French Fries - Model 600 Color Measurement Application

The Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer is ideal for the measurement of food products because of its ability to measure color over large areas in a non-contact manner. The ability of the system to measure color in extremely small resolution elements gives the system the added benefit of limiting color calculations to areas of your choosing. In other words, you can choose to measure color in specific areas of your product or ignore specific characteristics (such as potato skins) before quantifying color values. Similar products can include hash browns, tater tots, American fries, potato chips etc.

French Fries

Application Considerations (all resolved by using the Model 600)

  • Potato products are non-uniform in nature.
  • Requires the ability to average over large areas or measure small specific areas.
  • Capability can be added to the software to automatically ignore (or neglect) the affects of potato skins and other characteristics that would otherwise cause uncontrolled skewing of the color data.
  • Users should pay particular attention to the following.
    • Product presentation. Presentation to the system should be done in a consistent manner in order to minimize influence from stacking variations.

Color Measurement Demonstration

  1. Select and setup system with appropriate lighting modules. It is recommended that a minimum of 2 lighting modules be incorporated at a 180 degree separation in order to minimize shadowing affects.
  2. Turn on system in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
  3. Calibrate system.
  4. Set software specifications to the desired Illuminant Type, Observer Type and Color Coordinates.
  5. Prepare a sample for measurement. Samples should always be presented in a consistent manner. A container should be filled so the bottom of the container cannot be seen. The top of the sample should be relatively flat and at a consistent height.
  6. Center the product sample on the system table as shown below.
  7. Measuring Booth
  8. Measure sample, generally takes approximately 45 seconds depending on measurement conditions.
  9. Analysis can take on many forms. Discreet color measurements can be done over large (or small) areas by simply selecting the Region of Interest (ROI) as shown.
  10. French Fries Color Calculation Results
  11. Colors can also be compared to previously measured STANDARDS as shown. In the example below, a measured sample is compared to a stored STANDARD for direct comparison. The user has the ability to specifically choose any sized area for direct comparison to the stored STANDARD.
French Fries - Full Frame Color Difference

Conclusion¹

  • "See" the product and choose areas of interest.
  • Compare samples to stored STANDARDS for more consistent product quality. Note: Digital "STANDARDS" can be stored remotely and accessed anywhere in the world for consistent global measurements.
  • Average color over large (or small) areas of their choosing.
  • Evaluate their product in its natural setting; as opposed to being compressed, smashed or compromised in order to measure it.
  • Statistically analyze large areas using a "Virtual Spot Spectrophotometer" with a measurement aperture size of your choice that best suits your product.

¹Note: As capabilities of the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer increase, there may be even more tools available for additional extraction of color information. Contact TRICOR Systems Inc for the latest information regarding capabilities for your specific application requirements.

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