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Australian grain industry expert panel image analysis for detection of defective grains

S.R. Openshaw1, J. Lowien2 and J. Marszal3

1AWB(I), 8 Bennet Street, East Perth, Western Australia, 6004
GrainCorp, 30 Barwan Street, Narrabri, New South Wales, 2390
ABB Grain, 124-130 South Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000


Wheat is marketed on the basis of customer specifications and in Australia, each grower load of wheat presented to a receival agent is classified on the basis of the Wheat Receival Standards (set in consultation with the Australian Grain Industry). Payment to the grower is largely determined by the results of these tests, ensuring the correct segregation into grades for successful cargo assembly for our markets.

Many of the receival tests are conducted using objective measurements, however detection and quantification of grain defects (e.g. Field Fungi affected, black point stained kernels etc) relies on human visual inspection of the individual grains. Results are the product of experience, training and ultimately, a human decision process. Errors associated with this test are compounded by the possible lack of experience (e.g. seasonal inspectors) and pressures of the sample stand (e.g. fatigue).

Recently, image analysis instruments have been developed that promise to improve the speed, repeatability and reproducibility of the visual test under receival conditions.


In response to these problems, the Australian Grain Industry formed the “Expert Panel” (Panel) with the aim of working together to source, standardise and build comprehensive reference material to aid suppliers in developing calibration models for the instruments.

To date the Panel members have provided samples, resources and their valuable expertise resulting in reference sets and models for black point staining, fungal/mould and barley contamination in wheat.

Work is currently being conducted on two new reference sets – frost and sprouted wheat – to be validated during harvest 2005/2006.


Given the successful validation of the calibration models and robustness of the instruments at the receival site, the Panel’s effort may provide a more rapid, consistent and qualitative analysis of defective grain at receival by harvest 2006/2007.


Expert Panel members:
GrainCorp - Neil Barker, Pat Wilson, Jason Lowien
ABB Grain - Jeanette Marszal, James McIntyre
GrainFlow - Darren Robey
AWB - Adrian Reginato, Samantha Openshaw
Gerard McMullen, Bronwyn Watson, Mila Sims, Tony Blohm, Andrew Beekman, Andrew Kelly, and Chad O’Halloran.

Instrument Suppliers and Technical contributions:

Foss Pacific & Foss Analytical: Paul Slupecki, Anna Johnsson, and Martin Largerholm for the Cervitec Grain Inspector 1625
Dupont Acurum®: Eric Kokko, Chris Van Natto and Guy Sands for the Dupont Acurum
Thanks also to Tony Blakeney and Bob Cracknell for their continued support and assistance.

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