Detection of fungal damaged popcorn using image property covariance features
Covariance-matrix-based features were applied to the detection of popcorn infected by a fungus that causes a symptom called " blue-eye" . This infection of popcorn kernels causes economic losses due to the kernels' poor appearance and the frequently disagreeable flavor of the popped kernels. Images of kernels were obtained to distinguish damaged from undamaged kernels using image-processing techniques. Features for distinguishing blue-eye-damaged from undamaged popcorn kernel images were extracted from covariance matrices computed using various image pixel properties. The covariance matrices were formed using different property vectors that consisted of the image coordinate values, their intensity values and the first and second derivatives of the vertical and horizontal directions of different color channels. Support Vector Machines (SVM) were used for classification purposes. An overall recognition rate of 96.5% was achieved using these covariance based features. Relatively low false positive values of 2.4% were obtained which is important to reduce economic loss due to healthy kernels being discarded as fungal damaged. The image processing method is not computationally expensive so that it could be implemented in real-time sorting systems to separate damaged popcorn or other grains that have textural differences.