Researchers in Denmark have demonstrated how laser technology could potentially be used to improve food quality.
As part of its Light & Food project, a team from the University of Copenhagen analysed whole grains used to make bread and beer with a super continuum laser. Being able to non-destructively monitor the health of grains paves the way for the development of healthier and more disease resistant strains.
“The supercontinuum laser has made it possible to measure very small objects rapidly and with high energy. A supercontinuum instrument can therefore potentially be used to measure whole grains and thus find grains with, for example, fungal or insect attacks, or to sort grains by baking, health or quality parameters,” explained Tine Ringsted, a postdoc at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen.
Tine said the the laser’s ability to sort seeds could lead to better quality products.
“A seed sorting will mean that you can obtain some grains that have health-promoting properties for use in bread, for example, and some grains that are extra good for beer. This will give both products a higher value without doing anything, but sorting the grains,” says Tine Ringsted
She added: “A supercontinuum laser provides even more options for food measurements, so it offers great potential for improving the quality of our food in the future.”