International Science Index

Low Temperature Biological Treatment of Chemical Oxygen Demand for Agricultural Water Reuse Application Using Robust Biocatalysts

The agriculture industry is especially vulnerable to forecasted water shortages. In the fresh and fresh-cut produce sector, conventional flume-based washing with recirculation exhibits high water demand. This leads to a large water footprint and possible cross-contamination of pathogens. These can be alleviated through advanced water reuse processes, such as membrane technologies including reverse osmosis (RO). Water reuse technologies effectively remove dissolved constituents but can easily foul without pre-treatment. Biological treatment is effective for the removal of organic compounds responsible for fouling, but not at the low temperatures encountered at most produce processing facilities. This study showed that the Microvi MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) technology effectively removes organic compounds (> 80%) at low temperatures (6-8 °C) from wash water. The MNE technology uses synthetic microorganism-material composites with negligible solids production, making it advantageously situated as an effective bio-pretreatment for RO. A preliminary technoeconomic analysis showed 60-80% savings in operation and maintenance costs (OPEX) when using the Microvi MNE technology for organics removal. This study and the accompanying economic analysis indicated that the proposed technology process will substantially reduce the cost barrier for adopting water reuse practices, thereby contributing to increased food safety and furthering sustainable water reuse processes across the agricultural industry.

Computer Vision Applied to Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Processing
This paper presents the theoretical background and the real implementation of an automated computer system to introduce machine vision in flower, fruit and vegetable processing for recollection, cutting, packaging, classification, or fumigation tasks. The considerations and implementation issues presented in this work can be applied to a wide range of varieties of flowers, fruits and vegetables, although some of them are especially relevant due to the great amount of units that are manipulated and processed each year over the world. The computer vision algorithms developed in this work are shown in detail, and can be easily extended to other applications. A special attention is given to the electromagnetic compatibility in order to avoid noisy images. Furthermore, real experimentation has been carried out in order to validate the developed application. In particular, the tests show that the method has good robustness and high success percentage in the object characterization.
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