Developing a machine vision system for simultaneous prediction of freshness indicators based on tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) pupil and gill color during storage at 4°C

Food Chem. 2018 Mar 15;243:134-140. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.09.047. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


The study assessed the feasibility of developing a machine vision system based on pupil and gill color changes in tilapia for simultaneous prediction of total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N), thiobarbituric acid (TBA) and total viable counts (TVC) during storage at 4°C. The pupils and gills were chosen and color space conversion among RGB, HSI and Lab color spaces was performed automatically by an image processing algorithm. Multiple regression models were established by correlating pupil and gill color parameters with TVB-N, TVC and TBA (R2=0.989-0.999). However, assessment of freshness based on gill color is destructive and time-consuming because gill cover must be removed before images are captured. Finally, visualization maps of spoilage based on pupil color were achieved using image algorithms. The results show that assessment of tilapia pupil color parameters using machine vision can be used as a low-cost, on-line method for predicting freshness during 4°C storage.

Keywords: Chilled storage; Color parameters; Freshness indicators; Machine vision; Pupil and gill; Tilapia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Color
  • Eye*
  • Food Quality*
  • Food Storage / methods*
  • Gills*
  • Nitrogen / analysis
  • Thiobarbiturates / analysis
  • Tilapia / anatomy & histology*


  • Thiobarbiturates
  • thiobarbituric acid
  • Nitrogen