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Cereal Chem. 73 (5):561-566  |  VIEW ARTICLE

Analytical Techniques and Instrumentation

Semolina Speck Counting Using an Automated Imaging System (1).

S. J. Symons (2), J. E. Dexter, R. R. Matsuo, and B. A. Marchylo. (1) Contribution of the Canadian Grain Commission, Grain Research Laboratory, 1404-303 Main St., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3G8. (2) Corresponding author. Fax: 204/983-0724. Accepted June 12, 1996. Copyright 1996 by the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Government of Canada. 

An objective instrumental method for counting specks in semolina has been developed. The method involves making pellets from semolina and detecting specks using a computerized image analysis (IA) system. The IA method for speck counting has been compared to visual counting of the pellets by three experienced technicians and to the visual counting of the original semolina using the standard Grain Research Laboratory (GRL) procedure. For a linear range of speck counts created by blending semolina samples, a linear response was obtained by the IA method. The robustness of the developed IA method was tested using semolina milled from a diverse range of plant breeders samples. Eight of these samples were used to test the influence of speck size and darkness on the count levels. The inclusion of smaller specks in the count method increased the count levels, while excluding lighter specks reduced the speck count. The IA method has proven reliable over a wide range of samples representing diverse genotypes and environments. It can be set for specific speck size and darkness, allowing calibration to relate directly to results by traditional visual counting. The semolina pellets may be stored for a long period, providing a permanent record of each sample, and allowing for standardization of speck counts over time.

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