Food sorting & recycling
Sorting processes without image processing are hardly conceivable nowadays, especially since cameras and machines provide an objective assessment and can usually react much faster than humans. The infrared spectral range provides additional information even for optically similar sorting material such as transparent plastics.
There are many applications for infrared imaging in the fields of food quality and safety.
Detection of contaminants or damage to food is one of the most important tasks. Shortwave infrared (SWIR) solves this by looking at moisture content, among other things, since water significantly affects reflectivity while it has little effect in the visible. Infrared imaging is also able to distinguish materials based on their chemical composition in recycling processes, which contributes to a more efficient and sustainable circular economy.