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Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 243;

Potential Application of Fluorescence Imaging for Assessing Fecal Contamination of Soil and Compost Maturity

Experiment and Research Institute, National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service, 141, Younjeon-ro, Gimcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 39660, Korea
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
School of Biosystem and Biomedical Science, College of Health Science, Korea University, B-dong 551, Hana-Science Building, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kuanglin Kevin Chao
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging for Food and Agriculture)
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Pathogenic microorganisms can lead to serious outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, particularly if fresh produce becomes contaminated and then happens to be inappropriately handled in a manner that can incubate pathogens. Pathogenic microbial contamination of produce can occur through a variety of pathways, such as from the excrement of domesticated and wild animals, biological soil amendment, agricultural water, worker health and hygiene, and field tools used during growth and harvest. The use of mature manure compost and preventative control of fecal contamination from wildlife and livestock are subject to safety standards to minimize the risk of foodborne illness associated with produce. However, in a field production environment, neither traces of animal feces nor the degree of maturity of manure compost can be identified by the naked eye. In this study, we investigated hyperspectral fluorescence imaging techniques to characterize fecal samples from bovine, swine, poultry, and sheep species, and to determine feasibilities for both detecting the presence of animal feces as well as identifying the species origin of the feces in mixtures of soil and feces. In addition, the imaging techniques were evaluated for assessing the maturity of manure compost. The animal feces exhibited dynamic and unique fluorescence emission features that allowed for the detection of the presence of feces and showed that identification of the species origin of fecal matter present in soil-feces mixtures is feasible. Furthermore, the results indicate that using simple single-band fluorescence imaging at the fluorescence emission maximum for animal feces, simpler than full-spectrum hyperspectral fluorescence imaging, can be used to assess the maturity of manure compost. View Full-Text
Keywords: fresh produce; pathogenic microorganism; compost; feces; hyperspectral fluorescence imaging fresh produce; pathogenic microorganism; compost; feces; hyperspectral fluorescence imaging

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Cho, H.; Lee, H.; Kim, S.; Kim, D.; Lefcourt, A.M.; Chan, D.E.; Chung, S.H.; Kim, M.S. Potential Application of Fluorescence Imaging for Assessing Fecal Contamination of Soil and Compost Maturity. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 243.

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