Foreign body contamination in food is one of the major sources of complaints against food manufacturers, and can lead to injury, loss of brand loyalty and large recall expenses. Different technologies, such as X-ray or infrared techniques, are currently applied to detection systems used for food inspection, but physical contamination, with e.g. wood, plastic, metal and glass, is still present in food. In the last years, possibly due to the increasing automation of supply chains, the occurrence of metal incidents has risen and incidents with plastics and glass remain significant.
For this reason, there is the need to develop new technologies capable to address the still unmet needs of food industry. In the MIT-food project, we will investigate the use of the microwave imaging (MWI) technology for food contamination monitoring. MWI is able, through low-power electromagnetic (EM) waves at microwave frequencies, to non-invasively penetrate an object and provide a spatial map of its EM properties. Such a capability is herein relevant because of the intrinsic difference in such properties between food and contaminants.
A one-year post-doctoral research position at the Dept. of Electronics and Telecommunications (DET), Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy (polito.it) expected to become available in the second quarter of 2018.
The main objective of the MIT-Food project is to realize a prototypal device able to identify foreign objects in food using microwave imaging. This technology will be non-destructive and contactless, safe for operators (thanks to the use of low-power, non-ionizing radiations), able to provide inline monitoring in food manufacturing (thanks to tailored processing algorithms and their hardware implementation), easy to use and cost-efficient (thanks to low-cost technologies).
An ideal candidate would have a good background in electromagnetics, antenna design, and programming.
Previous experience in microwave imaging technology are preferable.
All the details of the project are in http://www.researchers.polito.it/en/success_stories/progetti_metti_in_rete/microwaves_to_monitor_food_contamination
- Prof. Francesca Vipiana