Synchrotron tomography applications in agriculture and food sciences research: a review
Indore, Navnath S.
Jayas, Digvir S.
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Abstract Synchrotron imaging is widely used for research in many scientific disciplines. This article introduces the characteristics of synchrotron X-ray imaging and its applications in agriculture and food science research. The agriculture and food sector are a vast area that comprises of plants, seeds, animals, food and their products; soils with thriving microbial communities; and natural resources such as water, fertilizers, and organic matter. These entities have unique internal features, structures and compositions which differentiate them from each other in varieties, species, grades, and types. The use of a bright and tuneable monochromatic source of synchrotron imaging techniques enables researchers to study the internal features and compositions of plants, seeds, soil and food in a quick and non-destructive way to enhance their use, conservation and productivity. Synchrotron’s different X-ray imaging techniques offer a wide domain of applications, which make them perfect to enhance the understanding of structures of raw and processed food products to promote food safety and security. Therefore, this paper summarizes the results of major experiments carried out with seeds, plants, soil, food and relevant areas of agricultural sciences with more emphasis on two synchrotron X-ray imaging techniques: absorption and phase-contrast imaging and computed tomography.