Palestine Technical University Research Journal


Quality of agricultural products is a very important issue for consumers as well as for farmers in relation to price, health and flavour. One of the factors that determine the quality is the absence of pathogens that can cause diseases for products and also for consumers. An advanced method to sense pathogens and their antagonists is the use of Visible/Near Infrared (VIS/NIR) spectroscopy. In this paper, the VIS/NIR spectroscopy, with the help of two techniques of multivariate data analysis (MVDA); namely principal component analysis (PCA) and support vector machine (SVM)-classification; showed very reliable results for sensing two artificially inoculated fungi (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Lycopersici and Rhizoctonia solani), and two antagonistic bacteria (Bacillus atrophaeus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). The two fungi cause loss of quality and quantity for tomatoes. The results showed that the lowest classification rates using VIS/NIR spectroscopy for pathogens, antagonistic and their combinations were 90%, 85% and 74%, respectively. These results open a wide range for using VIS/NIR spectroscopy sensor technology for agricultural commodities quality at quality control checkpoints.