Advanced visualization and analysis

Avizo for Food & Agriculture

3D imaging techniques, such as X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provide insights into food structure and how it changes in various situations, including processing operations.

Thermo Scientific Avizo Software is an all-in-one image analysis platform that allows the visualization, processing, and quantification of food and seed structures acquired with a variety of imaging modalities. The microstructural characterization and the relation of microstructure to properties needed in food engineering, chemistry, microbiology, and safety are easily made possible by Avizo Software's comprehensive analysis toolset.

Avizo Software is the solution of choice

In addition to its complete toolset for food image segmentation and analysis, Avizo Software also allows for microstructural bubble and agglomerate analysis with its Pore Network Modeling capabilities coupled with advanced fiber statistical analyses . Food structure can also be modeled and exported as volumetric meshes for further simulations in FEA/CFD software tools.

Applications and Use cases

Food engineering helps advance product quality, improving food properties for more cost-effective production and commercialization. Avizo Software helps food engineers understand the relation between microstructure and product properties with 3D visualization, processing, and analysis of MRI and micro-CT images of food. Time-series analysis of the evolution of food is also possible with Avizo Software, further contributing to improvements in the longevity and other aspects of food. Unilever uses Avizo Software to visualize and clarify food structures...

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Food Engineering
Courtesy of Unilever

Providing safe, high-quality food is a mandatory requirement that protects consumers from illness and injury. The combination of micro-CT images and Avizo Software allows for analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical elements of the finished food product.

For example, during the analysis of a random chocolate candy, the end of the production chain is tasked with checking both the food quality (in terms of quantity of ingredients) and the food safety (presence of undesired materials). The composition of the candy (volume amount of each ingredient) is precisely measured, as well as the porosity.

Data courtesy of Nikon Metrology

Bubbles in food create an aerated structure that enhances the product appearance and its properties (smoothness, creaminess, crispness, etc.).

Avizo Software provides efficient methods of segmenting the bubbles and quantifying both their attributes and size distribution. 

Avizo's Pore Network Modeling allows the creation of an equivalent network model of the porous distribution for advanced analysis of the bubbles' interconnections and properties.

Ice cream porous network
The powerful Avizo Software porosity analysis toolset exposes the porous network and matrix of ice cream. 
Courtesy of Irstea

Physical properties, such as particle size and spatial distribution, shape factors, packing density, and surface area, play a key role in powders flow. Powder flowability can be fully characterized with Avizo Software's advanced and extensive quantification and analysis toolset.

For example, agglomerates in baby powder milk can be segmented and classified based on size and spatial distribution, to quantify their effect on powder flowability.

3D structural analysis of seeds is critical in many aspects of seed technology. Avizo Software's advanced characterization toolset allows for quality control of coated seeds. Seed coat thickness, volume, sphericity, and roughness can be evaluated. Measurements of internal and external seed structures, including volume and surface areas, allow for the quantification of seed properties such as resistance and germination potential. Nondestructive testing visualization and analysis of seeds is also made possible based on Avizo Software's high-quality 3D volume rendering techniques. GEVES uses Avizo Software to study and control plant seeds...

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GEVES seeds
Courtesy of GEVES

With the aim to prevent global food security issues, optimization of the design of fertilizer granules for plant breeding and soil quality enhancement is an important topic of research. MicroCT scans of the plant from germination to maturity allow for visualization and analysis of the interactions of root and fertilizer to inform the design process.

However, segmenting roots from X-ray tomography data is highly challenging for plants such as wheat, due to their fine roots and a density range similar to pore-water and organic matter found in the surrounding soil.The powerful XFiber Extension for Avizo Software enables correlation of roots based on the greyscale information and automatically classifies them.

Root length and diameter can then be computed to assess mean growth root rate per fertilizer. 
Read the research paper

Courtesy of Sharif Ahmed, µ-VIS X-Ray Imaging Centre, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

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Scientific publications

Imaging, analysis and quantification of nanoparticles in food

Understanding the impact of nanoparticles on health and product safety in food and cosmetics is critical to informing both our scientific choices as well as providing a basis for regulatory oversight. Quantifying their composition, size and shape is a crucial first step in furthering our understanding of the relationships between nanoparticles, quality and safety – ultimately determining the volume of nanoparticles that are safe for human contact and consumption.

Scanning transmission electron microscopy in combination with powerful Avizo, Maps and Velox software enables researchers to acquire large area correlative imaging of nanoparticles at high resolution while preserving the context of their observations and providing statistically robust data. Automated and unattended workflows will enable even researchers unfamiliar with TEM technology to generate high quality, relevant data to help build the future of the safety and regulatory questions related to nanoparticles.

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