Egypt is considered one of the most important producers of fruits and vegetables in Africa and Middle East region. Therefore, Egyptian governmental agencies and industries have committed cooperative efforts to improve the overall quality and safety of foods to gain a share in the international markets. The quality assurance is one of the most important goals of any industry due to the fact that the ability to consistently manufacture high-quality products is the basis for success in the highly competitive foreign food industry. Unfortunately, most of food handling processes in Egypt are still performed manually where workers inspect and remove those products with defects, rots, diseases or foreign materials.
Isolated research endeavours in some Egyptian universities were carried out for developing locally designed machines to perform simple grading of citrus and potato. Indeed, such machines were only for research application and cannot be adopted for real implementations due to limitations of evaluation criteria or real performance. Accordingly, trend towards continuous automated systems needs more investigation in this field, particularly in the area related to in-line or rapid process control. Hence, this trend of application needs cooperative integrations form different disciplines such as Food and Agricultural Engineering, Postharvest Technology or Electronics and Informatics.
The specific objectives of this preparatory action are:
– To identify the line of research of the Egyptian group and its potential in the development of advanced inspection and monitoring systems of food and agricultural products through the use of computer vision. It is important to know the knowledge they already have and the potential to acquire new research trends such as image analysis, computer vision, computer-aided design, mechanical engineering and food and information technology. Based on this information, the Spanish team work will propose training sessions, seminars and workshops on SCU for the Egyptian counterpart and the expected postgraduate students on the basis of their needs. These training activities will be complemented with other remote communications using the tools available in UPV and SCU.