Utopia: Universal Three-dimensiOnal Passport for process Individualization in Agriculture

Early detection of health risks

Agricultural foods naturally vary in their detailed internal structure. To facilitate early detection of health hazards due to contamination or disease, predict maturity and minimise wastage, it is crucial to take into account the internal characteristics of each individual product, as these allow assessment of product quality, individualised processing of the product and detection of harmful specimens.

3D scanning

The UTOPIA project will develop a powerful approach for in-line 3D X-ray scanning of agricultural products, which will allow the creation of an individual digital passport of each product with characteristics related to safety, quality and morphology derived from the 3D internal representation of the product. Our approach is based on advancing and combining two key technologies: (i) high-throughput, simultaneous 3D imaging of groups of products using multispectral X-ray tomography, and (ii) data-driven feature detection using deep learning techniques. By creating automated tools that link morphological information to functional characteristics, decisions can be made in real-time.

Individualised quality assurance

Our approach will pave the way for fully individualised quality assurance and processing of agricultural products, raising the bar for food safety and waste reduction through early detection of disorders and diseases, and increasing value through individualised processing.

The UTOPIA project team combines CWI's expertise in 3D image reconstruction and machine learning with in-depth knowledge of agricultural products from Wageningen University and Utrecht University and extensive experience in high-volume production systems for fruit (GREEFA) and poultry (Meyn) processing. We will jointly develop concrete demonstrators to bring these smart technologies into the real high-volume environment.

Project team:

CWI Computational Imaging groep:

  • Prof.dr.ir. R. (Robert) van Liere
  • Prof.dr. K.J. (Joost) Batenburg (project lead)
  • Dr. T. (Tristan) van Leeuwen
  • Ir. D.E. (Dirk) Schut (promovendus op UTOPIA, werkt aan CT-reconstructie)
  • Dr. R. (Roozbeh) Valadian (postdoc op UTOPIA, werkt aan data-analyse)

Wageningen University & Research, Horticulture and Product Physiology (HPP):

  • Dr. Rob Schouten
  • Dr. R.M. Rachael Wood (postdoc op UTOPIA), werkt aan fuit-aspecten

Universiteit Utrecht, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS)

  • Dr. L.J.A. (Len) Lipman
  • Drs. K.B. (Kacper) Libera (promovendus op UTOPIA, werkt aan kip-aspecten

Meyn Food Processing Technology

  • Dhr. L. (Louis) van Steijn


  • Ir. H. (Henk) Reitsma
  • Dr. A.K. (Anna) Trull

Project nieuws

Utopia: Universal Three-dimensiOnal Passport for process Individualization in Agriculture
Joost Batenburg and Robert van Liere are the leaders of this project, which runs from fall 2020 to fall 2025. We spoke with them halfway through the research and received an extensive explanation of their shared future vision for the food industry; w...
13 October 2023

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