Grain Grading System (Canola)

Client : In-house research project
Industries: Agrifood

Context

The current method of grading canola seeds involves visually evaluating the percentage of green seeds present in a sample. The canola industry is looking for more objective but equally reliable and inexpensive methods of measuring the chlorophyll content of samples prior to oil extraction. These measurements are important because chlorophyll imparts a greenish or brownish color to canola crude oil. Chlorophyll also promotes oxidation of the canola oil, which alters the taste. At the moment, there are no commercial systems available to meet industry requirements for a fast, inexpensive, and accurate chlorophyll concentration measurement system.

  • Grain grading system prototype
  • Illustration of the grain grading system

Solution

INO has developed a prototype to evaluate the chlorophyll content of canola seeds. To take measurements, a 25 g sample is simply ground for 30 sec. in a standard coffee mill and poured into a container. The instrument's sensing window is then pressed on the sample and a measurement is taken by pressing the trigger button. Five such measurements of different portions of the ground sample are averaged to provide an accurate chlorophyll evaluation.

*Potential clients interested in the fabrication of units under the terms of a development contract are invited to fill in the information request form below.

Furthermore

Each analysis takes 2 minutes (including sample preparation time) and chlorophyll content is immediately displayed. The reading scale of the device is 5–120 ppm, accurate to within ± 6,6 ppm. A USB port is available as an option to facilitate data transfer.

Calibration

INO's instrument was calibrated with a set of 80 canola seed samples supplied by the Canadian Grain Commission. This calibration set included samples from various Canadian producers and had a chlorophyll content ranging from 2 ppm to 136 ppm. The referenced chlorophyll content of each sample had been determined by the Grain Research Laboratory using the standard solvent extraction ISO method.

Comparative evaluation

For comparison purposes, scientists from the Grain Research Laboratory performed an independent preliminary evaluation of the prototype. Nineteen samples were scanned in duplicate by three different operators on two different days. Samples were also characterized with two commercial NIR systems for comparison. 

The results of this preliminary evaluation clearly show that INO's prototype achieved a performance on par with the other NIR systems, but at a much lower cost.

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