With increasing public demand for ready-to-eat fresh-cut food products, proper sanitation of food-processing equipment surfaces is essential to mitigate potential contamination of these products to ensure safe consumption. This study presents a sanitation monitoring technique using hyperspectral fluorescence images to detect fruit residues on food-processing equipment surfaces. An algorithm to detect residues on the surfaces of 2B-finished and #4-finished stainless-steel, both commonly used in food processing equipment, was developed. Honeydew, orange, apple, and watermelon were selected as representatives since they are mainly used as fresh-cut fruits. Hyperspectral fluorescence images were obtained for stainless steel sheets to which droplets of selected fruit juices at six concentrations were applied and allowed to dry. The most significant wavelengths for detecting juice at each concentration were selected through ANOVA analysis. Algorithms using a single waveband and using a ratio of two wavebands were developed for each sample and for all the samples combined. Results showed that detection accuracies were better for the samples with higher concentrations. The integrated algorithm had a detection accuracy of 100% and above 95%, respectively, for the original juice up to the 1:20 diluted samples and for the more dilute 1:50 to 1:100 samples, respectively. The results of this study establish that using hyperspectral imaging, even a small residual quantity that may exist on the surface of food processing equipment can be detected and that sanitation monitoring and management is possible.
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