Apple of my eye, er… my machine's eye.
The USDA is developing "machine-vision" systems to detect contamination in foods the human can't see. The system would prevent E. coli 0157:H7 from tainting apple cider and other juices made from apples.
The machine would direct a camera to take three spectral images of each apple through different color filters. A computer would then analyze the spectral images to detect signs of fecal contamination and diseases in the fruit.
The research is starting with apples, but researchers expect the system to work with all fruits and produce.