Food spoilage

Food spoilage

 

Ultraviolet screening is used in citrus fruit packing houses to identify food spoilage and contamination. Here, an orange shows the classic ‘target’ fluorescence signature of a fruit infected with blue or green mould, while another shows a less specific ‘speckled’ appearance. In both cases, the contamination would be difficult, even impossible, to spot in normal lighting. Both oranges would be rejected before packing, preventing them from possibly spoiling a whole consignment of otherwise healthy fruit.

Image © David Obenland/US Department of Agriculture

 

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