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The infrared thermal camera has been applied in various food processing, including process monitoring, product development and storage analysis, suitable for monitoring and verifying the temperature in food.

Measurement technology of infrared thermal camera

Infrared thermal imaging technology is one of the rapidly developing high-tech technologies today, and has been widely used in power industry, petrochemical environmental protection industry, processing and manufacturing industry, rail transit, enterprise production, daily life, and plays an irreplaceable role.

Based on the measurement calibration of infrared thermal camera, the factors affecting the temperature measurement of infrared thermal camera are analyzed from the direction of measurement calibration, and the method to improve the measurement accuracy is proposed. Besides, the typical application areas of infrared thermal camera are studied.

Starting from the measurement specification of infrared thermal camera, according to the radiation temperature measurement method and the temperature measurement principle of infrared thermal camera, the factors such as the surface emissivity of the measured object, atmospheric transmittance, background environment temperature and other factors affecting the temperature measurement error of infrared thermal camera are analyzed, and the operation methods to eliminate their impact are proposed. Through the test method of measurement field, the experiment on the influence of the opening size of blackbody radiation source on the temperature measurement accuracy is designed, and the influence brought by using radiation source as the reference standard as much as possible is avoided in operation.

Infrared thermal camera in food quality and safety

Temperature control and monitoring in food manufacturing process are crucial for ensuring the product quality in the process (such as cooking, sterilization process) and maintaining the integrity of the cold chain in the entire production, transportation, storage and distribution processes. Heating of many foods is particularly critical for taste, food safety and shelf life. In the food industry, non-contact methods and temperature mapping technology are becoming increasingly popular because of their higher time and space resolution. Compared with the invasive sampling test using conventional thermometer, the infrared thermal camera has potential advantages of high-speed, non-invasive analysis and prevention of cross-contamination.

The infrared thermal camera has been used to facilitate controlled heating and cooling cycles on the surface of food samples. The following five cases have been studied:

  • The potential of infrared thermal camera to determine the internal temperature of cooked chicken in real time in industrial production lines has been used to verify whether the minimum final temperature has been reached.

  • Infrared thermal camera has been used to draw temperature distribution diagram caused by food microwave heating, showing its application as a drying process in microwave oven design.

  • Infrared thermal camera is used to determine the hot spots and cold spots in the microwave heating process of rye and oats, or to classify microwave heating modes in various food formulas.

  • Infrared thermal camera can continuously record temperature monitoring chart, and can estimate on the conveyor belt. By measuring the temperature distribution of citrus fruits during drying, the infrared thermal camera can simulate the dehydration kinetics. This can be used to determine the final drying point and develop online control system. Infrared thermal camera can improve heat consumption and fruit quality control.

  • In addition to temperature monitoring and verification, infrared thermal camera is also used in the food industry to monitor the efficiency of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, and to track the entry of possibly polluted air, thereby reducing food pollution to the air.