by any single or group of fibers.

Fig. 4 is a top plan. depicting an alternative embodiment of a light sowrce and light detector contiguration.

Fig. 5 is a top plan depicting anp alternative embodimient, of the disclosure in a hand held case showing a light sour 'ce and light detector configured in a samipling head. In this, emnbodimient at the sampling head at least one light source, which may be a tungsten halogen lamnp, is positioned in. relation to discrete-wavelength filtered photod etec toys, A shield is illustrated as an amibient shield. The operation of this emnbodimient is seen in Fig. 1lE wherein all coniponents are encased within the case 14 AMENDED SHWEV -16 02 16:16 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 509355e5 TO:7033057724 I Fig. 5 A is a side elevation of Fig 5 depicting a. sample positioned On the samnplin~g 2 head.

X

3 4 Fig. 5B is an illustration of the embodimnrt of Fig. 5 where the sampling head 260 is in the form of a clamp 263. The light detector 80 is depicted as a fiber optic fiber 6 transniitcIing spectrUm from the Sample to an. array of filtered 130 photodetectors 255 7 or a spectrometer 1 70. The otut 82 will be mnan aged as shown in Fig. 1 D or I.E.

8 PRGE: 0814 9 12 13 14 16 17 21 22 2) 3 24 26 -27 29 Fig. 5C is a sectiort from Fig.' 5B of the armry of filtered 130 photodetectoys 255. A positioning structure 79 socur'~s mid positions the light detector 80 relative to the Fi itered 130 photodetectors 255.

Fig. 5D is an illustration of the' embodimnent of Fig, 5 where in at least one clanp jaw 266 stru-cture at least one are photodotootor array Fig. 5E is a section. of the photodetector 255 array of Fig. Fi g. 6 i s a top pl an depic~ting ani additional embod iment of the disclosure in a hand held case. The operation of this embodimint is seen in Fig, I F wherein all components are encased within the case 250.

At~ Fig. 6A is I section elevation Fig 6 depicting the samipling head showing the ambient shiield, light emitting diodes and photodetector or lighit detector fixed by affixing articles within the samnpling head. The outpuLt from the light detector is depicted as well as is the case.

Fig. 6B Is an elevation representative of at additional embodinient of the disclosure of this invention anid of the em bodiment of Fig, 6.

AM..ENDED SHEET -16 02 16:16 FROM:LIEBLER IV.EY CONNOR 5097353585 Me7%3572 RG2 I Fig. 6C is a plan view of tile 'ciibodinieflt of Fig, 6B illustrating a plurality of light 2 dctectors, illuIStrated here as fib 'er optic light detectors. Shown in this illustration are 3 two light detectors with one Pjjoxi-r-na the ligh~t SOUrC and another distal frorn the 4 []ilht sour1Ce.

71k 7 9 12 13 14 Is 16 17 19 21.

22 23 24 26 27 28 2'9 Fig. (6D is a section detail view fToml Fig. 6B istrati-'rg the lighlt source, lanip, light sourcC SCCLring article, case, sampling head., light detectors positioned proximal and distal frm the liilht source, 11 ht source input and light detector outpu.t$, Fig. 6E is an elevation view 0' an embodimiient of th.e disclosure of Fig. 6 wherein the sampling head structure provIded the ambient shield structure.

Fig. 6'F is- a. section detail fifroi fig. 61 showing light detectors affixed within the sanil[ing head ambient shield~positioned proxiflal alid distal from the light source, a lamnp with lamnp input, light detector outputs and a case.

Fig. 7 is a side elevation showi4ng another embodient in a packing/sorting line form of the disclosure-. The light Source and light detector are positioned proximal the sample.

Fig, 7 A is a section. elevation 'Of Fig 7 depictinig thle light SO Urce, and samiple conveyacnce s ystearn, bracket fixtalre, light souirce securing article, lamp input and sp~ectrometer as a sample moves into H lurnination. from the light source and toward the light detector, Fig. 713 is a section eievationo6f Fig 7 depicting the light detector, and sample conveyance: systen-, bracket fixture, light. detect~or fixture, light detector output, spectrometer, and dete ctor as 'a sample moves toward and under the light detector.

AMENDED SHFFT -1 2 16:16 FROM:LTEBLER IVEY COJNNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:22 VPAU 6 MAR ZQO' I Fig. 70C is L1n- el evation depicttng at least one Ilight detector 80 and as shown a 2 pIlurality of light detectors 80 ePresentative ofnmeasurelmenlts of a plurality of 3 spectri-1 regiOnls.

4 Fig. 7'D is a soction'from Fig' 7JC showing the lamip 123 oriented to illuminate thle 6 Samlple fromn the~ side. As ilustrmted, the sample as anl apple is illuminated from the 7 stemn side, 9 Fig. 7E- is a section rom- Fig.,7C showing onle of the light detectors It Fig. 9 is a side elevation showing an additional embodiment Of The apparatus 12 disclosed in Fig. 7.

13 14 F'ig. SA it, a section elevation' ,Aof Figs8 depicting the light shield and at least one curtain, light source, and sample conveyance system as a sample moves into contact 16 with arid Linder the: light shield. Fig, SB is a section elevation of Fig 8 depicting the 17 light shield, at least one curtin lig~ht detector and sample conveyance system as a 1S samiple rmoves into contact with and Linder the light shield, 19 21 24 26 27 28 29 Fig 9 is anl elevation depicfiri ,an additional, embodiment of the invention demonstrating a~t least one light detector SC) hav'ing an outpuLt 82 to a spectrometer 170 liaving a detector 200. A colluminating lens 7S is intermediate the at least one detec tor SO arid a sample 3O4T..he detect~or 80 positioned to (ietel(t light from the sample 30, Ligh~t souirce 120 lamps 1 23; a case 250 intennediate the light source 120 lamip 123 and a sample 30 cionveyed by sample co-nveyor 295. Ali aperture 310 allows illum-ination of the sample 30 by the at light soIuce 120) lanip 123. A least light shutter, 300 intermediate the light souirce 'I120( lamp 123 arid aperture 310. Thec lighi shiutter 300) operable by shutter operating m-eans. 'The shu1-tter control means 305 receiving control. signials from a CPU 172 having shutter operating control output ,AMENDED SHET -16 P2 16: 17 FROM: LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 50973535e5 TO: 7035057724 PRGE: 23 307.A reerecc lghtIPEALJS 16 MAR2~ 1 30. A efeenceligt Muismittrng mecans 81. including fiber-optics receiving 2 rerferelnce light output from th light source 120 lamnp 123. A reference light shutter 3 301 internilate the light souce 120 lamip '123 and the reference light trahis'Ating 4 rneans 8 1. The reference ljiht Shutter 301 opera~ble by shutter control means 305.

The reference light shutter 301 shuitter control mneans 305 receiving control signals 6 firom a CPU 172 having a shuier operating control output 307. The reference lighit 7 transmitting rnians 81 providinlg an inlpurt to the spectrometer 170. The CPU 172 8 providin~g lamnp power outputl125 to the light sour-ce 120 lamnp 123. The spectrometer 1) 170, receiving inlput from reeencie light transmnitting means 81. having output 82 received as In Input to the CPU 172. The spectrom.Teter output 82 capable of A/D 11 conversion to formi- inputt to th6 CPU 172, The spectrometer 170, receiving input 12 from- detector output 82 received as in input to the CP1U 172. MoLUnting means 13 indicated as described in other- gures to light SOurces 120 lamips 123, detectors 14 ShLutters 300, shutter control nitans 305, reference light transmitting means 81 and case 250. Encoder/pulse gena~iator 330 Input to CPU 172 providing sample conveyor 16 295 movement data. Computer program~ to operate CPU 172 in data collection and 1 7 control functions.

1 9 Fig. ]O(Iil]lUstrates uIsing spectroscopieserisors -for measuring fruits andl vegetables while in ninon sample conveyor 295. Shown is a sample 30 with proximnity sensing means 2 1 340. Demonstrated is the samplelonvcyar 295, a case 250, co1Lumating lens 78.

23 Fig I OIA is a section f'rom F'ig. 10 illustrating the proximity sensing means 340 in the form 24 of reflectance rmeans.

26 Fig I I ilusrae Mh ranner of talcing a re-ferenlce measuremnent oF the light source 120 27 lamp(s) 123 where intensity vs. W-avelength output Canl alSO be obtainled Using reflectinlg 28 nitans 360, Reflecting means 36 may be inserted via an aperture 310, for cyamnple in a case 29 250, when u reference rneasiurement is to be moade as dictated by reflecting control mecans ,-AMENDRn -16 02 16:17 3 4 6 7 9 11 12 13 14 16 17 21 22 21 24 26 2 7 28 ?9 FROM: LIEBLER IV~EY CONNOR 50973535e5 TO: 703305772,4 PAGE: 24 PCT/US 01/08 146' FENS I MAR 2002 308 as anl outpuit fruoni a CP(J 172. The CP'U 172, via m-eans, wvill detect the presence or ,ihence Of I sample 30) and, wher a saniple 30 is absent for "nl" tirne increments or sample conveyor 295 movements will provide a reflectig control -means 308 control signal to renlecting position means 306' e linlea- actuator or rotary solenioid Operated by means, Ceg., mechanical di iveni by electrical, pneumatic, hydrauLic Or other power means.

Fig. 12 and 1 3 illustrate the me~hanicaI insertion of reflerence mneans 430 in or near the location whierz! actual sainple 30 .is nor1mally Measured. Insertion is by insertion mneans i nclud in g but not i mited to an'ituao, r systemn 400.

Fig. 14 and 14A illustrate a mea~ns of reducing the width of apparatus structure by mo-.unting lIgiitSOUrce 120 lamrps 123 distal from a sample 3Y:) wit~h spectTrn from the sample directed by refl1eting meadns 360 and lens 78 or referen~ce light transmission means -320 with spectra received via apertures 3 F-ig. 15 and [ISA illustrates spectra detection frm samnple -30 other than discrete increments, SUCh ilS appleS, including, for example potato chips, Where light source 120 lamps 123 OILrinatWe the sample(s) 30 with detectors 80 receiving input with light detector output 82 conveyed as inpul: to spectrorreRrs 170 detectors 200. In this illustration a lens 130 is depicted between the sumple 3Oanl fihe detector 80, Tlustrations 15 and 1 SA depict in detail. with lilter 130 and mnounting means, a single detector A CJPU 172. controlled by comp .uter program, is not depicted in fig. 10, 10A, 11, 12, 13, 14, I14A, 15 or 15 A. a, a person of T( inary skill will appreciate such qstructure from viewing other drawings presented herein.

SDetailed Description The appara1-tus widc m~thocl disclosed htrei~n is iltustrated in Fig. I through 8.

Fig. I C, I D, 1 E and I F are flow diagrams demo nstrati.n g the miethod of this invention. The flow diagramn F~ig, I C is represen.tative of all emibodiments of this 19 AMENnr-n rPtFT -16 02 16:18 FROMl:LIEBLER IVEY CONNORj 509353585T073572' ~POTJUS 01 /0814 6 1 disclsure. Te S 10 MAR2002 I diclosxeThe lowdiagra, ,ig. ID ill-ustrates one or more light sources 120 anid 2 multiple channels from light de*'tecto'r 50 through final prediction of sample 3 charatcteri stic, Fig. I D derno'n strates the method and apparatus of this disclosure 4 illustralting' Ohe Light SOLrCe(s)-J2O, which may be larps 123 or other light sources, Which illumi11nate a sample 30.interior 36, light collection channels n, composed 6 For example of fiber optic fib~is 90 or pliotodetectors 255, light detector of 7 the spectra from a samnple 30-delivered as Input 82 to a spectra measuring device, 8 shown 1-ire as spectrorneter(sYl1 n. 1 70. Ti th~e preferred embodiment a light source 9 120 with lamp 1.23 is emternal ,to the spectrometer and is controlled by a CPU 172 whichi triggers power 125 to light soUrce 120 lamp 123. Spectronmeter n 170 11I channels output I n. are converted from analog to digital by AI/D converters I 1 2 1 71 and become, For each ch nii input to a CPU 1 72. The CPU 1 72 is computer 13 prograrn controlled with cach~tep, following the CPU 1 72 in this flow diagram is 14 representative of a computer prTogramn conmrolled activrity. A CPU'172 output is provided for each channel .n where the steps of 1) calculation of absorbance I spectra 1 73 OcCLINi for each channel I n, 2) combine absorbanice spectra 1 74 into a 1 7 single spectrum ericornpassing the entire wavelength range detected fromn the sample 18 by spectrometers I n 170, 3)Inathohnatical preprocessing or preprocess 175, e~g., -~19 smoothing or box car snioothor calculate derivatives, precedes 4) the prediction or predict 1 76, for each channel, -omparing the preprocessed combined spectra 175 with 21 the stored calibration spectrurnor calibrationi algorithm-(s) 177 for each characteristic 22 1 x 178, Brix, firimness ,acidity, density, pH', color and external and internal 23 del'ectsA and disorders, For which the sa-mpl.e is exained, followed by 5) decisions or 24 further combinations and comparsons of the results of cluantification of each characteristic, I x, determination of interrnal and or external defects of disorders 26 170,. IS0; determination of color 18 1; determnination of indexes such as eating quality 27 indcx 1 82, appearance cjUality.index 183 and concluding with sorting or other 28 decisions 1 84. Sorting or other decisions 184 may for example be input process 29 controllers to control packing/sorting lines or may determine the timie to harvest, time AMF~flufl eI.IFT -16 02 16:18 FROI'ILTEBLER IVEY CONNOR 509735555TO73072

RE

PamTlU0/ 08 14 6 IPEIS 16 MAR 2 I to remlove 15-0111 coldc storage,-and time to ship. The apparatuses depicted in Fig, 1 2 through 8 do not all illUstrate the entire flow diagram seqUence from illami-nation of 3 samiple 30 through determiniron of the predicted result as is depicted in Fig. 1 C, ID, 4 1,F and IF. For signal processing illustrations, referenlce is miade to the indicated drawings.

X

6 7 9 12 13 14 16 17 181 19 2 1 22 23 24 2 5 26 _27 28 2)9 Absorbwance is calculated as follows: once the dark spectrum, reference spectrumn and samiptIe spectrui m are collected, they are processed tQ compute the absorbance spectrUM, which Aeer's law indicates is proportional to concentration.

The dark spectrumn, which ind' include background/arnblent light, is subtracted fr-om both the sample spectrumn and. ie referenice spectrum. The log base 10 of the relfbrenco speCtrl.m1 divided bqthc saimple spectrum is then calculated. This is the absorbance spectrum, It is noted that dark amnd reference can be collected periodically. they do0 not necessarily need to be collected along with every sample spectrum., A stored dark aind rference can be used if light Sow..1Ce and detector are stable and don't drift. Pre-pio .cessing uises techni1qu es known to those practiced in1 the art su~ch as binning, smnoothking, wavelength raitioing, takinig derivatives, spectral normalizing, wavelength subtracting, etc, Theni theprocessed absorbance spectrum will be comnpared with a stpre4 calibration algorithm to produce =n OUtput representative or predictive of one or more characteristics, finrness, Brix, ph-, acidity, density, color, and interal and. external defects or acidity, of the sample Fig. I[E is a flow diagiram demonstrating the method and apparatus illustrating the light source(s) 120 as a broad bandl source, sitch as a tungsten halogen lamnp, wvhich illumninates a s;ample 30; at least one, but in an embodimient a plurality, of discrete wavelength filtered (bandpass) photodetectors 255 having filters 1.30 provide spectrumn detection for light Collection clunels in (photodetector n) of the spectra 1fron a. sample 30, In this embodfiment a light source 120 with lamp 123 is controlled by a CPU 172 which triggers power 125 to the lght source 120 lamrp 123.

The spectrurm detected from the saniple srface 35 may be commuinicated by fiber optic fibers as light detectors 80 to the photodetectors 255. The managemn-t of thle AILACU~n (HT -16 02 16: 1E 3 4 6 7 9 11 12 13 14 16 17 19 2tL 22 I 23 24 26 27 28 29 FROM':LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 509753585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:27 detetedspecra ~s a IPA/'S .16 MAR NQ detctd secra ~sasdescrib e for Fig. ID. An alternative to this embodiment may use an AOTF, (acousto-optiq'tunable filter) to replace the at least one or a piurality of photodetectors 255 as the spectrarn detection device.

Fig, IF is a *flow diagram demonstrating the method and apparatus illustrating the light SOLurCe(S) provided b at least one, but ini an emnbodimnent a plurality of dis crete wavelength light eititing diodes 257, which may be SOCquentially fired or 44 lighted by a CPU' trigger for por 125 to illuminate a sample 30; at least one broadband photodetector 255 and, in an alternative embodiment a least one broadband photodetector 255 for each LED 257, provide spectrtim detection for light collection channels (photodetector of the spectra from a sample. The management of the dctected spectra is as described for Fig. I D. Alternative light sour11ces for this embodiment include but are not limited to tuinable diode lasers, laser diode anad a Miter wheel placed between the light source(s) Ca1nd sample or between the sample an~d phiotodetector(s).

Fig, 1, IA and IlB depict an embodimienit of a Nondestructive Fruit Maturity 311d Qul4ity Tester I for rrieagiiring and con-ela~ing characteristics of fruit with combined Visible and Near infra-Red Spectru~m shiowinig an embodiment of the disclosuLre istrating a sanpilj'older 5 having a securing or spring biasing article 9 urging a hiolding article 12 against and in contact with a sample 30. The holding article depicted in Fig. I is illustrated as essentially a hemisphere sized to receive a samlple 30, The sample has a sample surface 35. At least one tight source 120 will be employed proximal the san~ple sUrface 35. The light sour11ce 120 is comprised of at least one lamnp '123, optional filters L30. H-ere illustrated arc two light sources 120 each directed essentially orthogonally to the samnple stirface 35 anid illuminating the sample 30 approximately 60 TO 90 degrees relative to each other. A light detector 80 is depicted as directed to detect light from the sample surface 35 at approximately 30 TO' 45 degrees relative to the direction. of the lighlt cast fromn either light source 120. T"he light detector 80) is illustrated as positioned by a light detector fixture having a light detector securing or spring biasing article 60 placing, holding and or 22 AMFNflFf qHFFT -16 0Z2 16:20 FFROM:LTEBLER IL4EY CONNOR 5097353se5 TO:7:3574PiE2 Palus o/ 08146 IPEAIUS 1~6 MAR Z%4_ I urging a light detector 80 into,-contact with the sample surffce 35, Monitoring of the 2 light source 120 is depicted by light detectors 80 depicted cis directed toward the lamrp 3 123 olipLIt; the Outpu1182 Of ise referetice light d'~teCtOTS 80 is detected by a 4 reference spectrometer 170; a alternative 1:0 the u.se Of two spectrometers 170 will be the sequcntiali measuremrenit of reference lighit detectors 80 and the light detector 6 directed to the sarrple surface,35. All light detector 80 are Fixed by light detector 7 fiXtUres 50 by light detector securing or spilng biasing articles 60 to a plate 7 or other 8 containing device such as a case. The seCu.-ring ar-ticle 9 urging the holding article 12 9 against tho sample 30 also urges the sample against the light detector 80. The 1 0 securing article 9 and holdinj t article 12 in combination with. the light detector 80 and 11 light detector securing article"60 secure arnd prevent the sample 30 from movement.

12 The samnple 30 is shown, in 1ig. 1, as ani apple, The light sources 120 may be, for 13 example, tningsten/halogen lamups. An optional filter 130 or filters 130 functioning as 14 heat block, bandpass and or c~itoff filters, separatel'y or in combination, may be pos i tio ned benveen th cIanp A 3 bifid the samplIe 3 0 o r b etw ee n the samrp le 3 0 and the 16 light detector 80, The light sources 120 may be lamps 123, provided for example by 7 17 external SOWati, 75 Watt, or 150 Watt lamp sources controlled by a CPU 172.

1 8 Power 125 can be provided b power supply from a spectrometer 170 or fron-i an 1 9 alternate power supply, Both the light souirce(s )and the spectrometer(s) are controlled by a CPU 172 and their operation can be precisely controlled and 2 1 optimally synichronlized. using digital input/Voutput trigger- The light detector 2 2 shown here as a fiber-optic sensor, provides a light detector output 82 which 23 becomnes the iniput to a spectr6iueter 170, or other spectruim measuring or processing 2 4 instrument, which is detected by a detector 200, at least one light detectionl device or article, such as a CCD ar-ray which may be a CCD array within a 26 spectrometer 1.70. The sample holder 5, light detector 'fiLXL~re 50 and tight detector 27 securing article 60 and light sources 120 with light source securing article 122 arc 28 affixed to a plate 7, for experimental puLrposes bILL will be otherwise enclosed and or 29 affixed in a container, case, cabinet or other or other fixture for cornercial purposes, 23 AEF SHFFT -16 02 16:2~ 2 3 4 9 12 13 14 16 17 is 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 FROM: LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353535 TO: 7033057724 PAGE: 29 _K=0S1 /O08 1 4 ,4 IPEA(US 16 MAW V* applications inClude and ar not limited to sample measurements on high speed sorting and packj.ig lines, hair'eSterS, trucksI, conveyor-belts arid experimental and laboratory, Other brackets, fixitures or articles may be employed to secure or position either sam-rple holders 5, ligh tdtors 50 and or samples 30 requiring only that the device or mnethod used retain the samiiipl 30 in position relative to the light source 120 and light detector 50 during the period of measuremnent; fixing methods including welds, bolts, screws, glue, she'et metal. forming and other methods mnay be used to secure suc1h items.for either exp'erimiental or commercial purposes..

Fig. 2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E_ depicts an alternative emibodiment of the Nondestructive Fruit Maturity and quality Tester 1. dep-ictinig a single light source \with lamp 123 and optional filter 130 arid withi miultiple light detectors 80 in contact with the ,,ample surface 35. This depiction of the relative positioning of the light (letectors 8O with thle sample 30 or- sample surface 35 is directed to the shieldiing of the light detector 80 from ambient light and is intended to demonstrate either direct contact betwe ,en the light dete~tor 80 and the samle surface 35 or shielded. a shield 84 composed, for example, by ,bellows, a fo-am structure or other pliable or compressible article or apparatbs providing a sealing structui-e or shield method of insuring that the light detector 80 is shielded from ambient light arid light from the light source [20 and receives ligSht 6pectrum. input Solely froml the sample 30. The positioi-ing of the light source 120 relative to the iigh.t detectors SQ illustrate a positioning of one light detector 80 at angle theta of approximiately 45 degrees to the direction of the lighit as directed by the lighat source 120 to illumin~ate the sample The second light detector 80, i ii this illdstration, is at angle ganima of approximately 1 80 de~grees to the direction ofthe light as directed by -the light source 120. Tile positioning of the light detector 80 at approximately '180 degrees to the direction of the light as directed by the light source 120 may he a Position Utilized for the detection of internal disorders within the sample, internal disorders within Tasmania lTonagold apples, such as water core, core rot, interim] brownI ig/breakdown, carbon dioxide damage, and, iii somne cases, insect 24 AMENDED SHEET 16 02 16:21 FROM: LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR* 50973535B5 TO: 7033057724 PAGE: Pcrus01 /084 IPEA/US 16 MAR Z I daiage/mnfestation.. The lightiletectors 80 in this illustration are suggestive of the- 2 many light detector 80 positidiis possible with the positioning dependent on the 3 sample and -the c.aracteristic~ characteristics to be measured or predicted. In this 4 illustration the light detector 80 are positioned to detect within the same plane as the light directed fromn the light source 120. The orientation of 190 degrees between light 6 souirce 120 and light detector 80 will be prefen-ed for smaller samples. Larger 7 samnplecs 30 will attenuate light transmission thus requiring the location of the light 8 detector,8O proximal the light'source 120 to insure exposure to light spectrum output 9 82 characteristic of the mirnpe ,'30 The orientation of th~e light source 120 and light detectors 80 is sensitive to Fruit size, fruit skin and fruit pulp or- flesh properties. The II orientation where the sarnple,30 is an apple will likely preclude a 180 degree 12 orientation because of limnitations in proximity and intensity of the light source 120 as 13 'being likely to damage or burn the apple skini. H-owever, orange skins are less 14 sensi tive and may withstand, 7,&'itthout commercial degradation, a light source 120 of 1 5 high intensity and closely posi ,tioned to the orange surface, Generally, the signal oUtput or l ight detector output 82 is depenadent on the orientation of the light source 17 120 relative to the sample 30 and saMple surface 35 and the light detector I8 The light detector outpuits are illustrated as8 prToviding inlputs to spectTiometers.

19 The outputs may be combined..to provide a single input to a single spectrumi mea~suring and detecting instnu'iiein or may separately formi inputs to separate 21 spectrometers. For the case of a single mneasuring instrument, light shutters may be 22 used and alternaately activated to provide light input frorn each measuring location 23 separately in series, thus prodficing two spectra fromi different depths or locations of a 24 sample.

Fig, 2B and 2C depict an alternative orientation of light detectors 80 where 26 the light detectors 8O are oiriented att angle theT3 of approximately 45 degrees to the 2 7 directIi on of the I jght as directed by the light SO urCe 120. Th is illustration 28 dmontraes wo lghtdetet" 80 positionied approximately 90 degrees apar n 29 Positioned to detect light rromriapproxini.ately the same plane. One of ordinary skill AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:21 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PAGE:31 PCT/US 01 /08 14 IPEAUS 16 MAR 2002 I in (he art will recognize froMtheSe illustrations that the positioning of the light 2 source or light source.,. and ligh ft detector or detectors will depend on the 3 mcasu~remnent intended. Fig. it) and 2E depict a shielding method or apparatuls, e.g., 4 h-i the form of a bellows or othier shield 84 article shielding the light detector from.

ambient light and enabling the Iight detector to sole].y detect light spectrum output 6 fromn the samnple. The shield 84 structure may be tbrmend of a. flexible or pliant 7 ruibber, 'foa-:m or plastic whichw.ill corifrorm to the surface irregularities of the sample 8 and will provide a sealing ?Ncition between the shielding material and sample surface 9 which will eliminate introduction of anblint light into contaet with the light detector.

1 0 The shield 84 is depicted in the form of a bellows in 'Fig. 2D) and 2E.

11 FNg, 1, 2 4, 7 and 8,depict ligh17t Sources which may he provided by 12 spectrometers 170 (as in the 06se of Fig. 3) or external lamps controlled by CPUJ 172 13 (as in case o F Figs, 2 ,4 In ail cases of Fig. I 4, 6, 7, ard 8, tungsten halogen 14 lamrps or the equivalerit are used wh ich generally produce a spectrum within the range of 250-1150O n.m when the filament temperatuire Is operated at 2500 to 3500 degrees 16 kelvin. The light source, for the invenrtion disclosed herein may be a broadband 17 lamrp. whichi for example, but' ithout limitation, may be a tungsten halogen lamp or 18 the equivalent, which may produce a spectrum. within the range of 250-1150 nrn; 1 9 other broadband spectrumi lamps may be employed depending Upon the sample characteristics to be predicted 'and emibodiment utfilized The light detector 80 output 21 82 in these embodirnent.s will generally be received by a spectrometer 170 having a 22 detector 200 such as a C2CD array.

23 Fig. 3, 3A and 3B3 depict an alternative embodimnent of' a Nondestructive'Frutit 24 Maturity and Qualitiy Tester-Comibined Unit 15 of a combined unit 126 having a comnbinied source/detector 135. The souirce of light and method of light detection in 26 this emrbodiment nmay he a light source 1.20, lamip 123 and light detector 2 7 conptiguration whtre the light source 123 lamnp 123 is communicated by fiber optics 28 from an ilinoainaltion source, a lamrp suich as the lamip at a spectromneter 170; light 29 detection is provided by light deTectors 80, fiber optics or other nmnner of light AM~ENDED SHEET -1 0 16,:22 2 3 4 6 7 9 12 13 14 16 17 i8 19 21 22 .23 24 26 27 28 29 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PAGE:32 tranmiss~n, ositonedWEWVUS 16 MAP~ 202 transinissionm pstoeinVarying relationships t~o the lamp 123 as shown in Fig. 3A an-d 3 B. F ig. 3 A is a section frnm f ig. 3 show ing th e comibinted uni1t 126 wh ere a combined soui-ce/detector 135 has arn altetmative source of light and light detection; the SoLLTce of l ight, depicted as a plurality of sources, maybe sequentially fired tight emitting diodes 257 emitting discrete wave[engths;, the light detection maybe a broadband photodiode detect6i 255 ccntral to conicentrically positioned LIEDs, The combined unit 126 and sample Iholder 5 are Mounted to a plate 7 or other mounting or containinig fixture, case, cabiniet or other devict. St-itable for commercial or experimnental pur-pOSes, for example with a bi-acket or other mnounting article, so as to be fixed 01r as to have a spring or other biasing function to urge the combined untl. 126 and sample holder 5 against the samtple. A light shield 84, as depicted in Fig, 2D and 2E mnay be used between the combined source/detector 135 and the sample surface 35. Fig. 3B is it section from fig. 3 showing an additional embodiment of a combined unit 1.26 where a cciitrally positionod lighit source 120 lamp '123, for example light via fiber optics fromn a tungsten. halogen lamp, is concentric to at least onie and, as depicted here a pliirality, of.'discrete wavelength phorodetectors. The output of the at least one detection fibers or light detectors 80 is the input to a spectrometer. 1 70 or other spectral mneasuring instrument such as a photodetector 255.

Depicted, is a. spectrometer 1.70 having a detector 200, Alte'rnatively, light source delivery and detection for- the embodiment of ig. 3B may be by a bifurcated rcfiecitance probe; alternatively, it is recognized that a reflectance probe may provide one or miore light delivery sources and on~e or more light detectors providing inputs to one or more Spectrometer. While Fig. 3A i 111.strates LEDs 257 concentrically positioned around a broadband photodiode detector 255, it will be recognized that the LEDs of this embodinient, as w ell as the light sources 1.20 of other embodiments, Can be placed in other anr-arigemnents, the photodiode detector 255, as well as the detectors 80 of other emybodiments, can be 1I cO egrees opposite a circle of LEDs 257 and the sample 30 placed between the LEDs- 257 and the photodiode detector 255, for cherries or gr.apes; alternatively, the LEDs 257 can be placed on an arc, 27 AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:22 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 509735555TO7307EPRE PCT/US 01 08 14 6 IPAIS 16 MAR Z" I equidistant arld 180 degrees opposite fromn the photodetectoi 255 in relationship to 2 the sample 30. These two arrangements are suggestive of the positioning 3 relationships of LEDs 257 (light sources 120), photodiode detectors 255(light 4 detectors 80) and samples 30 iis well as the instance where other types of light source and detectors are emnployed including, for example, the use of Filtered photodetectors 0 255 with a broadband lanip 123, as illustrated ill Fig. 5. In each embodiment the 7 particular sample 30 type combined with the particular characteristics to be predicted 8 wll dictate the pattern of light source 120 and light detector 80 in relation to the 9 sample 30. Additionally, it is to b' recognized that. light sour1ce used herein includes broadb and lamps such as the tungsten halogen lamrp, LEDs and other light emitting 11. devices-, light detectors used herein includes fiber optic fibers, photodiode detectors 12 and other devices sensifive to'ind capable of detecting light, 13 Fig. 4 is a top plan depicting ai. altemnative armbodiiment of a Nondestructive 14 Fruit Maturity and Quality Tester I showing at least one light source 120 and lamp 1.23 arid light detector .50 configurationi wher-e at least onie, and as depicted in this 16 illustration two, light source 120 and lamaps 123 are 0com.Mnicated by fiber optics to 17 01r proximi-al the sample surface 35, from an iliumination source, a lamp 123 or 18 other external light source. Light detection is provided by light detectors 80, e.g..

1 9 fiber optics or other method of light tranStn.ission, In this em-bodimrent the light sources 120 and light detector'8O arb in contact with the sample surface 35. Th~e light 21 detector 80 detects the light spiCtrUrn o1tput from the sample 30 and pr-oviding light 2 2 detector input 82 to a spectriuml pieasuring or processing instrument or method 23 including, for example, a spectrometer 170 having -a detector 200. For certain 24 samples, the light detoctor 80 will be inserted in-to the samrple 30 thus effecting a shielding of the light detector 80 from ambient light, on harvester-mounted 26 applicationis or in a processing plant where the product will be processed such as 27 su~gar beets or grapes. Otherw'ise, the light shield 84 depicted in Fig. 2D and 2E is 729 app-licable to the interrelationship of the sample 30 and samiple surface 35 with the 29 light detector S0 and light source 120 anid lamn'p 123. Illustrated in Fig. 4 is th~e 28 AMENDED SHFT :-16 02 16:2:3 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 509753585 TO: 7055057724 PG:5 PAGE: 34 2 3 4 6 7 I I 12 13 14 1 6 17 19 23 2 4 26 27 28 29 PCTLS1 0814 6 connection of the light detector outputs 82 from the at least onec light detector forming the input to a. spectnSxi measuring or processing instrument. It will be recognized that each cornponaift of this embodiment will be affixed by conventional methods to a plate 7 or other mnounting or containing fixture, case, cabinet or other device Suitable for commrercialt or experimental pur1pose.

F~ig. 5 is a top plan depi~cting an alterniative embod-iment of the Nondestructive FrUit MatUrity and Quality Tester I in a hand held case 250 showing a light source 120 and. at least ono light dete"Ctor 80, shown here as six light detectors configuration in the form of a sampling head 200. 11n1 this embodiment at the sampl ing head 260 at least onie light source 120 lamp 123 is positioned in relation to light detectors S0 provided by; 'at least one discrete-wavelength photodetector 255.

Shown in Fig, 5 are a pluiralitydf discwrete-wavelenigth photodetectors 255, filling the combined function of light detector 80, and spectram detecting instrument such as a CCD array detector 200. The peration of tbis embodimient is seen in Fig. IlE wherelin all components are enc~ased within the case 250. Electronic and computer COtMuinicatioii between the sarnipling head 260 and the comiputer control circrUitry is via electronic signal cabling 265 Or wireless including infrared or other such transmission method or apparatus. The sampling head 260 amibient shield 262 will provide a shielding method or 'apparatus, fulfil ling the same Or similar structural function as the shield 84 in Fig. 2D anid 2E, in shielding the at least one photodetector 255 and lamp 1 23 ftrm ambient light. The samplinig head 260 and ambient shield 262, depicted in Fig. 5 anid WAmay be formed f.rom a pliable polyfoarn within which the at le~tst one lamp 123 and ~tleast one photodetector 255 i-nay be secured by a fixture article, The material or structure forming the sampling head 260 and ambient shield 262 may be flexible or pliable foam, in the form of a bellows or other shielding article simnilar to that depicted-in Fig. 2D arid Tlhe, use ol a pliable polyfoamn to fori-- the ambienrt shield 262 will serve to seal o-ul or preclude exposure, by a sealinig acion between a sample -surface 35 and the ambient shiceld 262, of the at least one photodetector 255 and lamip 1 23 from amrbient light. Other shielding apparatus and 29 AMENDED SHFT 1-16 02 16:2 1 2 3 4 6 7 12 13 14 16 19 21 22 23 24 2S 26 27 28 29 3FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR' 5097353585 TO:7033057724 IPEAILS 16 MAR 2002 niethods will provide adeqtiate'shirlding StrICIITC Ficlud-ing bellows, a Case Or box enclosing the sampling head 2160 9and sam-ple 30 or other succh article providing shielding struicture between affibient light: and the inte~rface between the sampling hecad 260, the at least one pho'tbdrteQtor 255 and lamp 1 23 and the sample 30 and sam-plc surface 35, TFhe operation of this embodinient is seen In Fig. lE wherein all components are encased within the case 250.

In this illustration, File 5, the sampling he~ad is arranged so that the photodeltectors are concentrically arrayed in relation to the light source, The light .Wo11CCe may be con-unticated by iber optics frorn an illumination source, I lamp within the case or by plaieme I t of a lamp within the sampling head, the broadband outpu~t lamp, tpngsten halogen~ is physically located centrally to concentrically arrayed photoditectors. The light source may be present to be in contact with the sample surfac e or proximal to the sample surface. Electrical commrun ication is effected befwcn the light source and photodetectors and a computer processor. Fig. 5 and 5A illustratethe sampling head 260 arranged so that at least one, arid a,'S illustrated in Fig. 5, a 'Plurality of discrte-wavelength filtered 130) photodctectors 255 are concentrically arrayed in relation to the centrally positioned at leasi one light source 120. Te light source L20 lamp 123 which may be con-mnicated by fiber optics'from an illLumination source.. a lamip within the case 2590 or may, for particular samples 30, oranges, be present to be in contact with or closely proximal the'S'ample surface 35. Electrical comminunication and light comimun~Icationis effected between the light source 120 and photodetectors 255 and a spectrometer 1 70 by fiber optics and or wiring, printed. circuit paths, cables. The photodetectors 255 fL.dfil] a -pectrometar or spectral mneasurement flinction, providcs the inpuPLt 82 which will be pr6cessed with microprocessor stored calibration algoi-ithm to produce an outpult representing one or more parameters of the sample.

Fig. 5A Is a side elevation of Fig 5 depicting a. sample positioned on the sampling head.

~AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:2~4 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO.7033057724 PRGE::36 IFig. 5B, 5 C, 5D and 5E illustrate embodiment of the itveton ITe 2 particularly to small saniples'30, grapes and cherries, where the sampling head 3 260 is in the formi of a clamip263 havinig at least two clamrp jaws 266 which receive 4 arid secure within at least one"jaw 266 structure at least one lamip 123 having a light source input 125 and in at lea it one clanip jaw 266 SM10tire at least one light detector 6 80 su~ch that the jaws 266, when the clamp 263 is closed, receive a sample 7 positioned to have the at leastyne larnp 123 and the at least one light detector 8 proximal the $am1ple s3urface: 35, The light detector 80 is depicted as a fiber optic 9 fiber transmitting spectrum ft 6m the sarnple to an ar-ray of.filtered 130 photodetectors 255 or a spectromneter 1 70. leatput 82 will be mranaged as shown in Fig. 1ID or 11 1 E. Fig. 51a depicts a light detector SO as a fiber transmitting spectrum from a sample 1 2 30 to be displayed on a filtered 130 photodetector array 255 where the fiber 80 is 13 contained and positioned to tfdlnsrriit the detected slpectTui.1 from the sample 30 so 14 that the Fiber 80 Is central to iconcentricaIly arrayed filtered 130 photodetectors 255, 1 5 A positioning struciture, 79, which may be tubes interconnected to position the fiber 1 6 light detector 80 central to th phtodetector array 255, secures and positions the light 1 7 detector 80 relative to thle 11ntteed 130 photodetectors 255. A collimating lens 78 will IS b e positioned between the light detector 80 fiber and the array 255 to insure that light 19 from thic light detector 80 is norITIM to the filtered 13Q photodetector array 255. Fig.

2) 5F depicts an arc photodetector array 90 received and secured within at least one jaw 21 266 structure where the photodetectors 255 within the photodetecAt array 90 are 22 preferabl~y equidistant from the light source 120 or lamp 123.

23 'Fig. SD is an illustration of the emnbodimient of Fig. 5 where the sampling 24 head 260 is in the for-r of a clamip 263 'having at least two clanmp jaws 266 which receive and secure within at least one ja-w 266 structure at least one lamp 123 and in 26 at least one clarnp jaw 266 structure at least one arc photodetector array 90 such that 27 the jaws 266, whc-.n the clamip_263 is closed, receive a sample 30 positioned to have 2 8 the at least one lamp 123 anid the at least one arc phiotodetector array 90 proximal the 29 samiple SUrface 35. The ar photodetector array 90 is depicted as an array of Filtered 31 ~AMENDED SHEET 11 02 16:25 2 .3 4 6 7 12 13 14 16 17 Is 19 21 23 24 26 27 28 29 FREJM:LIEBLER IV)EY CON'NOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:37 IPTAUS1/O8146 IPEAAS 1 A ~Q 1 30 photodetectors 255 which .villl preferably be equidistant from the lamp 123 when a sample 30 is received. The otput 82 will be managed as shown in Fig. ID or 1E.

Fig. 6 through 61' illustrate an additional embodiment of the Nondestructive Fruit Maturity and Quality Tester I1. Fig. 6 is a top plan depicting an additionul ernbodimn-irt of the disclosure in a hand held case 250 formn showing a light source 120 in the form of LEDs 257 a6id light detector 80, inl the form of a photodetector 255, conifigUration in the forniof a sampling head 260. With the LED 257 and photodetector 255 configuration, the photodetector 255 IS Used without filters, i.e., wavelength bandpass filters, and is sensitive fromn 250-1150 ruil. Alternative devices or methods for providig light source and light detection includes, but is no0t 1lim14ed to diodelasers and oth'r light souirces producing a discrete wavelength spectrutm. I this e.mbodiment at the sampling head 260 at least one LED 257, and as illustrated in Fig. 6, a plu~rality oV LEDs 257, is positioned in relation at least one photodoteotor 255. A methiod or article is reqUired to shield the LEDs 257 and photodetector/photodiode det' ictor 255 from ambie nt light which is illustrated as an) ambient shield 262 inClUding4'stnictures Of compressible and pliable foam, bellows as indicated by the shield 84 structure of ig. 2D and 2'E and other such materials, struIctUreS or articles. In this illustration the sampling head 260 is arranged so that the at least one photoderector/phoodiade detector 255 is central to concentrically arrayed discrete wavele-ngth LE.Ds 25.7. i this embodiment the light emitting diodes 257 fulfill the function of light source arnd are sequlendtalllyfired or lighted with the spectrUml output detected by thie at [east one photo detecto r/photod iode detector 255.

The photodetector 255 otatput 82 is processed as demionstrated in Fig. IF.

I'he photod-etector 255 is responsive TO a broad range of wavelengths, both visible anid niear-infrared -250-1150 inin), When each LED 257 is fired, the fight eniters the samnple 30, interacts with the sample 30, and re-emnerges to be detected by the p hotodetector 255. The pbotodcector 255 produce8 a CUrrent proportional to the intensity of light detected. The current is converted, to a. voltage, which is then digitized uising an analog-to-digital converter. hedigital signal is then stored by an 32 AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:25 FROM:LTE8LER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585TO73572PRE8 PCTLUS1/08 1 4 WEWUS 6 MAR 2002 I emnbedded in icrocolntrOle-r/nflropf~ocess0V.' The m i erocorntroller/microprocessor used 2 in the preferred enibodiment Is an Intel g05 1. 'However, other microprocessors and 3 other devices and cir-cuitS will perforrn the needed tasks, T1-he signal detected by the 4 photodetector 255 as each LED 257 is fired is digitized, A/D converted and stored.

Afler each LED 257 has been 'fired anid the converted signal stored, the 6~ microprocessor storcd readings are comibined to crecito a spectrumn consisting of as 7 mnwiy data points as there are EDs 257. This spectrum is then used by the embedded 8~ microprocessor in combinatio'.' with a previously stored calibration algorithm to 9 predict the sample properties'of interest, Signial processing then proceeds as shown in Fig. 1E. Fig. 6A is a sction c1.evation of~g 6 depicting the sampling head 260 11 showing the ami-bient shield 262, composed for example of compressible foam or 12 bellows or other such strulctufrC, a rubber- pILunger, originally designed for a 13 vacuum1. pick-up tool which lqoks m~'uch like a toilet plunger, but has a more gentle 14 curve and is available in a vailety ofsizes including 1mrm diamieter and larger; in certain of these embodiments'a 20 mmn rubber pliirmger was used with a pickup fiber 1 6 optic operating as the "handle" that couiples to the plunger. The sample then makes a 1 7 seal with the plunger prior to'Vneascremineiit Other devices or methods will also 1 8 provide the r-equisite sealing structure, as described in this specification. Also shown 19 are light emnitting diodes 257 andr light detector/photodiode detector 80 fixed by affixing articles within the sampling head 260. The affixing articles will be 211 composed of bracket aiticles'rnd otherITnouTfin~g structure r-ecognized by one of 22 ordinary skill. The output 82 froni ithe light detector 80 -is depicted as well as the case 23 250 with processing as shown in F 4 ig, IF_.

24 Fig. 613, 6C and 6D are representative of an additional embodiment of the disclosure of this invention where a sampling head. 260 i~s affixed in a case 250, light 26 detectors So are affixed by affixing articles within the sampling head 260. The 27 sampl ing head 260 receives a samnplc 30 which is positioned to be illuminated by a 28 light source 120 lamp 123. This embodimenit depicts the case 250 as having a cover 29 which serves as an ambierit shield 262. Additionially, the struLcture of the sampling 33 SAMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:26 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR. 5097353565 TO:7033057724 PRGE:39 JPEWUS 16 MAR 2Ob2 I head 260 may be of a compressible Or p'ahle. Eoarn or a bellows Which may provide 2 the structure allowing an ambient shield 262, Ambient light. can also be measured 3 after the sample 30 is in plac, but bel'ore the light source 120 lamp 123 is turned on, 4 This amibient light signal is th~en stored and subtracted accordingly for subsequent measuremenits. A light source input power 125 is depicted for example from a 6 spectrometer 1 70 or may be fr~bm a CPU 1 72 trigger or other external [amp source 7 and/or power suipply. Outpuft"'82 from it light d etector/photodlode detectors 80 are 8 depicted and processed as shown in Fig. IF.

9 Fig. 6C is a plan view'of the embodirr.enl. of Fig, 6B illustrating a plurality of light detectors, illustrated We as fiber optic light detectors. Shown in this .I ililstration ar-e two light detectors with oie proximnal the light source and another [2 distal from the light source With the pur:pose beinig -to provide two different 1 3 path lengths, shallow and deep, by taking the difference betweenl the F-ar or deep 14 spectrum11 and the near Or shallow spectrum data of g-reater accuracy can be obtained.

This difference m-ethod provides a pathlength, cor-rection to improve concentration or 1,6 property or sample characteristic predictions.

17 Fig, 6E and 6.F are represenitative of" an ernbodiment of the disclosure wherein 1 8 the lamnp 123 Is positioned within the samplinig head 260. Alternatively, the lamp 123 19 may be positioned by an affixing article within the ambient shield 262.

Another embodiment in a packing/sorting li-ne form of the disclosure is 21 depicted in Fig. 7, 7A and 7B illustrating a light source 120 and light detector 22 affixed and positioned by bracket articles 275, light detector fixture 50 and light 23 SOUIlce securJinlg articles 122 wkhich will be recognized ais moun~ting structure from) 24 which ait le-ast o-ne light source 120 and at least one light detector 80 will be SUSpended, rigidly securcd and otherwise positioned including the use Of SUch as rods, 26 bars and other such bracket article 275 'fixtuLres The at least one light source 120 is 27 positio-ned to illunainate a sample 30, depicted in this drawing as =n apple. The at 28 least one light detector 80 is'p'sitioned by bracket articles 275 and light detector 29 fixture 50 to detect the light spectrum outplit fror the illumninated sample 34 AMENDED WIEff 11 02 16:26 FRWM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:703057724I Paz -01/ 081 4 6 ]PEN/S O6MAR 2002 I Samples 30, In this illustrationi are conveyed by a sample conveyor 295, Total 2 exposure to the kit least one light source 17.0 and at least one light detector 80 will be 3 determined by the intensity o the light sour.1Ce Used and the nature of the sample 4 he in g I nterro gated. Fo r apples exposure ti mes o-f 51 0 rnsee or l$s are com monly used to provide rnultipl.e measurements per apple at line speeds uip to 20 fruit/second.

6 The at least one light detecto .80 depicted in Fig. 7 illustrates a separation of the light 7 detector 80 from the light source 120 of approximnately 9 0 degrees with both light 8 detector SO and light source 120 essentially orthogonal to the sample in the same 9 plane. liowever, for each embodiment of this disclosure, the positioning of the light 80 and of the ligh ources(es) 1 20 relative to each other and relative to 11. the samlple is dependent on the characteristics of the sample and. of the qualities 12 sought to be measured. For example, the lighit soiurce 1 20 may be positioned to be 1 3 directed essentially orthogonail to the sample surface 30 in a plane oriented 90 degrees 1 4 from the plane to which the lijht detector SO is directed. The light Source 1 20 and light detector 80 are positionied proxi-mal the sample 30, The light source 120 lamip 16 123 may be powered Crorn a spectrometer L70 or other external source, as noted in the [7 discIs.Sionl Of Fig. 1. Thle tight detector 80 may be a single fliber optic fiber with the IS8 light spectrulm detected forming the output 82 ro a spectrUf.) detection instrument 19 such as a spectrometer 170 anid detector 200. The processing of the light spectrum detected is as described and set out i n Fig. I C.

21 Another embodiment directed to sorting/packing lines is seen in Fig. 7C, 7D 22 and 7E depicting at least one light detector S0 and as shown a plurality of light 2)3 detectors 80 representative of measurements of a pluarality of* spectrum regions. A 24 filtered 13(0 light detector 80 is representative of the detection 1 of spectrunm of 700 to 925 nm, another light detector 80 is representative of detection of red pigments and 26 chlorophyl in the 500 to 699 ram remige arid water, alcohols and physical quality 27 firmness. denslity) information available in the 926 to 1150 nmn range, another light 28 detector 80 is repr-esentative of detection of the yellow pigment region ill the range of 29 25(0 to 499 nm. Two additional light detectors 80 are shown positioned opposite a AMENDED SHEET 16 02 16:27 FROM:LTEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 RE4 i IPEMJUS 1~6 MAR 2002' 1 light source 120 l amp '123 SUNh that the sample wilIl pass between the Ilamp 123 and 2 light detector 80 arid is represenrtative of an Input to two reference spectrometers 170.

3one monitoring the wavelength regio-n and the other monitoring the 500- 4 1 150 n.mi region. Wh ere the samnple is an apple it will be expected that the reference channel additionially will not detect spectruma out of the sample and will indicated the 6 presenlce or absence of a samj~e. The output of the refercrnce channel(s) can be used 7 as an object locator to deterimi 'ne which spectra from. the sample light detector(s) to S retain fOr' LSe in prediction. Shiielding inay be utilized between the light source 120 9 lamp 1 23 and the light detectors 80 and or sample 30, options include but are not I0 Ilimited to 1 a light shield 284 as a curtain 285 may extend from a bracket fixture 275 11 between the light source 120 lmp 123 and tight dletectors 80 r-eduicing the direct 12 exposure of the light detector"S'80 to the light source 120 lamnp 123, 2) the light shield 13 285 may extend between the .light source'120 lamp 123 and light detectors 80 and 14 sample 30 -wherein an aperturo~will be formed in the light shield 284 between the light source 120 lamrp 123 and samiple .30 limiting surfa.ce reflection from the sample 16 surface 35 to the light detector's 80 arnd 3) the light shield 284 may provide filter 130 17 function, heat bloc king, cutoff and bandpass, between the light Source 120 lamp 18 123 and sample surfae 35 limiting the possibility of heat or bUrn damage to the 19 sample 30, 4 An additional embodimfent is seen. in, Fig. 8, 8A and 88 wherein at least one 21I light shield 284 is positioned by a bracket article 275 to separate the at least one light 22 source '120 and lamp '123 Crorn the at least one light detector S0 as a sample 30 is 23 conveyed by a samniple conveyor 295 under and past a light source 1 20' and lamip 123 24 toward and under a light detector 80. The light shield 284 may be a curtain 285 and is depicted in Fig. 8 as a curtain 285 composed of at least. one portions and as shown 26 in Fig. SA of two portions or aplurality of portions, each suspended fromn a bracket 27 article 275, Where there are a plurality of cuortain 285 portions, the respective curtain 28 285 portions will overlap and separate as the sample 30 passes.

29 36 AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:27 FROM:LIEBLER. IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:42 IPEMS 16 MAR O~ I Tn this embodiment, sshown in Fig. 9, the sample 30, I-or example an apple.

2 is conveyed by a packing/sorti~g conlveyanCe system 295. A cycle will be repeated as 3 each sample 30 moves toward;' into contact with, Linder and past the light shield 284.

4 The packini~g/sorting convoyan e system 295 will have samnples 30 sequentially positione~d on the conveyaice~syslem 295 such that th~e space between sample 30 is 6 minial generally In relaionto6 thc size of the sample 30. As the sample 30 moves 7 toward, but is not in contact 'ith, the light shield 284 the sample 30 will be 8 illumin11tecl by the light source, 120 while the light detector SC) will detect ol 9 amihieni. light and will be shielded fromn the tight source 120, As the sample moves i nto conitact with and under the li ght shi eld 284 the samp le 30 will1, while tI continuing to be illuminated by the light source 1.20, be exp-.osed to the light detector 1 2 80 which will detect Spectr=ui6 ftom the samnple 30. Whien the sample 30 moves past 13 the light shield 284 the light detector 80 will again be shielded from the light source 14 120 and will detect only ambient light. The light source 120 may, for example, be a tingstenlhalogen lamnp orr light transmit~ted by optics to illuminate the sample 30. The 1 6 light detector 80, 'fol' eXarnpl optic (Iber detector, is positioned such that the sample 1 7 Siurtace 35 will be proximal to the light detector 80 as the sample 30 contacts and I S paIsses Under the light shield 284. The light shield 284 mnay be composed of a flexiblte 1 9 or pliable sheet opaque to the". spectra to which. the light detector 80 is sensitive and may be comprised, -for example, of silicone rubber, Mylar, thermnoplastics and other 21 materials. The light detector 80, light shield 284 and light source 120 will be 22 mechanically affixed by bracket articles 275 or other mounting apparatus or methods 23 readily recognized by those of ordin-aty skill. in the art or mleasurfement at 24 packing/sorting systems, An alternative configuration of the embodiments of Fig, I and 8 will employ a 26 pluraility Of light sources 120 including, for example a light Source 120 illumninating 27 thie samnple 30 Croni the top with a second ligh1ii; source 120 illuminating the sample '28 fromr the sidle or two light sources 120 illuminating the samiple 30 from opposite sides 29 illustrating the multiple positions which may be enmployed for light sources 120. A 37 "AMENDED SHEET -16 02 16:213 FROM':LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR'. 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PAGE:43 pcTIUO/ 8 1 4 6 TENJS 16 MAR2U I plility of light detectors 80~ ill view thc same or diffe'rent sample surface 2locations with each light dete&8tor 80 output 82 eithier sensed by a separate 3 spectromnete'r or combirned to form a single output 82, Where aplurality of outputs 82 4are received by a plurality of(Oectrometers 1 70 at least one spectrometer 1 70 will have a neutral density filter iii~a1led to block sonrie percentage, e.g. 50%, of the 6 outpu1Lt 82 Crom. the light detctor 80 with this spectrometer 170 to provide data fromn a 7 particular spectral range, e.g.;approximraftely 700 to apprToximately 925 run. A second 8 spectrometer will not use a filter and will Satbrate From approximately 700 to 925 tim 9 butC Will yield good signal to noise data fromi approximately 500 to 699 mun and approximrately 926 to 1150 ni Othe upt 2t ~trip~ pcrmtr 1 11 will permit the exarritration ~fspecific spectral1 ranges. Additionally, this method 12 allows the tise orthe samne exposure timnes on both, or a plurality of~ spectrometers 13 I170 making thein easier to control in parallel, This is essentially the dual exposure 14 approach using filtered input.,82 to the spectrometer 170 rather than different exposure times. The blockinS of light to one spectrometer 170 effects the sarre result 16 as using a shorter exposure time, The dual intensity approach proves problematic 1 7 because the Iiighi and low intensity spectra are not easily pasted or combined together 1 8 due to0 slope differences in thespectra, hiowever the dual Intensity approach may be 19~ preferred For predicting certafiparamieters firmness, density with certain sample types stored frniifor oranges), W i le the dual exposure approach yields 21 excellent combined spectra, both approaches provide useable combined spectra, 22 which are necessary for firmness and other parameter prediction and also improved 23 Brix accuraIcy.

24 Typically, Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression analysis is used during calibration to generate a regression vector that relates the VIS and NIR spectra to 26 brix, firminess, acidity, density, pH, color and external and internal defects and 27 disorders, This stored regression vector is referred to as a prediction or calibration 2S algorithm. Spectral pre-processing routines are performed on. the data prior to 29 regre.5sioii analysis to improve signal-to-noise remove spectral effects that are 38 0A AMENDED SHEET 602 16:28 FROM;.LIEBLER, IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 T:03574PG:4 1PEMJS 16 MAR 2002 un1,related to the paramneter of interest, baseline offsets and slope changes, and 2 "normialize" the data by atterritmg to mathematically correct for pathlength and 3 scattering errors. A pre-processing routine typically includes binng", e.g., 4 averaging 5-10 detector channes to improve S/N. boxcar or gaussian smoothing (L0 imiprovc: S/N) and conmputation of a derivative. The 2nd derivative Is most often 6 uised, however, the I1st derivative can also be Used and the Use of the 4th derivative is 7 also a possibility. for hirnness prediction, data is often used after binning, 8 si-oothing and a baseline correction or nonnalization; where no derivative IS Used.

9 For Brix. and other chemical jiprties, a 2nd-derivative transformation often is best.

I0 Using a Principal Coijpontents Analysis (PCA) classification algorithm, soft 1 I Llit an1d very firmi frUit can be1 uniquely identified from mioderately fin-n fruit. Also, 1 2 under-ripe and ripe fruit cgi 15c soparated and spoiled, higher p1-i, or rotten fruit 13 can be identified for segregation. The NIR spectra of whole apples, and other fruit, in 14 the approximately 250-1150 firt region also s;how correlation with pH- and total 1 5 acidity, The 250-699 nrn wavelengthi region contains color informnation, e.g., 16 xanthophylls, yellow pignients, absorb in the 250-499 nin region-, anthocyanin, Which .7 is a red pigmnent, has ail absorption band spanning the 500-550) n region, improves 1IS classification or predictive performance, particularly foi- firmnness. An example is the 19 predictioa of how red a cher ,is by meaSUri-ng and applying or comparing the anthoc~lanin absorption A or,icar 520 =i to the pertinent predictive or classification 21 algorithmn, Under-ripe oranges, having a green color, can be predicted by 22 meas-niement of sample spect~rum output 82 in the chlorophyll absorption region 23 (green pignients) at or near 680 rn and apply-Ing the measured outpuLt 82 spectruim to 24 the pertinent predictive algorithm. The spectrum output from the sample, in the 950- 1150 nnregion has additional informiation about1 water, alcohols and acids, and 26 protein content. For example, sample Water content relates to firmnness in most fruit 27 with water loss occurring during storage. H-igh pH fi-Uit, often indicative of spoilage, 28 can also be UnicILuely identified in the presence of other apples using a classification 29 algorith-m.

39) AMENDED SHEET :-16 02 16:293 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 50973535-85 TO:7033057724 PaoTS O/B46 The present dslurisa non-destructive mlethod and apparatus fPWU 6 A2r' 2 111IaSurting the spectrum, or scattered and absorb-,ed light, particularly within the NIR 3 ranige of 250-1 1.50 nmn, for thi parposc of predicting, by use of the applicable 4 pr-edicti-ve algorithin, particular fruit characeteristics including sugar content, firrmnesS, density, pdH, total acidity, colo+i anuijnternal and external defects, These fruit 6 chara,=crlSticS are key parameters for determ-ining maturity, when to pick, when 7 to ship, when and. how to store, and quality, sweetness/sourness ratio and 8 firmness or crispness for niy fruits and vegetables. These characteristics are also 9 indicators Of conIsumerj taste preffren.CeS, expected shelf life, economic value and ot~her characteristics. Ititernal, disorders can also be detected, for Tasmania I 1 Jonagold atpples, including disorders such. as water core, core rot, internal 1 2 browvning/breakdownl, carbori~ioxide damage, and, in some cases, insect 1 3 damage/infestati.ofl. The disclosure simultaneously Utilizes the visible absorption 14 region (about 250-699 irn) that ciautains in Formation about pigments and chlorophyll, 1 5 2) the wavelength portion of the short-wavelength NIR that has the great'est 16penetration depth inl biological tissue, especially the tissue of fruits and vegetables 1 7 (700-9 25 nrn), and 3) the regon rm96 15 m hc contains informatio I S aibout milsture content and 6iher 04I1 components such as alcohols and organic acids 1 9 Simh as mialic, citric, and tartaric acid.

Bench top, ha ndheld, P'Ortah I aid aUtomiated packing/sorting embodim-ents 2 1 Wie disclosed. The berichtop ernbodirnent will generally be distinguished frorn the 22 high speed jpacking/sortifS iiibodirnent through the greater ease of examining the 23 sample 30 vith more than one intensity light source 120 lamps 123 or light '24 sources 120 QontroQlled with more than one voltage or power level or more than one exposure time. A benclitop embodiim-ent discussed hierein utilizes a dual intensity 26 light source 120, by utilizing dual voltages or dual exposu~re times or other 27 melhods of varying the intensity of 01Ci light SOurce 120 Used to illuIminate the sample 28 30. Alternatively, the light detector 80 may be operated to provide at least one 29 exposure at one lamrp 123 intensity and, for example, the light detector 80 may 'AMENnFn qmr4FFT -16 02 16:30 FROr:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353565 TO:7033057724 PRGE:46 -Pcw7sQo1/O08 4 6 IPEAMS 16 MAR ZG0Z 1provide dual or a plurality of eXpo$sures at I lailp intensity. lhe meho otpovdn 2 dual Or I p)ltrality of exposures- at one lamip intensity is accomplished as follows: the 3 light detector S0 exposure tIMe IS adjustable thrU0Lgh basic computer software control.

4 In the Comnputer program, tw;o spectrum of different eXPOSUre times are collected for each samnple 30. The berichtop metlhod m~ay, as preferred by the operatOr. involve 6 direct physical contact between the sanmpte surface 35 arnd the apparatus delivering 7 the light source 120, at least one light detector 80 may penetrate the sample 8 surface 35 into the sample ineirior. A high speed packing/sorting embodiment 9 gener-ally will be limited in thedelivery Or the exposure of the light Source 120, relative to or- at the sample surface 35, resulting from the himitcd time, usually a few 11 millisecoinds, the samiple 30 %vyfll be in range of the light Source 120. Multiple passes 12 or arrangements of multiple light seiurces 120 and Multiple light detectors S0, 13 il~uding photodotectors 255 "Mid other light detecion devices, will peimit, in the 14 highspeed packing/sorting embodimnent, the exposure of the samnple to multiple light souirce 120 intensities. The hindheld embodimfent generally will allow sampling of a 16 limitcd niumber of itemns by or chard operators, in inspction Of fTLilt samples on 1 7 the plant or tree, and from produce delivered for packing/sorting, to centralized 1 8 grocery distribution centers or individual grocery stores.

19 Obtaining data over the wavelength region of 250-1150 nm is orily possible using a Multi intensity or mul ti exposure meIC sUrenient, dual intensity or dual 21 exposur-e as in the preferred 6mbodimcnt. While one spectrometer can be used to 22 CONILr the! 500- 11 50 nmi region, a second spectromeitter is necessary to cover the 250- 23 499) rnm region, The nlumber of different light source intensity or exposures required 24 is dependent onl the characteiistics of the sample and of the detector 200. Tile spectrumi acquired at longer detector 200 exposure timies or higher light source 26 intensity saturates the detector pixels, for somne detectors, Sony ILX 511, or 27 Toshlia 120 1, from -700-925.nm, yet yields excellent S/N data. frm-500-699 nm 28 and froin -926-1150 rm. The low intensity or shorter exposure time spectrum is 29 optimized to provide good S/N data Fromri 700-925 nm. Accurate firnmess predictions 41 AMENDED SHEET 1-16 02l 16:30 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:47 I of fresh and stored fruiT requires the 700-925 rim 1region and the 500-699 rum. e g_ 2 pigmient arid chlorophyll, plusjhe 926-1150 nmn region, Addition of the 250-499 in 3 r-egion, yellow pigmients Qowm as xanthophylls which absorb light, will 4 improve prediction of firmness &id other parameters such as B3rix, acidity, pH, color and internal anid external deficts. There is high correlation between the spectrum 6 output fromn the samnple 30 in~fic 926-1150 rim region with water content. Stored 7 Fruit appears to have higher rel'ative water content than fresh fruit and less light 8 sc-attering. The chlorophyll ai~d pigmnent of a sample 30 is p-.redicted by correlation 1) with the sample spectrum output 82 in the 250-699 nrm region, with this correlation likely being the mnost iniport t for prediction. of firmness of fresli fruit, while the 11 longer wavelength water region ma.y be more impoutant for accurate firmness 1 2 mne4Surement of stored fruit.

1 3 Just as in the lodger NIR wavelength regions, the 700-925 nm region also 14 contains absorption bands from carbior-hydrogtrn, oxygeni-hydrogen, and nitrogen- 1 5 hydrogen bonds, (CH, OH, NMl) In the case where protein is key component of 16 interest, the 926-1150ndm region is of greatest interest. However, pre-sprout 1 7 condition in 0rain, for examnple, can be predicted by examination of the sample IS 8 output Sp~ectrumi in the 500-699 rnm region, 1 9 The preferred embodimcent of the apparatuIs is composed of at least one light source 120, a sample hokldcr 5 inchiding, For example a sorting/packing sample 21 conveyor 295 and other devices andl methods of positioning a sample 30, with at least 22 ono IUght detector 80, iLe, optical Fiber light sensors in the preferred embodiment, 23 detecting thie sanpl~e spectrum output 82 to be received by a spectrum measuring 24 instrument su~ch as a spectromneter 170 witb a detector 200, a CCD array, with the signal thuIs detected to be computer processed, by a CPU 172 having memory, 26 and compared with a. stored c"alibraflon algorithm, stored in CPU 1 72 memory, 27 produIcing a prediction of on e or more characteri stics of the samrple. The at least one 28 light source 1 20 and at least one light detector 80 are positioned relative to the sample 29 SUrface 35 to permiit detection of scattered and absorbed spectrum issuing from the 42 4AtMAENDO EffEl 16 02 16:3 2 3 4 6 7 16 14 19 21 22 23 24 21 26 27 28 21) 31: 1FROM:LIEBLER IVEY COJNNOR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:48 CT/US01 0814 6 IPENUS 216 MAR 2O62 samrpl e. Briacket fixtures 2475rackes anld other r~ecognized positioning and affixing dievices arnd methods will be., ",-tployed to position light sources 120, light detectors 80) arid sample holders In the peferred embodiment the positioning of the light source 120 and light sensor orlight detector 80 wilt be such as to shield 84 the light detector 80 fr-om direct exposure to the~ light sourIce 120 and will limit the light detector 80 to detection or exposur Ie of lighit transmitted from the' light source 120 through [lhe sample 30, The ljig-ht source 120 may be fixed in a conical or other cup or shielding containier which will. allow direct exposure of the light source 120 to tbe sample surface while shielding the light source 120 from the light detector Al1ternaltively, the light detector 80 may be fixed in a shielding container, a shield 84 oi- amibient shiteld 262, thus shfolding t;he light detector 80 fromn the light source SO and expsn the light detector 80 solely to the light spectrum transmitted through the sLamplc 30 from~ the light source 80 to the light detector 80. The spectrum detected by the light detectors 80, the ignal oUtPut 82. is directed, as input, to at least one spectrometer 170 or other device sen~itive to and having the capability of receiving and measuring light spectrum, In the preferred embodiment two or more spectrometers 1 70 are ernpto One speciromtcter 170 monitors the sample channel, the light detector 80 output 82. and another spectrometer 170 monitors the reference, light sourcle 120 channel. If the lamp 123 is turned on and off between mieasurernents, ambient light correction can be done for both light detector SO and light source 120 channel, spectrum collected with 110 light issubtracted fr-om spectrum collected wh'A lights are oni an~d stabilized, Alternatively, the light source 120 can he left on and ambient light can be physically eliminated using a shield 84 or ami.bieont shield 262, such as a lid or cover or appropr-iate light-tight box.

The discuission. of shielding of the light detector 80 composed of fiber optic fibers applies as well to photodetectors; 255 and the utilization of light sources other thanl tuingsten halogeni lamps including for example light emitting diodes 257.

Another alternative with multiple sampling points and thus multiple light detectors 80, as with fiber-opt ic. sensors, is to converge all or 1 sorni samnpling points.

43 ~AMENDED S4IEE 02 16:351 FROM:LIEBLER IVEY CONN'OR 5097353585 TO:7033057724 PRGE:49 PGTUS 18 14 6 as depicted in Fig. 4, back to _rint sample or light detector 80 MARnnel 2spectromieter 1.70, Using I~bifurcated, trifurcated or other miultiple fiber-optic 1 !spoctromieter 1 70 input. Au l~e or a, p'luxality of sample poinits, light detectors 4 80, provides better coverage ofa sample 30. sampling is more representative of the sample 30 as a whole, or MlloS mul.1tiple Points, on a conveyor belt full. of 6 product, to be measured by a single spectrometer 170 thus providing an "average" 7 spectrumn that is used to predict an average propety Such as Brix for all sample 30 or 8 light detector 80 channels. j 9T the prefeiTed embodimenit two or more spectrometers 1.70, or at least two spectromieters 1 70 are used foj referenzce and or mekllUremrent. A spectrometer 170 11 used in galthering data. for thii'inveiution utilized gratings blazed at 750 nm to provide 1 2 coverage fr-oml 500-1.1.50 nm. !Addi i orially, spectrometers 1 70 operating in the 250- 13 499) ni waivelength region c~ibe included. to prov ide expwided coverage of the 14 visible region where x,,n'thophIls, yellow pigments, absorb light. 1iformation inl the oWitp1lt 82 spectrum detecfo'd from 1000- 1100 n also contains repeated, 16 in Formation, if a cutoffor long-pass Filter Is not used, from 500-550 11m, e.g., 17 regardin~jg Anthocyanin, which is a rcd p~ient, has an absorption band spanning the 18 500-550 rim region, which improves class]ification 'or predictive perfonilance, 1.9 particularly for firmness, 1.

The spectrometors 170 used in. the preferred embodimnent have charge-coupled 2 1 device (CCI)) array detectors 200 with 2048 pixels or channiels, but other array 22 detectors 200, other light detectors 80, including other detector 200 sizes vis-a-vis 23 array size or other mnethod of deteetor size characterization, may be Used as would be 24 recognized by one of ordinary skill in the art. One of the two spectrometers 170 monitors the light source 1204intensity and wavelength output directly, providing a 26 light source reference signal 81 that corrects for trnbient light and lamp, detector, and 27 ckaoisdri rt which are largely caused by temperature changes and lamp aging 28 The otLher speICtrometer(s) 170 receives the light detector 80 signal output 82 fi-r 29 onie or more light detectors 80 which are sensing light output from one or more 44 AMFNfnn eucr -16 02 16:32 FROti:LIEBLER IVEY CONNOR 5097353585 Tfl:7033057724 IPEA/US 16 MAR 2002 I samjples and/or onle or more locations oil a sample 30, at m1ultiple Points Over 2 a single sample 30, such as anapple, or at multiple points over a sample conveyor 1 295 belt of aipples, grapes or chenries, or a different sample 30, a different lane 4 onl a packing/Sorinfg line, canbge measured with each additional spectrometer 1.70.

Each ligh: sensor, light detector 80(photodetectot 255 or other light sensing 0 apparatus or melhod), in the p eferred embodiment represents a separate sample 30 or 7 di Ife'rent location onl the sanie'sarnple 30 or- group Of Samples 30. Spectra from all 8 spectromneters 170 are acquired, in the preferred embodiment, siml~ltalOously.

9 Depending onl the type of spectrolhtater, A/D conversion canl Occur in parallel Or series lor eachi spectrometer (parallel preferred), The computer then processes the spectra 11I and produces anl output. Cur n single CPU computers process spectra In series. A 1 2 dual CPU COMPUter, two cornptters, or digital signal processing (DSP) hardware can 13 perf~orm spectral processing and provide Output in parallel, 14 fIn an alternative embgc lirncnt spectra frorn the wavelength region from about 1 5 250-1.1 50 iun, the riear-infrarid spectra, is examined from samples 30, fruit 16 including apples. In this particular experiment, a reflectance fiber-optic probe was 17 uIsed as the ligb.T detector 80.i Wliile the spectrophotometer 170 used to collect the IS data, sense the sp ctTLm 'output 82 from the light detector 80, was a DSquared 19 Development, LaGrande. Ored Model DPA 20, one of ordinary skill in the art will rccogn)?e that other spectrometers and spectrophotorneterS 170 may be used. The 21 spectropliotorneter 170 Le-fereiiced employed a ive watt tungsten halogen light source 22 120h, a fiber-optics lighit sensor to detect the spech-1um1 Or Output 82 from the sample 23 and provide the light sensor signal input 82 to the spectrometer 170. Other lamps 123 24 ur light sources 120 may te substituted as well as other light sensors or light detectors 80. The light detector signal input. 82 to the spectrometer 170, ill this embodiment, is 26 detected by a ch-.arge coupled device array detector 200. Thie Output from the charge 27 coupled device array detector is processed as described above, Firmness and Brix 28 were me~asured using the standard destructive procedures of Magniess-Taylor firness 29 ("p)UPCh tost") and rerraztorn~tO', respectively, in this embodiment the NIR spectra is AMENDED sNFT PCI/US 01 /08 146 IPEWIUC X%6 MAR-2OO2.

I detected by anl array detector 200 which perrn Is recording or detectioD of 1.024 data 2 pints. The 1024 data points are smoothed using a ninc-pon gssia moh 3 followed by a 2nd-derivative transforniation using a "gaP'7 sizc of nitle points. Partial 4 least squares (PLS) regression was used to relate the 2nd-derivative NMR spectra to Brix arnd firmness. To ensure that false correlation was not occuilrig, the method of 6 leave-one-out cross-validation was used to genierate standard errors of prediction. In 7 cross-validation, tile prediction model is constructed using all but one sample; the 8 Brix and Firmness of the samiple left, out is thea predicted'and the process repeated 9 until all. samples have been predicted. The validated mo''el can then be used to nonidestructively predict l3rix and firniness in1-.1 Uknfownl whole I'rwt samples. This I I informnation guides harvest decisions indicating timie to harvest, which fruit is suitable 1 2 for cold storage, where the -fruit is classified from acceptfable to unacceptabl~e 13 characteristics of quality or consumer taste, which fruit to be removed from. the 14 sorting/packing operation as not meeting required characteristics, firmness, Brix, color and other characteristics.

16 1This disclosure of embodiments of an. apparatus and method is directed to the 17 simultaneous measu~remlent and use of more thati 0o14 spectral region from. a sample.

18 In this embodiment the USe of the chlorophyll absorption'regiofl and. the N'IR region, 19 including the highly absorbing 950-1 150 0-.H region, is-accomplisbed by exposing the sample, e~g. apple, to more than one intensity source"of light or by exposing the 21 light detector 80 at Move than one exposure timnie, e.6g., adaual intenisity source Of liight 22 or at least two intensities of light, or by detecting light from a sample with more than 23 One light dei~ector 80 Such that each light detector 80 is Senlsitive to a di fferent 24 spectrum, by filtering one or more light detectors 80 with Filterig either between thle samnple 30 and the light detector 80 or between the light detector 80 output. 82 and 2(6 thle spectromleter 170 input. Fig. I Illustrates filtered Jight sources 120 allowing 27 exposure of the samnple 30 to different light intmnsities. ,4Tig. 2 illustrated the use of 28 more than one light detector S0 where filtering between'the sample 30 and light 29) detector SO allows detection oif different spectral regions Shown in Fig. 3A, where AMENDED SHEET ~igv A i~~~tIlJi~C PCTAS1/ 08 14 6 IPEA/U0 16 MAR 200 I the light source is a plurality of discrete wavelength LEDi 257, is an embodiment 2 wherein th~e sample is exposed to a plurality of light iltethsitias. The intensity of the 3 light source 120 will be selected to provIde light output t he light detector 80 which 4 will give optimal S/N data in the desired spectral region.,Jn a first pass a light source.

a lower intensity light source, is uised to iflku,.inate the sample, e.g. apple, to 6 obtain data, with an acceptable S/N ratio, in the 700-925ruTI region. At higher (>925 7 rim) arnd lower (<700 nm-r) wavelengths, the spectru-m is dominated by noise due to the 8 low light levels and is no~t useful. In a second pass a higher inrtensity lighit source is 9 selected to illuminate the sample, saturating the detector array at the 700-925rrin.

regions while obtaining data with an acceptable S/N ratiolin the red pigment region I1I of 500-600 rim, the chlorophyll region of 600-699ruiin arid ,in the 0-H region of 926- 12 1000mmn The data from each of the two passes cam, pses separate data inputs 13 delivered to an analog to digital converter for comptiter processing. Samne 14 spectrometer and A/D for berichtop unit, where the two is~ectra are acquired sequentially, For on-line, two spectrometers are used, each with. its own AID. 'In one 1 6 embodiment A/D cards external to the computer are utili zed which are serial and are 17 provided by Ocean Optics. This process is provides for mul~tiple channiels into a data 18 analyzer for analysis by software. In this embodiment Ocean Optics drivers, hereafter 19 referred to as drivers, accept *MS or- V isual Baisir to) determine the spectruxr' detected from the sample or 2) subject the data to the pridactive algorithmi and 2 L produce the Output. Display control coru1plIuer prograrnS or software periodically 22 requests drivers to deliver the spectrums to be combined' The digital combination 23 then produIces, with standard display software, the outp iFdisplay representing the 24 elntire. spectrum ranges dctccted fromi the each saxnple. T, herg- m-ray be, for each sample, muikltiple spectrum data. For example the spectrumr samipling protocol may 26 seek 50 spectrumn samnples during each of thE; multiple passes, 50 spectrum 27 samples dUring the pass subjecting the frulit samlple to th~e lower intensity light source 28 and separately 50 spectrumn samrples during tl.oepass subjictig the -fruit sample~ to the 29 higher intensity light so)urce. The total duration of each pass will be determined by 47 AMEND)ED SHEET POT/S 01/08146 1IPE/Uz 16 MAR 2002 I the speed of' the sorting/packing tiile and may be lirilited to approxiriiately Sins per 2 sample. However, it will be recognized., ror all embodiments "nd sample types, ffhat 3 other sampling times arid strategies- will be within thc realm or use for the invention 4 disclosed herein as different samples and different cmbodiments ai-e emiployed.

Where the samlples being processed, oin a sorting/packing line, are apples, there is 6 expected to be little space between each suceessiVc apple. Spectrum obtained fr-om 7 the space between apples and at the leading a'nd trailing sides of the sample or apple 8 will be discarded. As the sample, apple or other fruit,-moves under the light 9 detector 80, the spectrum. data detected will be that eXiting the sample representative of the portion of the sample 30 constituting the path between the point I of exposure of the sample 30 with tile light source 120 afid the point of Spectrum exit 12 [-or detection by the light detector 80. By ilathemiatical in~spection. of each spect 1111.

13 automated tispectionl via a CoimpUtcr, this method can determine whether light 14 detected by the light detector 80 is fromn an apple or the emipty space betweeni apples ill a sorting/packing line sample conveyor 295. This rnhod can also detect the 16 leading and trailing edges of an apple a~s it passes by the light detector 80 having an 17 output 82 to a spectrometer 170. From this data, discrimination can occur to select 1I8 specific spectra. samples which, for example, are expected to be froml thle midsection 19 of the sample or apple. Using mathematical inspection 'ofeach spectrumcr (on-line) to determine if it is a good apple spcctrUml or a spectrUM 6fthe line material, The cycle 21 detected. by the light detector 80 thus, for each sairple 30 in the on the samnple 22 conveyor 295 of a sotting/packing line,. is composed of an initial segmlent where the 23 light detector 80 or pickup fiber is exposed to only ambient light with a light shield 24 2LS4 between thle light detector 80 and tile light source 120. As thle sample 30, e.g..

apple, moves into contact with and un1der tile light shield 284, which may for example 26 be a curtain 285, the leading edge or' side of the apple w ill coinmence to be revealed '27 permitting the light detecto-r 80 to detect spectrlm. output 82 from the apple.

28 Continued movement of the samlple 30 uinder the light shield 284 exposes the light 29 detector 80 to Spect-rm Output 82 from the sample 30 until the sam~nple 30 mnovos to 48 AMENDED SHEET PCTIS01 0814 6 PFAU-- 16 MAR 2002 Ithe point where the trailing cdge or side of the sample 3"1 remainaing exposed to the 2 light source 120, The sample 30 then moves past the light shield 284 and allI light 3 from the light source 1.20 is blocked between the light dtector 80 and thle light source 4 1 20. Thus the initial spectra detected by thle light detector 80 will be at the leading edge or side of the sample 30 as it approaches the curtaif285. rhe intermnediate 6 spectrum measurenients, between the initial tine at which the leading e'dge~ of the 7 sample 30 is exposed to the light source 120 and the tirne' when the trailing edge or 8 side of the sample 30 is exposed to the light source 120, Will include those where tile 9 light detector,80 or light pickup is optimnally positioned to detect spectra most representative of the characteristics or thle light pectra output 82 -from the sample 11 HS thle light source 120 illuintates the sample 30, app1e, ot01.er fruit or ot~het 0-H.

12 C-H or N-H materials, In the preferred embodiment, for ease of data processing, the 13 light detector 80 analog output 82 is converted to digital data by an AID card.

14 Computer programn or software tests the data for acceptance or discarding, The criteria for acceptance of each spectrIm sam1ple 30 is a predetcriied spectral feature 16 deteniihned by the expected spectral ottPut 82 of the san~it"e 30, where the 17 sample 30 is ain apple, the criteria will be to detiet a-spectruni from 250 to 18 11 50D.m1 falling within the spectra expected For an apple.1 The detection of the space 19 between apples, 6)i the sorting/packing line, Will be recorgized as not apples. This SlICCtU-111 aIcquLired for each samrple 30 is the input to the'-predictive algorithms as 21 indicated by the flow diagrami- of Fig. I.C. Multiple spectrutm, for examiple fifty 22 spct~rUm., are detected by the light detector 80 for each ia:mple. The comptiter 23 programn compares each detected discrete Sp eCtVrum with an expected spectrum from 24 the particular sample, the spectrum not meeting the crite'ria are discarded, the retained spectrumn, 40 50 samiples, are combined to provide the spectrum which 26 becomes the i-nput for the predictive algorithm. MultipIC spectra fromi~ the samie apple 27 are averaged to p)rovide a single avcra'ge spectruni rcpr~seflttng multiple points oni th 28 apple. the apple may be spinning as it travels by tile sensior, clockwise or counter 29 clockwise in relation to the direction of sorting line travel with better measurement AMENDED SHEET PGT/US1 08i14 6 NEU 16. MAR2OO02 1. indicated with counterclockwise motion of the sarapte, thus givinig even &greater 2 coverage of its surface. Once the average atb.sorbance spe-trtunm for a sample is 3 calculated, the spectrumn is mul.1tiplied by the regression vector (via a vector 4 multiplication dot product). Trhe regression vector is obtained from previous calibration efforts and is stored on the cornipater. There ii a separate regression 6 vector for each parameter being predicted firmos; -Brix. The reSUlts of the 7 processing the spectrumin Otput 82 by the predictive algoritbxnrs will deten-ninte the 8 predicted characteristics of the sample 30, The characteristics determined. for each 9 discrete sample 30, apple or other fruit, will be used',for decisionii making in handling or disposition of the sample 30 including, for eiample, 1) in the 11 packing/sorting line differcnt charactcristics will be used'for sorting and packing 12 decisions, by color, size, firmness, taste as predicted by acidity and Brix and 2) 13 characteristics indicating spoilage may trigger raetbqds Sf eliinration of the 14 particular sample 30 from the packing/sorting line. V IS Packing and sorting of apples wiltl 1kcly involv ltiple packinig/sorting 16 illum111inatioD, Or light Souirce 120 and light detector 80S fbr each line. Where the 1 7 sample 30 is comptised of smaller fruit, cherries or rapes, there may be 18 multiple light sensors with single Or multiple light to interrogate or examine and.

19 gather data fr.om a tray ol'such smaller fr-uit rather thani on thw basis of examination of each, discrete cheriy or g rape. For each sarrple 30, data is acquiredl, tested to 21 determ.ine if the data corresponds to preset criteria with data selected which mneets 22 preset criteria and discarded if it fail~s to mneet preset criteria, Data received by light 23 sensors is then. combined to compose the total spectkum-sanp led. The total Spectrum *24 is thjen cotnpared with the predictive algorithm. kind decisions are made regarding the sample 30 including, for' example, sortiag/packing deco-I tns. The results of the 26 comparison of the total spectrum with the predictive algonithm provides a number or 27 other output for end Use including Iinformnation f-or computer directed sorting 28 eqluipmenQIt.

29

-A,

AMENDED SHEEF \r-.ItCV.M" I=AT 1Q T Lfl.J 4 Q.1 *T qF ~T 4I PCT/US 01/ 0814 6 PEA/Ur 1 6 MAR2O I ~operation of the light source 120 is enables the rapid acquisition of 2 reproducible data with good S/N, even inthe higl lgtsattern adabobg 3 250-099 nm and the strongly absorb-.ing >950 rn region. the lamrp 123 in the 4 preferred embodiment is a 1 2-Volt, 75-Watt tungsten halogen lamp. *However, other light sources which may be used iniclude but are not linmitedd to light emitting diode, 6 laser diode, tunab~le diode laser, flash lamp and other such sources which will provide 7 equivalent light source and[ will be famniliar to those piaci'ed in the art. The lamp is 8 held at a resting voltage of 2-Volts. When a rneasurem-n'ft'is taken, the lamp is 9 ramped up to the desired voltage, a brief delay allows thealarnp output 82 to stabilize, 1 0 then spectra are acquired. After data acquisitiOn1, Whe lamp~ is ramped down to the 1I resting voltage. This procedure extends lamp Lire and prevents burning the sample, 12 Tnihigh speed operations the lamp may al ways be lighted."'e.g., on a high-speed 13 packing/sorting line or uIsed On har-vest equipment, antd a light "ohopper' or shutter or 14 other equLivalent article or- mlethod COld be Utilized to deliver light to the passing sample for a determined period of time. The operation dtthe light Source is 16 important in extending lamp life~, reducing operating expensv arnd reducing disruption 17 of operations. The lamp 123 voltage is ramped Lip and down to preserve lamrp 123 18 life and to lessen the likelihood of burning fruit. A standby voltage to kceeps the lamp 1.9 123 filament warm, An amnbient/roomn light backgrouLnd~meas~urem-eilt is mnade to correct fobr the dark spctum14, Which inay inicludc amnbient light, It is stored anid 21 subtracted from the samiple and referenice (if applicable) so that there is no 22 contribution of amibient light to the sample spectrum, which would affect accuracy..

23 Dual intensity illurninaion. is employed to: 1) improve data accuracy above 925 nyn 24 and below 700 rum and 2) to normalize path length changes due to scatteringDa exposure timne increases the likelihood of increased data quality with large and small 26( fruit. 'Utilization of more than one light detector 80, with each positioned at different 27 distances From the sample. will likewise increase the ability to obtain increased data 28 quality throughout each portion of the SpeCtTL.n from approximately 250am to 1150 29 run.

AMENDED SH1EEt f ~t n i- r 1 I In n .r CIT -MF CT .<zJLI I IPEA/US 16 1 2 3 4 6 7 9 12 12 13 14 19 21 21 22 23 24 26 3f Other steps in determining predictivt algorithims included reference determination or pH- using electrode measurement &Ln4 reference determination of total acidity using enid-point titration of extracted juice, Correlation betweeni the NIR spcc.tra and the reference data (p1- and total acidity) was aanducted. Methods known to those practiced in the art such as partial least squares (PLS) are used to determine the correlation of the NTR Spectrum with a chiosen parameter SuICh as PH- Once correlation is established, PILS is used to generate a regres sion vector. fi-r the calibration samfples. This regression vector is then -Lsed to predict sample properties by taking the dot product of the sample spectrum and regression vector. NIR analysis can be carried our directly on the juice yielding very high.,Icorrelations with Brix, p1-I, and total acidity. A commercially available "dip probe" is used that is a common itemn available ftrm optical Fiber fabri cators or from canipanies involved in process analysis. In addition to the use of PLS foi: quantifying Br~lv, Firmness, p13and acidity, Principal Componenlts Analysis (PCA) was performed ontho NHT. spectral data. PCA differs firom PLS in that no reference data is required, PCA allows classification of firm vs, soft apples and low pH- vs, high pH samples. This class ificati on algorithml is sufficient to achieve the goal of product segregation. Usihg PCA, poor quality fruiit can be remioved from a batch and thc highiest quiality frutecan be segregated into a prem-fim class. Poor quality fruit was observed to often have a higher p-f level than good quatity fruit, Fig. 4 illustrates an alternative embodimrent of the disclosure and iriclUdes at least one light source 120 transmitted by a transi-itting article, for exam-iple a fiber optic fiber or other equivalent article for tr~ansmnittinlg light; a sample 30 having an sample surface 35, inpuiechanism of positioning light'frorn the at least one light source '120 proximal the sample surface; at least one illumination detector; output mrechanisml of positioning the at least one ffluminatiofl deotector pro-xitnal the sample surfaice; the ait least one light source 120 and the at leaftore illumination detector may be positioned in relationi to thc surface or against the surface by a. positioning )article provided, for example, by a positioning article sp rig biased against the 52 AMENDED SHEET PCTIS 1 /O8 14 6 IPEAIJ 6 MAR2002 I surface of the samnple;- the pressure against a sample surface, by aM1 at least one light 2 source 120 or an at least one illumination detector, will be limited by surface 3 characteristics of the sample aridlor the character of the measurement process, i.e., 4 pressure may be reduced where a sample is s~ulject to surface d-amage or where the measurement process is in at high speed limiting the tizne permnitted for each separate 6 saraple contact. Thle illumlination is transmitted to the surface, for exanm)ple by fiber 7 optics or other equivalent ianrier; and at least one device or mrethod of measuring the 8 illumination detected fromn the sample. The light sourcinor the disclosure herein.

9 m-ay be a broadband lamnp, which for exanmple, but withodt limitation, may be a 1 0 tungsten halogen lamp or thie equivalent, which may produce a spectuln within the I1I range 250-1l150 u and have a -filament temiperature of 6 f 2500) to 35Q0 degrees 12 kelvin; other broadband spectrum lamrps mafy be employed dep~ending upon th~e 13 samiple 30, characteristics to, be predicted, and emrbudimeit utilized; the ait least one 14 device or method of measuring the illum-ination may be a spectromieter having at least one input; the at least onic spectrometer may inclUde, for example, a 1024 linear array 16 detector with those of'ordinary skill in the art recogn izing that other Such detectors 1 7 will provide equivalent detection;, the at least one illumination detectorr may be a. light 18 pickup fiber or other equivalent detector including for example a fiber optics light 19 pickup; the at least one illumninationi detector collects a spcctruri which is received by the at least one spectromreter input; the sample in this embodiment is fromi the 21 chemical group of' ClH, NH, OH or the physical characteristics of jfirminess, density,' 22 color -and internal and external defects Additionally, the light SOUrce '120 mnay 23 Comnprises a Plurality of illumination fibcrs, Mn this embodiment a plurality of 24 illumination fibers may be arrayed SuIch thaL each of th-e plurality of illumninatioi) fibers is equidistant from. adjacent illumination fibers; the at least one illumination 26 detector may, in this embodiment, be positioned centrally in the array of illumination 27 fibers. In an. embodimenlt of this disclosurc, the plurality of illumyination fibers miay, 28 for example, be comprised of 32 illumiriatiun fibers and~the light source 120 may be 29 provided, For example, by a 5w tunigsten. halogen lamp" or other equivalenit light AAENDED SHEET PCT/us 01 /0814 6 IPEA/USO 16 MAR-2002 1 source or by a plurality of illumination sources -provided for example by a~t least two 2 light sources such, as, for example, at least two 50 Watt I 1i~ht SoUrces. UIlLmination.

3 sources may be composed, for example, Of SOLIXCC$ ha.VirZ ft fOCL[Sing ellipsoidal 4 reflector with cooling f-an. In this emnbodimcnt the at least One illUmination detector mxay comprise a plurality of light detectors 80, which m4S for example, be arrayed 6 sLIcI thlat each illumination detector is equidistant fromlidjoining light detectors 7 where at least two light sources are positioned are em~ploy'ed, they may for example 8 be positioned 45 degrees relative to the illur111nation detectors. iM the ar-ray of 9 illumination fibers. TIn an additional embodiment of this'disclosure, a plurality of light detectors 80 may be comprised of twenty-two lllumniatieri detectors, An 11embodiment of the disclosure may be compr, ised of at least one light soturce 120 12 composed of a 5 w tungsten halogen lamip; the at least one~ illurrination detector is a 13 single detection fiber; the light source 120 is positionied against the sample 30 degrees 14 distal to the detection fiber, If (Ihe mneasurement of the S'rnple sarface is inade ini~. a non-contacting manner, an alternative embodiment rnay'Ihclude a. polarizationl filter 16 between the light source 120 and the sample, provided, for example by a linear 17 polarization. fi lit or an equivalent .IS Understood by Ofle of ordinary skill in. the art; a is matching polarizatioD 'Filter is positioned between thec atieast one Iilumination 1.9 detector :uid tlhe sample, which mi-ay lie provided, for exAmpplc by a linear polarization filter rotated 90 degrees in relation to the polarization flit er between the light source 21 120 and the samnple.

22 Thi-e method described above, which uses wavelengths of both visible 23 radiation (250-699 nri) specifically chosen to include the absorption band for yellow 24 color pigmients (25O-499ni-), red color pigm-rents (500-600 ri) and gI-een pigments or chlorophyll (601-699 urn), as well as.Nll (700-1150 .'tmr) radiation to correlate 26 with Brix, firuiess, p.H, acidity, diensity, color arnd internial and external defects can 27 be carried out using a variety of apparatuses.

28 ADDITIONAL .RI)E LED DESCRIPTON 29 -verview of caibration) of visiblcfNlR _sensoii: AMENDED SHEET PCr/Is01 0814 6 IPEA/US 16 MAR-2MU 2 3 4 6 7 9 12 13 14 16 17 19 21 22 23 24 22 3' Required calibration. was addressed in the Parent Application 09/524,329, in paragraphs, identified by page/line by pn/In. as follow$: 1/IS; 3/17, 22, 28; 4/2; 8/8; 9/4; 9/14; 12/16; 16/8- 22/5;,31/21; 33/19;39/10; 43/4-,47/I; 52/13 etc. Calibration of spectroscopic maturity and quality sensors involves btlil61ng algo.ithms that relate the visible anid near infrared spectrum of an individual fruit or vegetable to one or more of the following: B~rix (including, but not limited td .1ugar content, or sweetness.

or SOIluble solids coiitcnit), acidity (including bul riot lirnifed to total iacidity, or sourness, or mialic acid content or citric acid content or tartaric acid content); pH; firmness (including but not limited to crispness or hardness); internal disorders or defects including but not limited to w ate rco re, 'brow rng, "core rot, insect infestation.

Furtherniore, the individual property data collected4 aboveJ can be combined as follows: using the ratio o-)f the sugar content to acid coni6en t to butter predict eating quality, taste, sweet/sour ratio; using the comnbined data 'from two or mnore of the following: sugar content, acid content, pH, Firmness, color, external and internal disorders to better predict eatling quality.

llltep-ratin2- visible/NIR sensors w ithlimDckiu.Stil an ovynce systems all :gcr~L~ldt cuisitiop with ro'duc location /position to o tirnz olcno anilda ndrfrte and auirdizatioui data, Sensing sample data inCluding the presence or a, 'cnco of a sample was addressed in the parent in paragraphs, identified. by page/line by pnlhi, as follows: 20/20; 36/8 etc. Using spectroscopic sensors for measu~ring fruits aid vegetables while in motion on a sample conveyor 295 qystem int sorting and packing warehouses is illustrated in 17-ig. 10 and Fig. *l OA and is donQ as follows: The presence or absence *of a sample 30 and the pusitionu-Llocatiol of the sarnple 30 relative to the point of spectrum measurernt is determined uising one or more of the following means: 1) sample 30 position determiination mni-rs and or sample conveyor 295 position 7detenrmination means, provided for example by an encorder or pulse generator 330. as 8 seen in Fig. Integral to thie samiple conveyor 295 and detecting sample conveyor 9 295 movemrent, prov ides o-,ne or miore electronic or digital signals to a CPU 172 1) I~T T1.1 i-I] QT -Dn CIT-'4III.

AMENDED SHEET Pcrus oi/ 08146 PEAT.2 16 MAR 2UOZ 1 which initiates, by com.1puter programn conitrol, control sigials to initiate and stop 2 acquisition of spectra, 2) the spectrum itself is auLtomnatically inspected using 3 computer programs or programmed hardware, e digital'signal processors, to 4 determine if the sample 30 being measured is at the optirnia location(s) for spectrum measuremnt, a proximity sen.~sing means 340, inchldifig proximity sensors of, bUt 6 not limited to, magnetic, inductance, optical, mecharikal ienvors; and aJlso known as 7 object presence sensors, SuIch as thru.-beamn or reflectance sensors 341, I'S used to 8 provide informiation, about the position, orientationl orlocation of Ihe -product on 9 the packing 7-or sorting line relative to the NIR sensor, light detector 80, and/or size of the sample 30, such proximity sensing mneans 34O.,knd their use being of cormmon knowledge to those practiced in the art of itu4uitaI aprocessiing object 12 presence sensing. The proximity sensing means 340) catibe placed 1, 2, 3 or n 13 units of length, cups or pockets or conveyor belt length, before the N1IR senisor, 14 detector 80, to indicate if 1, 2, or 3 or.,.n more ernpt spaces, cups oipockets or a defined and known length of conveyor belt;,'rc present in sequence, thuIs 16 allowing a greater amoun,11t of time for performiing dark spec9tra and/or reference 7 spectra and/or standard/cali b ration samples. 'Using que or mTore of the above 18 methods, the presence or absence of saniple(s) 30 is determined over a defined length 19 of the particular sample conveyor 295 system, IF sarnple(s) 30 is present, rnttLLtiple visible and near-infr-ared spectra are acquired as the sample 30 passes by the light 21 source 120 lamnp(s) 123 providing light detector output 82 and spectrometer(s) 170 22 detector 200 input; su~ch light collection may bc achieved using a colli-matinrg lens 78 23 and or other light transmission means including for examiple fiber-optics to transfer 24 the light that has interacted with the sarmple 30 to the spectromneter(s) 170 detectors 200. 'If no sample 30 is present, other reference meastureMents ame -made to improve 26 stability and :iccuracy sUch as previously mentioned dAk spectra, reference spectra 27 (lamp intensity and COlor output1), and s tand ardl cali brationl samIples, which may be 2 8 optical filters or polymers or organic mnateriaL witli known and repeatable spectral 29 characteristics. M~easurements that are made when noii~ffpie is presenit include, but 56 AMENDE SHEET MML.,ILIMN I 1AT Ira T IflhJ O QT 1 T.4-I.

Merum 01k08 146 1PEMLJ1% 16 MAR 2002 I are not lijited to 1) m.-easuring a reference spectrum (intensity vs. wavelength) of the 2 light source(S), 2) measuflflg the dark current (no lighit c~riditions) of one or more 3 spectrometer(s) 1 70 detector(s) 200, including but not Ui~ted to the sample 4 spectrometer(s) 1 70 and the reference spectrometer(s) 170, and 3) standard or calibration samples or filters 130 or material.

6 Obtalnine a spectrumn of the la for tri rfrence Ii lit 7 output aridobtainin baseline darcuetse rn detector s .Bath 8 reference and dark spectra are used with sq.m~ setrum to calculate the 9 prdc' abob4e- -crm Reference to reference, baseline and dark spoctra wvas addressed i the parent It i paragraphs, identified by page/linie by pnlinT, as follows: 12/18; -39/10; 52/14 etc.

t2 The referenrce measurenients to account for changes in light source intensity or color 1 3 output can be obtained using a reference light tnrismfissiofl mans 320, a fiber- 14 optic buindle whichn may be ftircated, a light pipe or other means of transmitting light, with a common end 322 providing input to a referenrm S-ectrorncter 170, and, where 1 6 furcated, one or more branched ends 8 1, each of which is mounted by means to allow 17 only light fr-om the light source 120 lamip(s) 123 to enter the reference light 18 transmission means 320. A lighit shutter 300 -is plAwod between each light SOUrce '120 19 lamip 23 and each reference li1ght transmission means 3 20. The at least one light shutter 300 can be operied and closed separately by shut ter control means 305 21 including, for example, driven by a linear act-uator o~r rotary solenoid or other 22 mechanical or pneumnatic device, or all at once.

23 Each light source 1 20 lanip 123 in the system can~b measured separately t~o 24 determine if it is faulty or if it will soon need replaoeeft based on a stored -intensity vs. wavelength spectrum111 profile. The combined itensities rror the reference light 26 transmissionl means 320 is used as the referenace spectruma for pur~poses Of Ca).CUlating 27 an absorbance (or log U.R) spectrum 1 which is liriear with concentration percent 28 Brix or acidity or pouinds of firtmness, etc.), 29 y .57 AMENDED SHEET 4 ~J~l.II~v~ ~A \1T1:Ifl A4 q':Z4T Pn qT IHL PGT/US 1/ 0814 6 NPA/NO -6 MAR 2002 I Closing all. of the light Shutters 330 of the reforen light transmission meanis 2 320 allow a dark current (no light condition) measuremient of the spectrometer 170 3 detector(s) 200. The dark current is largely affected by temperature and must be 4 periodically measured and its intensity value at eaqb wa length (or detector) pixel SUbtracted from the reference spectrUmn obtained with the shutters 330 open.

6 'The sample spectrometer's 170 detector 200 dark'current must also be 7 periodically measre by closing light shutters 330 that are placed between the light 8 source and the samnple 30, or between the sauiple 30 atidlthe sample spectrometer 9 light collection fiber, seen here as detector S0 and detector output 82, or between the light collection. fiber and thle spectrometer 170, Sit.)iflarly to th-C re-ference Iimeasurement, the dark Current of the sample spectromedr 170 must be subtracted 12 fr-om the sample spectrum obtained with the shutters 330 open. It will be appreciated 13 that reference measuremnent must be made with respect to the spectrometer 170 Used 14 for light source 1 20 lamrp 123 measurement aq well as for the spectrometers 170 used 1 5 to acquire detector 80 spectru~m Output 82 as processed i-the computer prograr 16 controlled CPU 172 in association with algorithms t'pr the characterization of samples 17 is The reference measUreijent, ut'ilizing -a shutter mens, is demonstrated in Fig, 19 9, Fig. 9 is an elevation depicting an additional. emhvdi Aent of the invention demonstrating at least one lighit detector 80 13aving at least one output 82 to at least 21 one spectrometer 170 having at least one detector 200, At least One colluminlating 22 lens 78 intermediate the at least one light detector 80 and'a srnple 30. The at least 23 one light cetector 80 positioned to deteCt light from the sample 30. At least one light 24 SOtrC 1,20J lamp 123, a shielding means intelmediate the; at least one lIght source 120 lamp 123 and a sample 30 conveyed by sample conveyor295. At least one aperture 26 3 10 in the shielding means to allow illuminationl of the sample 30 by the at leaist one 27 light source 120 lamp 123, Tt will be appreciated by those of ord-inary skill in the 28 instrument containment arts that an Instrument case or r.ontainer will be a means of' 29 mounting the elements of the disclosed invention in all its embodiments. It will. be AMENDED SHEET -RT/UsO01/ 08146, lPEA/UC%. MAR 2002 1 appreciated that a case 250 may provide shielding and mounting means for the 2 invention. At least one lighit interruption means intermediate thie at least one light 3 source 1 20 lamp '123 and the at least one aperture 310. ight. interruption means 4 provided, f-or example, by light shutter 300 means, Thelt Jeast one light shuitter 300 oper-able by at least one shu1-tter control meanis 305, li1near actuator or rota-,ry 6 solenoid operated by means, mechanical driven by electrical, pneumatic, 7 hydraulic or other power means or other shutter imedns m4A#luding for example liquid 8 crystail screcin operated by means, The at least one shutter control means 305 9 receiving control signals from at least one CPU 172 having at loast one shutter operating control output 307. At least one reference light transn-kittirg means 8 1 1. including, for example, fiber-optics including bifurcated'fiber-oplics, receiving 12 reference light output from the at least one light smurce 120 lanp 123. At least one 13 reference light interruption means, comprised -for exampk e'Of shutter 301, 14 intcrmnediate the at least one light source 120 lamp 123 afid. the at least one reference light transmitting means 8 1. 'The at least one refevrnce ight shutter 301 operable by 16 at least one shutter control mneans 305, linear actuaior or rotary solenoid operated 17 by means, mechanical driven by electrical, pneumatic, hiydraulic or other power IS means or other shutter means including for example liquid crystal screen operated by 19 means. The at least one reference light shutter 301 shutf~r control means 305 receiving control sigWRls from at least one CPU 172 having at least one shutterl.

21 operating control oUtpUt 307. The at least onQ rererencefijght transmitting means 8I 22 providing an input to the at least one spectrometer 170 detector 200. The at least one 23 CPU 172 providing at least one lamp power output 125 to the at least one light source 24 120 lamip 123, Th~e at least one spectrometer 170, receiving input from at least one reference light transmitting m-eanis 81 having at least one output 82 received as in 26 input to the at least one CPU '172. The spectrometer output 82 capable of A/.D 27 conversion to'form input: to the at least one CPU 1 72. The at least one spectromneter 28 170, receiving i-nput from at least one detector outpu1t 82.received as in input to the at 29 least one C*PU 172. The spectrometer Output 82 capable,of A/D conversion to form 59 AMENDED SHEET 1Z PVTIUs01 /81 4 6 IPEAIS P6 MAR 2002 I Input to the at least one CPU 172. Mounting mnearis to light sour1ces 120 lamps 123, 2 detectors 80, shutters 300, shutter control means 305, reference light transmitting 3 means 81 and case 250. Encoder/pulse generator 330 inpit to CPU 172 providing 4 sample conveyor 295 movement data. Computer prograinto operate CPU 172 in data collection arnd control functions.

6 A reference measurement of the lighL source 120 lamp(s) 123 intensity vs.

7 wavelength output can also be obtained usig reflecting means 360, as seen in Fig.

8 1, 1, including but not limited to, for example, mirrors or other reflecting or diffusing 9 material, including roughened aluminum, gokd, Spectralbn®, Teflon., ground glass, steel. Reflecting maeanis 360 will be posItioned to rqfle9 Nigt source 120 lamp 123 I1I light to a detector 80 having an output 82 received by a spectrometer 170 detector 12 200. A colluminating lens 78 may be positionied intertnediatc the detector 80 and the 13 light reflected by the reflecting means 360. Reficcting meiants 360 may be positioned.

14 inserted via an aperture 310, for example where a case 250 is utilized, when a reference measurement is to be made as dictated by reflecting control means 308 as 16 ani output from a CPU 172. The CP'U 172, via means, wil detect the presence or 17 absence of a sample 30 and, when a sample 30 is absent fAkor time increments or IS sample convey'or 295 movements will provide a reflecting control means 308 control 19 signal to reflectIng position mneans 306, linear actuator or votary solenoid operated by means, mechanical driveni by electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic or 21 other power means. The reflecting means 360 capabl~e of being withdrawn as dictated 22 by retlecting control means 308 as an output f-rm the CPU 172 when reference 23 Measurement is to be ceased and spectra nic-asurenient of a samnple 30 resumed.

24 A light reflecting or diffusing body for obtaining the reference spectrum ma~y also be obtained by mechanical Insertion of reference me~ans 430, as seein in Fig. 12 26 and Fig. 1.3. in or near the location where actual sampl& 30 is normially mneasu~red, 27 which is between the light source 120 lamp(s) 123 and reerence light transmission 28 mnecans 320 leading to thec sample spectrometer 1.70 detector 200(s). Insertion is by "n 29 insertion means Including but not limited to an actuator systefli 400.) capable, u pon AMENDED SHEETf~ Tfn 1k-~ Ir- I -1AT 'i310T l .injJ m,.q ]n QT- 4I-T PCTLUS1/ 0814 6 PEN'S 4~ 6 MAR 2OZ 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 12 13 14 Is 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 receivingl control signals or mean's as recogni?ed by those Iof ordinaxy skill including control signals or meatis provided from a CPU 1'72, of operation of an actuator 410 causing a piston 420 to extend 421 and retract 422 as seen in Fig. 12 and 13, Power, including for cxample ciectrical, pneumTatiC. hydraulic amd other mewls, is provided to operate the actuator by power transmission means 440 as will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill.

A CPUT 172, controllIed by compuLter prog-ram, is uot dep icLed in Fig. 10, 1iOA, 11, 12 or '13 as a person of ordi nary skill w ill. appreciatesuch structure from viewi ng other drawings p resented hereiiu.

Achieving whole product measurement (rniviimlzinZg errors due to localized measu rement) To improve the measurement of the entire product, two or more light sources 20 lamps 123 and/or detection 80 points are use d. The product can be measured ro Iling o r not roll Ii tg w ith a rolIlling rneasurenient generally im provin g wh olIe prod uct rmeasu remen t, while a non-rolling measurement provides "'better accuracy and introduLceS less spectral noise due to movemnent.

As a single fruit or vegetable sample 30 passes bythe point of spectrum.

acquisition., multiple spectra are acquired, each speatruriaepresentirig a different mneasurement location or area on. the product.

Optimizinf sienal-to-noise and accuravy~ with small and aEge jjze product. 4 One or more means may be used to determ-ine the'size or weight of the individUatl fruit or vegetable sample 30. 'Means bor determining product size includes, but is not limited to 1) a separately determined. weight or mass ujsing senmsors common

'P-

t to the Industry, 2) utilizing the color sor-ter or def'ect, sorier data fi'om camera or C:CD images), 3) utilizing other size sensors based on maichtic, inductive, light reflcctance or multiple light beam cuirtains, common to other industries. The relative size of the sample 30 can then be used to adjust the hardwvare spectrum acquisition parameters or the amnount of light (by varying the apeiture 310 size) to provide an 61 AMENDED SHEET PCTuS 01/ 0814 6 IPEAUS 10 MAR-200Z 2 3 4 6 7 9 12 13 14 16 17 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 improved signal-to-noise ratio spectniimi for large sample-s 30 and/or to prevent detector 80 saturation by light for sniall product sarnple 30O, detector S0 exposure or integration time can be set for longer time periods for large product s~rples and for shorter time periods for small productA Improvine accuracy by inspectionl of MURtIDle individual spectra collected froin a sinec pro~duct anid removing Poor Qiuality or"outfier"' spectra, 'Then, calculatine the absorbance spectrum from the ra-w data ppilevted. for dark.

reference and sample.

Each individual spectrum fromi the series of spectra acquired for each individual product sample 30 are then inspected by a cm~puter program or programmed hardware, Poor qu~ality spectra are deleted'from this batch of spectra and the remaining spectra. are used. for conStitUent or proporty prediction, The retained spectra of the product are combined with the appropriate reference and dark current measuremrents to produce an absorbance specrufi as follows: Absorbance Spectrum -logl0 sample inxtensit spectrum- sample daxfk current specirum-) (reference intensity spectrumn reference dark cunieiit spectrum)] i.e. the absorbance spectrumn is equal to the negative logairithm (base 10) of the ratio of the dark current corrected sample spectruna to the dar rk1,current corrected reference spectrum1.

All of the absorbance spectra for each product swample 30 can then be combined to produce a mean or average absorbance spectrum of the product sample.

This average absorbance spectra can then be used to compute the component or property of interest based on a previously storeQd calibration algorithm. Alternatively, each absorbance spectrum can be used individually wit$' previously stored calibration algorithm to compute rnultiple results of the bomponerit or property of interest for anl individual product, followed by determination of the average or 'mean component or property Value computed by summni'ng all"of the vales and dividing the resultant sum by the number of absorbance spectra used 62 AMENDED SiEET 1-1 Pous01/108146 IPEAAJS' 1.6 MAR 2001 1 2 3 4 6 7 12 13 is 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 Method for measurio gsamnples and imprnwtnce of linking location on ivruduct where visible/NIR data was collected withthe iaIe location that will be measured by the laboratory reference technigue Calibration is perfot.rmed as follows: 1) Spectra 6f product sample 30 are menasured arnd absorbance spectra (corrected forreferencnd dark current) are stored, 2) Standard laboratory mneasuremnents (which are b6ftei destructive) are made on tlh)e pr-oduLCt sample 30. Note: it is imlportant to the success of the NIR method that the portion of the sample 30 that is interrogated betwepen the light soUrce(s) 120 lamps 123 and light collection(s) detectors, light detectors 80, leading to the spectrometer(s) 1 70 detectors 200 is the same as that portion measured by the W4.P standard laboratory techiqute.

For many sample conveyors 295 that are LLSVd for:Whoic fruit and vegetable sorting and -packing operations, the product can be transp~orted pas the NIR measurement location rolling or not rolling. If abserbane spectra are collected from the produ&ct as it is rollIi ng, the exact location of any one measurement (one spectrm) is not usually known, and therefoare the entire product (a&opposed to one localized spot) must be analyzed tbor the component or property of interest. If calibration algorithms are constructed in this way (using measurements of rolling produc), all of the retained spectra for that individUal product are averagcd to produce an average absorbance spectrum and the total product component oir propeLrty is assigned to this one absorbance spectrum.

Because most Fruits and vegetable are heterogenous and vary in component level with location, it is pr-eferable to develop a calibration model on product samnple 30 that is not rollinig so that each acqUired spectrufli1 is from a known physical location on the prodUct sample 30. Then, laboratory measuretrnents are made on the same portion of product sample 30 that speCT.ra were t ,e~i from. When this procedure is used, a whole fruit Or Vegetable sample 30"may be separated, cut orsliced, Into smaller sub-portions prior to laboratory analysis. These smaller subportions each correspond to NMR data collected over the,.arnc locatioils within the \j.1 ti I T 73M OfT-tJI-41.1 AMENDED SHIEET PCrUSO/08146 mas 16 MA~ ZC42 I product sample 30; the time period of NlR data acquisition can be adjusted to shorter 2 ologttmscoesponding to the measureen ofsmler or larger product 3 samples 30, respectively, ii this case, each sub-portion of the product sample 30 will 4 have uric or more spectra associated with that particular location. The laboratory determined component or property is then assigned to ca~h spectruIm or spectra from) 6 that particular location.

7 Matherntic&Il grocessing is performed oni abs rbance s earn prior fn Sconductine statistical correlation analysis and ga J ~i odd uii 9 Absorbance spectra are pre-processed using a bin-and smooth Function.

Partial least squares analysis (or variants there~of such as'li~eo wise direct I1I standardization) are then Used. to relate the processed absbrbAnce spectrui-n to the 12 assigied component and property values such as Brix, aridity, pH, firmness, color, 13 internal or external disorder severity and type, anid eatin "quality.

14 Method to minrimize the number of sampen i need to develop a calibration oodell 16 To minimize the number of calibration samples that are necessary, the 17 following method cap be Used: 1) spectra are collected o nall test samples 30, 2) prior 1 8 to destructive laboratory measuremfenlts, principal compohents wi~alysis (PCA) is 1 9 performed on the absorbance spectra,, 3) Re sultant Score"plots rirorn PCA Score 1 vs. Score 2, Score 3 VS, Score 4, etc,) are then genierated, 4) A, subset of the original 21 samples 40%X of" the original number of samples) are selected fromn the Score 22 plots in either a random fashion or by selecting sarrples that, as a gioup, yield a 23 similar range, mean and standard deviation. of Score valules compared to the entIt6 24 gr-oup of original samples Calibration updates are periodically required to maintain mweasurement 26 accuracy, particularly with agricultural produLct samples 30 that can vary in 27 composition with growing conditions and variety. Sevierai methods can be used to 28 minimize the efforts of calibration updates. A.s fruit ory'egetable samples 30 are 29 analyzed in a packing andl sorting warehoLuSe, thleir visible/near infrared spectra can AMENDED SHIEET PcTISo /0 8 1 4 6 -IPEWUS 16 MAR Z90O2 1 2 3 4 7 9 1 1) 12 13 14 16 17 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 be examined by software to determine if the sample qualifies as a potential calibration. update samnple 30. Gjood calibration update samples 30 wiJi cover low to high componient values and will have Score v'alues Lbat over the same range as the original samrple's 30 Score values. While a preferred embodiment of the present disclosure has been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilIled in the art tliat tn,4ny changes and modiffications may be made without departinrg from the. diISI.WLe ill its broader aspects. The appended claimns are therefore intenaded to cover all such changes and miodi ications as fall within the true spirit und scopie of the disclosure, AMENDED

SHEET

Claims (49)

  1. 2. The method of claim 1 further comprising: A. building the algorithms to generate a regression vector that relates the VIS (visible) and NIR (near infra-red) spectra to sample characteristics selected from Brix, firmness, acidity, density, pH, colour and external and internal defects and disorders; B. storing the regression vector, in a CPU having a memory, as a prediction or classification calibration algorithm; C. illuminating the produce sample interior with a spectrum of 250 to l150nm; D. detecting a spectrum of absorbed and scattered light from the produce sample interior, and inputting the detected spectrum to a spectrometer; E. converting the detected spectrum from analog to digital and inputting the converted spectrum to the CPU; combining the spectrum detected; F. comparing the combined spectrum with a stored calibration algorithm; and G. predicting the characteristics of the produce sample. 3 The method of claim 1 wherein the characteristics are chemical characteristics selected from acidity, pH, sugar content, and molecules containing O-H, N-H and C-H chemical bonds. H:i\SueB\Kep\speci\p47080specdoc 3/02/05 67 o 4. The method of claim 1 wherein the characteristics are physical characteristics selected from firmness, density, colour, appearance and internal and external defects and disorders.
  2. 5. The method of claim 1 wherein the characteristics are consumer characteristics.
  3. 6. The method of claim 1 further comprising: A. sampling is of produce samples having I) molecules containing O-H, N-H and C-H chemical bonds; C( 10 B. illuminating of the interior of the produce sample is with a frequency spectrum including visible and Snear infrared light; C. building algorithms for the correlation analysis separately of Brix, firmness, pH and acidity in relation to the light spectrum output from the illuminated produce sample; and D. detecting the spectrum of absorbed and scattered light from the produce sample with a light detector.
  4. 7. The method of claim 6 further comprising: A. illuminating of the interior of the produce sample with a frequency spectrum of 250 to 1150 nm; B. shielding the light detector from the illuminating spectrum; C. measuring the spectrum for chlorophyl at around 680 nm; and D. correlating the characteristics of Brix, firmness, pH and acidity with the measured spectrum.
  5. 8. An apparatus performing the method of claim 1 comprising: A. at least one illumination source for illuminating the produce sample, wherein the produce sample has a sample surface; an input mechanism of positioning the at least one illumination source proximal the sample surface; B. at least one illumination detector; output mechanism of positioning the at least one illumination H:\SueB\Keep\Speci\p47080.spec.doc 3/02/05 68 o detector proximal the sample surface; C. at least one mechanism of measuring the illumination detected from the sample; and D. a CPU receiving an output from the at least one mechanism of measuring the illumination detected and comparing the output with a stored calibration algorithm.
  6. 9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein: the at least one illumination source produces a spectrum ~Awithin the wavelength range of 250 to 1150 nm; C( 10 the at least one mechanism of measuring the oillumination is a spectrometer; the spectrometer has at C least one spectrometer input; the at least one illumination detector is a light pickup fiber; the at least one illumination detector collects a spectrum which is received by the at least one spectrometer input; the spectrometer has at least one spectrometer output channel; the CPU having at least one CPU input; the at least one CPU input receiving the at least one spectrometer output; at least one computer program; the CPU is controlled by the at least one computer program; the CPU having at least one CPU output; the at least one computer program causing the at least one CPU output to perform the steps of: 1) calculating an absorbance spectra for each at least one spectrometer output channel 2) combining the absorbance spectra into a single spectrum encompassing the wavelength range; 3) mathematical preprocessing of the single spectrum; 4) predicting for each at least one spectrometer output channel, a sample characteristic for which the sample is examined by comparing the single spectrum with at least one stored calibration spectrum or at least one calibration algorithm; 5) determining sorting decisions based upon the sample characteristic; 6) inputting the sorting decisions to process H:\SueB\Xeep\pecip47O80.pec.doc 3/02/05 69 0 o controllers to control packing/sorting lines or to determine the time to harvest, time to remove from cold .storage, and time to ship; and D. the sample includes molecules containing 0- H, N-H and C-H chemical bonds. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the at o least one spectrometer output is converted from analog to digital by at least one A/D converter which becomes, for each at least one spectrometer output channel, input to at C( 10 least one CPU input; the at least one CPU output provided o for each at least one spectrometer output. 0g 11. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein: the least one illumination source is a tungsten halogen lamp; the illumination is transmitted to the sample surface by fiber optics; the at least one illumination detector is a fiber optics light pickup; and the at least one mechanism of measuring the illumination is a spectrometer.
  7. 12. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the at least one illumination source is an illumination fiber.
  8. 13. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the at least one illumination source comprises a plurality of illumination fibers; and the plurality of illumination fibers are arrayed such that each illumination fiber is equidistant from adjoining illumination fibers; the at least one illumination detector is positioned centrally in the plurality of illumination fibers.
  9. 14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the plurality of illumination fibers are comprised of 32 illumination fibers. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the at least one illumination source is a 5 watt tungsten halogen lamp.
  10. 16. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the at least one illumination source comprises two 50 watt light sources; and the at least one illumination detector is H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p4700 spec doc 3/02/05 70 o comprised of a plurality of illumination detectors.
  11. 17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the Splurality of illumination detectors are arrayed such that each illumination detector is equidistant from adjoining illumination detectors.
  12. 18. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the O plurality of illumination detectors comprise twenty-two illumination detectors. V' 19. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein: C( 10 the illumination source is comprised of an ellipsoidal o reflector to direct illumination into the illumination 0 fibere for transmission to the sample surface, and the illumination fiber and the at least one illumination detector are spring biased against the sample surface.
  13. 20. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the at least one illumination source is a 5 watt tungsten halogen lamp; the at least one illumination detector is an optical fiber fiber; the illumination source is positioned against the sample surface about 180 degrees relative to the at least one illumination detector.
  14. 21. The apparatus of claim 12 further comprising: A. a polarization filter is positioned between the at least one illumination source and the sample; and B. a matching polarization filter is positioned between the at least one illumination detector and the sample.
  15. 22. The apparatus of claim 21 wherein the polarization filter is a linear polarization filter; the matching polarization filter is a linear polarization filter rotated 90 degrees in relation to the polarization filter.
  16. 23. An apparatus performing the method of claim 1 comprising: A. at least one light source for illuminating the produce sample, wherein the produce sample has a sample surface; an input mechanism of positioning the at H:\SueB\Keep\Speci\p47O90Qspec-doc 3/02/05 71 o least one light source proximal the sample surface; at least one shutter intermediate the at least one light )source and the sample; the at least one light source having a lamp output; B. at least one light detector; output mechanism of positioning the at least one light detector o proximal the sample surface; at least one collimating lens intermediate the at least one light detector and the fsample surface; at least one mechanism of measuring the (N 10 illumination detected from the sample surface; and C. at least one reference light detector directed to the lamp output; at least one shutter intermediate the at least one reference light detector and the at least one lamp output; at least one mechanism of measuring the illumination detected from the lamp output.
  17. 24. The method of claim 2 further comprising: using the predicted characteristics of the sample in combination as follows: using a ratio of the sugar content to acid content to better predict eating quality, taste, sweet/sour ratio; and using combined data from two or more of the following: sugar content, acid content, pH, firmness, colour, external and internal disorders to better predict eating quality. The method of claim 2 further comprising: sensing sample data including sensing by sample presence sensing means the presence or absence of the sample conveyed on a sample conveyor while in motion; sensing by sample position sensing means the position/location of the sample relative to a point of spectrum measurement; the presence sensing means and the position sensing means having outputs to a computer program controlled CPU; the computer program controlled CPU determining if the sample being measured is at an optimal location for spectrum measurement and determining if the sample is present.
  18. 26. The method of claim 25 wherein the presence H\SueB\Keep\.speci\p47080 spec.doc 3/02/05 72 0 o sensing means is a proximity sensing means.
  19. 27. The method of claim 26 wherein the position osensing means is an encoder or pulse generator that detects sample conveyor movement and provides one or more electronic or digital signals to the CPU which initiates, by computer program control, control signals to initiate o and stop acquisition of spectra.
  20. 28. The method of claim 27 further comprising: V determining by the computer program controlled CPU timing C( 10 for performing a reference testing of a light source lamp o and spectrometer. 0 29. The method of claim 28 wherein the reference includes measurement of dark spectra or reference spectra or standard/calibration samples.
  21. 30. The method of claim 29 wherein the spectrum of absorbed and scattered light is light achieved using a collimating lens or a fiber optic light transmission means.
  22. 31. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising: a sample presence sensing means for sensing of the presence or absence of a the sample conveyed on a sample conveyor while in motion and a sample position sensing means of the position/location of the sample relative to the point of spectrum measurement; the presence sensing means and the position sensing means having outputs to a computer program controlled CPU; the computer program controlled CPU determining if the sample being measured is at a desired location for spectrum measurement and determining if the sample is present.
  23. 32. The apparatus of claim 31 wherein the presence sensing means is a proximity sensor.
  24. 33. The apparatus of claim 32 wherein the position sensing means is an encoder or pulse generator that detects sample conveyor movement and provides one or more electronic or digital signals to a CPU which initiates, by computer program control, control signals to H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p4708D.spec.doc 3/02/C5 73 In o initiate and stop acquisition of spectra.
  25. 34. The apparatus of claim 33 wherein the )computer program controlled CPU determines timing for performing a reference testing of a light source lamp and spectrometer. The apparatus of claim 34 wherein the o reference testing includes measurement of dark spectra or reference spectra or standard/calibration samples. I36. The apparatus of claim 35 wherein the C( 10 spectrum of absorbed and scattered light is achieved using o a collimating lens or a fiber optic light transmission 0 means.
  26. 37. The method of claim 2 further comprising: measuring by reference measurement changes in at least one light source lamp intensity or colour output, a reference spectrometer output and output of spectrometer receiving sample spectra input from detectors; transmitting light from one or more light source lamps to a reference spectrometer detector using one or more reference light transmission means.
  27. 38. The method of claim 37 wherein the reference light transmission means comprises fiber-optics.
  28. 39. The method of claim 37 wherein the reference light transmission means comprises a light pipe.
  29. 40. The method of claim 37 further comprising: positioning the reference light transmission means at the at least one light source lamp to allow only light from the at least one light source lamp to enter the reference light transmission means.
  30. 41. The method of claim 40 further comprising: placing at least one light shutter intermediate each light source lamp and each reference light transmission means; and opening and closing the at least one light shutter by shutter control means.
  31. 42. The method of claim 37 further comprising: measuring, by the reference spectrometer, each at least one light source lamp separately; inputting the reference H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p47080.spec.doc 3/D2/05 74 o spectrometer output to the CPU, wherein the CPU is computer controlled; storing in the CPU a measurement of 0 intensity vs. wavelength spectrum profile for each at least one light source lamp; comparing the stored intensity vs. wavelength spectrum with the reference spectrometer output; and o determining from the comparison the condition of the at least one light source lamp.
  32. 43. The method of claim 2 further comprising: Ci 10 using the detected spectrum as a reference spectrum, for Spurposes of calculating an absorbance or log 1/R spectrum, 0 which is linear with concentration.
  33. 44. The method of claim 41 further comprising: closing all of the light shutters of the reference light transmission means; allowing a dark current measurement of the spectrometer detector; measuring the dark current and its intensity value at each wavelength; subtracting the measured dark current from a reference spectrum obtained with the shutters open.
  34. 45. The method of claim 37 further comprising: measuring the reference spectrometer output and a sample spectrometer output dark current; inputting the reference spectrometer output and the sample spectrometer output to the CPU; subtracting the output measured from the reference spectrometer; and subtracting the output measured from the sample spectrometer.
  35. 46. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising: at least one collimating lens intermediate the at least one illumination detector and the sample; at least one illumination source lamp; an illumination shielding means intermediate the at least one illumination source lamp and the sample; at least one aperture in the illumination shielding means to allow illumination of the sample by the at least one illumination source lamp; at least one illumination interruption means intermediate the at least one illumination source lamp and the at least one H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p47080.spec.doc 3/02/05 75 0 o aperture; the at least one illumination interruption means operable by at least one illumination interruption control means; the at least one illumination interruption control means receiving control signals from at least one CPU having at least one illumination interruption operating control output; at least one reference illumination o transmitting means receiving reference illumination output from the at least one illumination source lamp; at least one reference illumination interruption means intermediate Ci 10 the at least one illumination source lamp and the at least o one reference illumination transmitting means; the at 0least one reference illumination interruption means operable by at least one reference illumination interruption means control means; the at least one reference illumination interruption means control means receiving control signals from the at least one CPU having at least one reference illumination interruption operating control output; the at least one reference illumination transmitting means providing an input to the at least one spectrometer detector; the at least one CPU providing at least one lamp power output to the at least one illumination source lamp; the at least one spectrometer, receiving input from the at least one reference illumination transmitting means having at least one output received as in input to the at least one CPU; the spectrometer output capable of A/D conversion to form input to the at least one CPU; the at least one spectrometer, receiving input from at least one detector output received as in input to the at least one CPU; the spectrometer output capable of A/D conversion to form input to the at least one CPU; mounting means to mount the at least one illumination sourcee--lamp, the at least one illumination detector, the at least one illumination interruption means, the reference light transmitting means; encoder/pulse generator input to the CPU providing sample conveyor movement data; computer program to operate the CPU in data collection and control functions. H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p47D0 sO.pec.doc 3/02/05 76 In o 47. The method of 37 further comprising: measuring, as a reference measurement, output Svalues of intensity vs. wavelength from one or more light source lamps using reflecting means; positioning the reflecting means to reflect light from the one or more light source lamps to a light detector having a light o detector output which is received by a spectrometer detector.
  36. 48. The method of 47 further comprising: Ci 10 positioning the reflecting means to a position to reflect o light from the one or more light source lamps to the light 0 detector as dictated by reflecting control means, as an output from the CPU; detecting the presence or absence of the sample and, when the reference measurement is to be made, inserting the reflecting means as dictated by the reflecting control means; and withdrawing the reflecting means by the reflecting control means.
  37. 49. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising: reflecting means, which may be positioned to reflect light from illumination source lamps to the illumination detector by reflecting control means, as an output from the CPU. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising: a light reflecting or diffusing body for obtaining a reference spectrum which is obtained by mechanical insertion of the light reflecting or diffusing body in or near the location where the sample is normally measured.
  38. 51. The method of claim 2 further comprising: illuminating, with at least one light source lamp, the sample interior while the sample is rolling or revolving.
  39. 52. The method of claim 2 further comprising: illuminating, with at least one light source lamp, the sample interior while the sample is not rolling or revolving, where a non-rolling measurement provides better accuracy and introduces less spectral noise due to H:\SueH\Keep\speci\p47020.spec doc 3/02/05 77 0 o movement.
  40. 53. The method of claim 2 further comprising: obtaining, as the sample passes by a point of spectrum acquisition, multiple spectra, where each spectrum represents a different measurement location or area on the sample. o 54. The method of claim 2 further comprising: optimizing signal-to-noise and accuracy by 1) determining Ithe size or weight of the sample by weight or mass (N 10 sensors; 2) utilizing a colour sorter or defect sorter to o provide data; and 3) utilizing other size sensors based on 0 magnetic, inductive, light reflectance or multiple light beam curtains The method of claim 54 further comprising: adjusting, in accordance with the size of the sample, a spectrum acquisition parameter, to provide an improved signal-to-noise ratio spectrum for larger samples and to prevent detector saturation by light for smaller product sample.
  41. 56. The method of claim 2 further comprising: improving accuracy by inspection of multiple individual spectra collected from the sample; removing "outlier" spectra; and calculating an absorbance spectrum from raw data collected for a dark, reference and the sample spectra.
  42. 57. The method of claim 56 further comprising: combining all of the absorbance spectra for each product sample to produce a mean or average absorbance spectrum of the product sample; and using this average absorbance spectra to compute the sample characteristic of interest based on the previously stored calibration algorithm.
  43. 58. The method of claim 56 further comprising: using each absorbance spectrum individually with the previously stored calibration algorithm to compute multiple results of the sample characteristic of interest for an individual product sample; and determining the average or mean component, characteristic or property of H:\SueP\Keep\speci\p47080. spec doc 3/02/05 78 0 o interest.
  44. 59. The method of claim 2 further comprising: transporting the sample, by a sample conveyor, to a NIR measurement location including to a the light detector, wherein the sample is rolled to permit the entire sample to be analyzed for the characteristic of interest; oaveraging all of the spectra for the sample to produce an average absorbance spectrum and a total sample tcharacteristic assigned to the absorbance spectrum. 10 60. The method of claim 2 further comprising: otransporting the sample, by a sample conveyor, to a NIR omeasurement location including to a light detector wherein the sample is not rolled by the conveyor; identifying a portion of the sample where the spectrum was detected; performing laboratory measurements on the portion of the sample to determine sample characteristics of interest to each spectrum from the measurement location.
  45. 61. The method of claim 2 further comprising: performing mathematical processing on the spectrum of absorbed and scattered light prior to conducting statistical correlation analysis and calibration model building; pre-processing the spectrum using a bin and smooth function; relating by statistical analysis the processed spectrum to the sample characteristics.
  46. 62. The method of claim 2 further comprising: minimizing the number of samples needed to develop a calibration model; collecting absorbance spectra on a plurality of samples; performing, prior to destructive laboratory measurements, principal components analysis (PCA) on the absorbance spectra; generating Resultant Score plots from the PCA; selecting a subset of the original samples that yield a range, mean and standard deviation of score values comparable to the entire group of original samples.
  47. 63. The method of claim 62 further comprising: periodically performing calibration updates to maintain measurement accuracy. H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p4708 spec doc 3/02/05 79 O 64. The apparatus of claim of claim 9, wherein the mathematical preprocessing is selected from smoothing Sthe spectrum, box car smoothing the spectrum, and calculating derivatives of the spectrum. o 5 65. The apparatus of claim of claim 9, wherein the sample characteristic is selected from Brix, firmness, o acidity, density, pH, colour, external defects, internal defects, and disorders.
  48. 66. The method of claim 61 wherein the sample characteristics are selected from Brix, acidity, pH, firmness, colour, internal defects, external defects, Cq external disorder severity and type, and eating quality.
  49. 67. A method of simultaneously determining multiple characteristics of produce samples substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings. H:\SueB\Keep\speci\p4708 .spec.doc 3/02/05
AU2001245710A 2000-03-13 2001-03-12 Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum Ceased AU2001245710B2 (en)

Priority Applications (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09/524,329 US6512577B1 (en) 2000-03-13 2000-03-13 Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum
US09/524,329 2001-03-12
US09/804,613 2001-03-12
PCT/US2001/008146 WO2001069191A1 (en) 2000-03-13 2001-03-12 Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum
US09/804,613 US6847447B2 (en) 2000-03-13 2001-03-12 Apparatus and method and techniques for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
AU2001245710A1 AU2001245710A1 (en) 2001-12-06
AU2001245710B2 true AU2001245710B2 (en) 2005-02-17

Family

ID=27061466

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
AU4571001A Pending AU4571001A (en) 2000-03-13 2001-03-12 Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit withvisible/near infra-red spectrum
AU2001245710A Ceased AU2001245710B2 (en) 2000-03-13 2001-03-12 Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit with visible/near infra-red spectrum

Family Applications Before (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
AU4571001A Pending AU4571001A (en) 2000-03-13 2001-03-12 Apparatus and method for measuring and correlating characteristics of fruit withvisible/near infra-red spectrum

Country Status (10)

Country Link
EP (1) EP1285244A4 (en)
JP (1) JP2003527594A (en)
CN (1) CN1430723A (en)
AU (2) AU4571001A (en)
BR (1) BR0109219A (en)
CA (1) CA2402669C (en)
IL (1) IL151751D0 (en)
MX (1) MXPA02009027A (en)
NZ (1) NZ521919A (en)
WO (1) WO2001069191A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (39)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB8719091D0 (en) * 1987-08-12 1987-09-16 Unilever Plc Skin treatment composition
JP2005249507A (en) * 2004-03-03 2005-09-15 National Food Research Institute Method of equalizing response characteristics of spectral instrument
ITVI20050098A1 (en) 2005-04-06 2006-10-07 Caeleno Srl A method of assessment of the degree of ripeness of a fruit and phenolic relative device
CN100462712C (en) 2005-08-03 2009-02-18 北京农业信息技术研究中心 Portable non-destructive detecting method and detecting instrument for plant nitrogen and water content
CN100483109C (en) 2007-01-12 2009-04-29 浙江大学 Portable fruit sugar content non-destructive detection device capable of weighing
WO2009038206A1 (en) * 2007-09-21 2009-03-26 Suntory Holdings Limited Visible/near-infrared spectrum analyzing method and grape fermenting method
JP5170379B2 (en) * 2007-10-17 2013-03-27 株式会社宝計機製作所 Fruit vegetables sugar measuring device and sugar content measuring method
JP2010210355A (en) * 2009-03-09 2010-09-24 Kobe Univ Method and apparatus for nondestructive measurement of component of vegetable etc. using near-infrared spectroscopy
PT104566B (en) * 2009-05-12 2013-09-20 Univ Do Minho Method and monitoring device for the production of uva with uv-vis-swnir spectroscopy
WO2012005350A1 (en) * 2010-07-09 2012-01-12 千代田電子工業株式会社 Nondestructive measuring device for green grocery
ES2388513B1 (en) * 2011-02-22 2013-07-01 Urtasun Tecnología Alimentaria S.L. Analysis system plant products during processing thereof.
ES2401624B2 (en) * 2011-10-03 2014-01-15 Universidad De Huelva Portable device for the recognition of fruit maturity
CN102590131A (en) * 2012-01-18 2012-07-18 中国农业大学 Fresh meat deep water nondestructive on-line detection device and method
CN102645416A (en) * 2012-03-27 2012-08-22 北京林业大学 Method for rapidly determining anthocyanin content in blueberries
WO2013157946A1 (en) 2012-04-20 2013-10-24 Moba Group B.V. Method for detecting defects in food products
US9413988B2 (en) * 2012-07-24 2016-08-09 Fluke Corporation Thermal imaging camera with graphical temperature plot
GB2507828B (en) * 2013-02-04 2015-05-13 Messier Dowty Ltd Deformation Detection Tool & Method for Detecting Deformation
CN103281459A (en) * 2013-06-06 2013-09-04 仝晓萌 Mobile phone capable of measuring sweetness and PH value of fruit
CN103487397B (en) * 2013-09-23 2015-10-28 浙江农林大学 One kind of bamboo shoots hardness rapid detection method and apparatus
CN104574341B (en) * 2013-10-11 2017-09-05 中国林业科学研究院资源信息研究所 A fruit sugar content determination method and apparatus
CN104089881A (en) * 2013-12-17 2014-10-08 浙江工商大学 Pseudosciaena crocea storage time detection method
CN103792235A (en) * 2014-01-10 2014-05-14 内蒙古农业大学 Diffuse transmission spectrum and image information fusion method for detecting internal quality of honeydew melons on line and device
JP2015148453A (en) * 2014-02-05 2015-08-20 国立大学法人神戸大学 Fruit/vegetable quality measuring apparatus and fruit/vegetable quality measuring method
CN103808689A (en) * 2014-02-21 2014-05-21 山东省农业科学院农业质量标准与检测技术研究所 Five-point near infrared fruit maturity and quality detector
ES2554396B1 (en) * 2014-04-30 2016-10-07 Universidad De Sevilla Discrete measurement device NIR reflectance index glucoacídico multiband the grapes for winemaking
KR20160001509A (en) 2014-06-27 2016-01-06 삼성전자주식회사 Gas sensor, refrigerator having the same and control method for the refrigerator
JP2016045091A (en) * 2014-08-22 2016-04-04 三井金属計測機工株式会社 Nondestructive measurement device and nondestructive measurement method of anthocyanin content in fruit and vegetable
CN104251837B (en) * 2014-10-17 2016-08-31 北京农业智能装备技术研究中心 Fruit Internal Quality by Near Infrared Spectroscopy-line detection system and method
CN104483287A (en) * 2014-12-05 2015-04-01 南京工业大学 Detection device and detection method based on near infrared spectrum for biological parameters in on-line fermentation process
CN105241555B (en) * 2015-09-09 2018-07-31 浙江大学 Method and apparatus for detecting damage to fruit-based tissue different thermal characteristics of the fruit surface
CN106680236A (en) * 2015-11-06 2017-05-17 深圳市芭田生态工程股份有限公司 Method for mapping spectral data and chemical detection data
CN106680219A (en) * 2015-11-06 2017-05-17 深圳市芭田生态工程股份有限公司 Method for establishing data model by using spectral data and chemical detection data
CN105807014A (en) * 2016-01-13 2016-07-27 青岛万福质量检测有限公司 Detection method for energy of vegetables and fruits
CN109640674A (en) * 2016-07-22 2019-04-16 开利公司 The rotten identification of cold chain and management system
CN106323880A (en) * 2016-07-29 2017-01-11 河南科技大学 Plant leaf anthocyanin content estimation method and device based on SOC hyperspectral index
CN106311627B (en) * 2016-08-05 2018-07-20 中山市恒辉自动化科技有限公司 Automatic detection means kinds of food
CN106525720B (en) * 2016-11-17 2019-03-29 常熟理工学院 The method that adjacent Single wavelength realization food safety quickly detects is fitted using dual wavelength
CN107340244A (en) * 2017-02-06 2017-11-10 重庆文理学院 A seasonal optimum spectrum detection method for celery in a greenhouse
CN106950183A (en) * 2017-02-28 2017-07-14 中国科学院合肥物质科学研究院 Portable soil nutrient detection apparatus based on spectrum technology

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5303026A (en) * 1991-02-26 1994-04-12 The Regents Of The University Of California Los Alamos National Laboratory Apparatus and method for spectroscopic analysis of scattering media
US5926262A (en) * 1997-07-01 1999-07-20 Lj Laboratories, L.L.C. Apparatus and method for measuring optical characteristics of an object

Family Cites Families (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5089701A (en) 1990-08-06 1992-02-18 The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of Agriculture Nondestructive measurement of soluble solids in fruits having a rind or skin
JP2881201B2 (en) * 1990-08-23 1999-04-12 三井金属鉱業株式会社 Sugar content measuring method and apparatus for citrus fruit
JP2517858B2 (en) 1991-10-04 1996-07-24 農林水産省食品総合研究所長 Non-destructive measurement of fruit sugar content by near-infrared transmission spectrum
US6100526A (en) * 1996-12-30 2000-08-08 Dsquared Development, Inc. Grain quality monitor
GB9709840D0 (en) * 1997-05-15 1997-07-09 Sinclair Int Ltd Assessment of the condition of fruit and vegetables
NL1009556C2 (en) 1998-07-03 2000-01-07 Cpro Dlo A method for determining the quality of fruit and berries, and apparatus for the separation of fruits and berries.

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5303026A (en) * 1991-02-26 1994-04-12 The Regents Of The University Of California Los Alamos National Laboratory Apparatus and method for spectroscopic analysis of scattering media
US5926262A (en) * 1997-07-01 1999-07-20 Lj Laboratories, L.L.C. Apparatus and method for measuring optical characteristics of an object

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2001069191A1 (en) 2001-09-20
IL151751D0 (en) 2003-04-10
AU4571001A (en) 2001-09-24
EP1285244A4 (en) 2008-04-16
MXPA02009027A (en) 2004-08-19
EP1285244A1 (en) 2003-02-26
CN1430723A (en) 2003-07-16
CA2402669C (en) 2006-07-18
CA2402669A1 (en) 2001-09-20
BR0109219A (en) 2004-06-22
JP2003527594A (en) 2003-09-16
NZ521919A (en) 2004-03-26

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
Renfroe et al. Nondestructive spectrophotometric determination of dry matter in onions
ElMasry et al. Early detection of apple bruises on different background colors using hyperspectral imaging
McClure 204 years of near infrared technology: 1800–2003
Lu et al. DETERMINATION OF FIRMNESS AND SUGAR CONTENT OF APPLES USING NEAR‐INFRARED DIFFUSE REFLECTANCE 1
Qin et al. Hyperspectral and multispectral imaging for evaluating food safety and quality
Abbott Quality measurement of fruits and vegetables
Kawano et al. Determination of sugar content in intact peaches by near infrared spectroscopy with fiber optics in interactance mode
EP1264170B1 (en) Optical probes and methods for spectral analysis
Ruiz-Altisent et al. Sensors for product characterization and quality of specialty crops—A review
ES2431955T3 (en) Method and device for analysis of agricultural products
CA1247397A (en) Spectrophotometric method and apparatus for the non- invasive determination of glucose in body tissues
JP3790827B2 (en) System for measuring and analyzing the diamond color, the apparatus and method
Blasco et al. Citrus sorting by identification of the most common defects using multispectral computer vision
EP1444501B1 (en) Spectroscopic fluid analyzer
AU661807B2 (en) Using led harmonic wavelengths for near-infrared quantitative measurements
Cubeddu et al. Time-resolved reflectance spectroscopy applied to the nondestructive monitoring of the internal optical properties in apples
Peng et al. Analysis of spatially resolved hyperspectral scattering images for assessing apple fruit firmness and soluble solids content
US6122042A (en) Devices and methods for optically identifying characteristics of material objects
US20020161289A1 (en) Detector array for optical spectrographs
US5471311A (en) Information system for monitoring products in sorting apparatus
Zou et al. Selection of the efficient wavelength regions in FT-NIR spectroscopy for determination of SSC of ‘Fuji’apple based on BiPLS and FiPLS models
US6675030B2 (en) Near infrared blood glucose monitoring system
Nicolai et al. Nondestructive measurement of fruit and vegetable quality by means of NIR spectroscopy: A review
Workman Jr Review of process and non-invasive near-infrared and infrared spectroscopy: 1993–1999
Qing et al. Predicting soluble solid content and firmness in apple fruit by means of laser light backscattering image analysis

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
TC Change of applicant's name (sec. 104)

Owner name: AUTOLINE, INC. AND AWETA HOLDING, B.V.

Free format text: FORMER NAME: RICHARD M. OZANICH

PC1 Assignment before grant (sect. 113)

Owner name: FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS B.V.

Free format text: FORMER APPLICANT(S): AUTOLINE, INC.; AWETA HOLDING, B.V.

FGA Letters patent sealed or granted (standard patent)
MK14 Patent ceased section 143(a) (annual fees not paid) or expired