Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging Detects Internal Defects in Potatoes

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Radiology Dept., Howard Univ. Hospital, Washington, DC 20060
  • | 2 2Horticultural Crops Quality Lab., Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, USDA/ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705

Potatoes with hollow heart or brown center are considered to be of poor quality for both fresh and processing markets. A reliable nondestructive method, which can distinguish affected and normal potatoes, is described here. A Varian 4.7 Tesla, 33-cm horizontal-bore spectroscopy/imaging system was used to obtain nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) images of potatoes. A two-dimensional multi-slice spin-echo imaging technique was used to acquire the cross-sectional images along the longitudinal direction. The echo time was 35 msec and the repetition time was 1.2 sec. A total of 13 slice images were taken for each potato. A one-dimensional projection technique was also performed to evaluate the possibility of using fast-scan method. The brown center showed high intensity in long echo scans due to its longer TL relaxation time. A suberin-like layer resembling the periderm developed on the cavity wall of hollow heart causing a tan or dark brown coloration. This cavity wall also appeared in high intensity on the image. The affected potatoes can easily be sorted out using this nondestructive NMR imaging technique.