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Liu C.-K.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Liu C.-K.,Eastern Regional Research Center | Latona N.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Latona N.P.,Eastern Regional Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association | Year: 2013

Animal hides are important agricultural commodities closely associated with rural economics and the well being of rural farmers in the United States. Approximately 90% of the hides produced in the United States are being exported; the remaining 10% are mostly tanned into leather. At the present time hides and leather are visually inspected and ranked for quality, usable area, and sale price. However, visual inspection is not reliable for detecting defects, which are usually hidden inside the material or under the hair in fresh hides. This manual assessment is not uniform among operators, and often leads to disputes over fair price. Development of a non-contact nondestructive method to accurately evaluate the quality of hides and leather is urgently needed. We previously reported the research results for airborne ultrasonic (AU) testing using non-contact transducers to evaluate the quality of hides and leather. We demonstrated the ability of AU to reveal defects in hides and leather that are difficult to be found during visual inspection. In this paper, we present new results on AU inspection, particularly using a statistical data/cluster analysis technique, in which leather and hide defects are depicted as color-coded amplitude maps, or "C-scans.".

Holser R.,Russell Research Center
Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Encapsulation of structurally sensitive compounds within a solid lipid matrix provides a barrier to prooxidant compounds and effectively limits the extent of oxidative degradation. Encapsulated docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) methyl ester was examined as a model compound for functional foods and feeds. Solid lipid particles were prepared from triacylglycerols and evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry. Thermal characteristics of the lipids used to form the particle were related to structure and could be adjusted by selection of the appropriate component fatty acids. Encapsulation by solid lipid particles provides a method to inhibit oxidation and improve shelf life of products formulated with DHA. © 2012.

Kandala C.V.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Sundaram J.,Russell Research Center | Settaluri V.,New Mexico State University | Puppala N.,New Mexico State University
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2011

A Custom made NIR spectroscope was used to determine the moisture content of in-shell peanuts of two different market type peanuts namely Virginia and Valencia. Peanuts were conditioned to different moisture levels between 6 and 26 % (wet basis). Samples from the different moisture levels were separated into two groups one for calibration and the other for validation. NIR absorption spectral data from 1000 nm to 2500 nm were collected on the peanuts from the calibration and validation groups. Measurements were obtained on 30 replicates within each moisture level. Reference moisture data were developed using standard air-oven method on calibration set samples. Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis was performed on the calibration set with certain pretreatments on the measured data and models were developed using the reference moisture data. The Standard Error of Calibration (SEC) and R2 of the calibration models were computed to select the best calibration model for each of the two peanut types. Both Valencia and Virginia types gave R2 of 0.99 for the pretreated as well as for the raw spectral data. The selected models were used to predict the moisture content of peanuts in the validation sample set. Predicted moisture contents of the validation samples were compared with their air-oven moisture values determined similarly as for the calibration samples. Goodness of fit was determined based on the lowest Standard Error of Prediction (SEP) and highest R2 value obtained for the prediction models. The model, with reflectance plus normalization spectral data with an SEP of 0.74 for Valencia and 1.57 for Virginia type in-shell peanuts was selected as the best model. The corresponding R2 values were 0.98 for both peanut types. © 2011 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Cho S.H.,Agri. Machinery Certification Team | Choi S.,Russell Research Center | Le N.H.,United International University Dhanmondi | Kim S.J.,Sungkyunkwan University | Hwang H.,Sungkyunkwan University
Applied Engineering in Agriculture | Year: 2015

To automatically evaluate beef quality, a system must be developed to properly segment lean tissue in a sectional image of the 13th beef rib. To this end, a mobile color computer vision system and its corresponding image processing algorithms were developed for on-site application. The algorithms implement Rényi entropy and a texture index to provide adaptive thresholding. Automatic smoothing and modification followed boundary extraction, and binary morphological approaches were also taken. When 54 images of beef cut samples were assessed without manual intervention, the proposed algorithms exhibited an average boundary extraction error of 3% and an average pixel distance error of 1.8 pixels relative to assessments made by a human expert. The computing time for these sample images was of approximately 5.5 s. In addition, a user-friendly interactive man-machine interface was also developed to allow for a human expert to modify the extracted boundary.

Islamovic E.,University of Georgia | Islamovic E.,BASF | Garcia-Pedrajas M.D.,University of Malaga | Chacko N.,University of Georgia | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions | Year: 2015

Ustilago maydis, causal agent of corn smut disease, is a dimorphic fungus alternating between a saprobic budding haploid and an obligate pathogenic filamentous dikaryon. Maize responds to U. maydis colonization by producing tumorous structures, and only within these does the fungus sporulate, producing melanized sexual teliospores. Previously we identified Ust1, an APSES (Asm1p, Phd1p, Sok2p, Efg1p, and StuAp) transcription factor, whose deletion led to filamentous haploid growth and the production of highly pigmented teliospore-like structures in culture. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptome of a ust1 deletion mutant and functionally characterized two highly upregulated genes with potential roles in melanin biosynthesis: um05361, encoding a putative laccase (lac1), and um06414, encoding a polyketide synthase (pks1). The Δlac1 mutant strains showed dramatically reduced virulence on maize seedlings and fewer, less-pigmented teliospores in adult plants. The Δpks1 mutant was unaffected in seedling virulence but adult plant tumors generated hyaline, nonmelanized teliospores. Thus, whereas pks1 appeared to be restricted to the synthesis of melanin, lac1 showed a broader role in virulence. In conclusion, the ust1 deletion mutant provided an in vitro model for sporulation in U. maydis, and functional analysis supports the efficacy of this in vitro mutant analysis for identification of genes involved in in planta teliosporogenesis. © 2015 The American Phytopathological Society.

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