Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Response of x-rays for food density determination"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2011 - DURI
Research area(s):
Food Engineering
Project Description:
Density of foods is an essential physical characteristic used to assess the quality of foods and also a conversion factor for upcoming dietary assessment methods utilizing mobile technology. For porous foods and complex food systems, accurate measurement of density is challenging. Preliminary experiments demonstrated the capability of x-ray imaging as a non-destructive tool to determine food density. The x-ray attenuation through a material is dependent on its chemical composition. The objective of this study is to derive calibration curves for fundamental pure components of foods and thus determine the food density based on their x-ray mass attenuation coefficients.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will prepare samples of pure foods, food products to scan on x-ray digital radiograph and computed tomography and use image processing software and mathematical reasoning to analyze the results.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Student must possess basic laboratory skills,and problem-solving techniques. A background of food-related courses is desired. Familiarity with Matlab, and image processing software is a plus, but not required.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Okos, Martin
Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Student Supervisor

Shivangi Kelkar
Graduate Research Assistant

Cooperating Faculty

Mark Morgan
Food Science